This is Vassar: The newsletter for Vassar College Alumnae/i and Families

Actor Eric Nenninger stars as Troy, a man overcome by fear, in Busch's Bright.

A Bright Outlook for Ben Busch ’91

From an art-and-political science double major at Vassar, to a United States Marine, to photographer, to a Hollywood actor, the path of Benjamin Busch ’91 has been anything but conventional. Now, he transitions again, this time taking on the roles of writer, producer and director (plus a reprise as an actor) with his new film, Bright. The 40-minute drama made its world premier in Sacramento earlier this year. Since then it’s been touring the film festival circuit, screening from California to the Carolinas, and from the Deep South to the upper Midwest.

Bright tells the story of a man inspired to overcome a paralyzing fear, a plotline that came to Busch when his plane hit turbulence over Minneapolis while he was flying home from Los Angeles to Michigan. Three weeks later he was back in LA to film the movie on a shoestring budget—$10,000 borrowed from a friend. Busch cast actor friends from HBO’s Generation Kill and The Wire (he’d previously acted on both series). The tactic had worked before with Sympathetic Details, Busch’s freshman effort as writer-producer-director. They shot the film in just five days on a very tight schedule.

If recent response to the film is any indication, Busch’s future in this new role looks, well, bright. Bright earned Best Narrative Short and Best Performance honors at a festival in Illinois, and a critic in South Carolina called Busch “the next Danny Boyle” (of Slumdog Millionaire fame). At the least, Bright does seem poised to open doors for Busch, which is just fine by him. “I always feel at my best on a film set,” he says. “I wish it weren’t such a rare experience.” –Peter Bronski

Watch a trailer for Bright on its Facebook page.

Image Courtesy Ben Busch

May 2011

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