Senior Standouts: Dylan Relue '15
Dylan Relue '15, a transfer student, graduated with a theatre degree and is going to film school in Chicago.
Dylan Relue ’15 sees the world through a lens.
But at the University of Colorado Boulder, his view wasn’t quite in focus.
He needed a different program to build on his passion for filmmaking, and a conversation with Associate Professor of Theatre Rob McKercher three years ago changed everything.
“When I first met Dylan, he had already done a year down at Boulder and felt constrained by their program, which didn’t allow him to film anything,” McKercher said. “We were talking with he and his family, and he said ‘What can make the difference if I come to Doane?’ I said, 'I will give you the freedom to create whatever you want.'”
It all moved forward from there. When Relue came to Doane, he worked with McKercher and adjunct journalism professor Erik Anderson to create a new major that would help him achieve his dream to be a filmmaker. They put him on track for a theatre major but made sure all of his elective courses were film-oriented.
“Erik has also been a great instructor working with Dylan,” McKercher said. “I can give Dylan a sense of independence and liberty, but it was really his expertise on the technical end that Dylan was able to achieve things both creatively and technically.”
Getting into film school isn’t easy. Relue said he wasn’t sure where he wanted to go right away—whether it was graduate school or a different path—but he knew he had to make a movie in order to get there.
During his junior year, Relue began creating his film “Runner” with a group of student volunteers.
To prepare Relue for the professional world even more, McKercher worked with Doane’s administration to purchase a Black Magic camera for the film.
“Last year he was going to make ‘Runner’ and I wanted the department to move toward what they are shooting with in Hollywood and other places,” McKercher said. “It was really to keep Dylan moving forward to create stuff that he couldn’t create anywhere else than Doane.”
Not long after, he realized what he wanted to do next.
“The calling card to get into the industry is short film, so I had the short film and I had been talking to Rob on what I wanted to do,” Relue said. “Many people like Rob went to graduate school to get to know people in the industry and then I knew that’s what I wanted to do—I wanted to be a director.”
After applying for four graduate schools, Relue received an acceptance email from DePaul University in Chicago for filmmaking.
“It was crazy because two weeks after I applied, I got the email of them saying, ‘Hey, we want you.’ I freaked out and celebrated,” Relue said. “Film is very tough. People say you only get one choice and my number one choice was the first school to accept me.”
McKercher is excited for the next step in Relue’s life.
“DePaul is a fantastic school. I love the fact that it’s in Chicago,” McKercher said. “That’s where a lot of the best fine and performing arts is happening in America right now. DePaul is right smack dab in the middle of a cultural hub for America right now.”
Looking back at his time at Doane, Relue feels good about what he accomplished.
“I feel like I really actually did something here at Doane,” he said. “I made this movie and so many people got affected by it in a positive way and they want to go make movies themselves and basically now my future is set in stone. I have people to work with the practice my craft. That in itself is just comforting—that you made it.”