SHU 2023 Grad Premieres Behind-the-Scenes Star Wars Documentary

FAIRFIELD, Conn.—Sacred Heart University graduate Eric Patrick Cameron ’23 is already making a name for himself in the film industry.

A month before Cameron earned his degree at SHU’s May 14 commencement exercises, he premiered his documentary, The Space Western of the Southwest, a behind-the-scenes look at the filming of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

He started the documentary during his junior year while he studied abroad at SHU’s campus in Dingle, Ireland and completed the editing process throughout his senior year. He premiered the film in April at the Féile na Bealtaine, which has been described as Dingle’s largest arts festival.

“Being able to not only premiere this movie in front of an audience, but to do it in Dingle, was amazing. Going back to Dingle was the best experience ever,” said Cameron.

The Space Western of the Southwest documents the making of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which was filmed in Dingle. It features testimonies from residents about witnessing the production and from the crew about their experiences in town. The film also includes an exclusive interview with The Last Jedi director, Rian Johnson, a two-time Academy Award-nominated writer.

“I would say a huge challenge was getting Rian Johnson in the movie. He's at the height of his career right now. He's grown to be one of the biggest names in directing,” Cameron said.

Cameron, who majored in media arts with a concentration in film and television, has been a Star Wars superfan and self-proclaimed film buff throughout his life. When he was considering which college to attend, SHU’s overseas learning opportunities especially appealed to him. “The reason I chose Sacred Heart was because of the study-abroad program, and that gave me the best experience of my life,” he said. “It was my first time outside of the states, so it was my first time experiencing another culture. It sparked a new love for not just traveling, but world traveling.”

Fellow grad provides original music

The Space Western of the Southwest features an original score by another recent SHU graduate, Paul Richard Keegan ’23, who double-majored in media arts with a concentration in film and television, and theatre arts with a concentration in acting.

Keegan praised the University for supporting him and Cameron throughout the filming process. “I think it speaks to how supportive so much of the faculty at SHU is,” he said. “Everyone just kind of rallied behind Cameron and supported him and said, ‘You want to make this movie? OK, do it. We'll help you how ever we can.’ I think so many faculty members here, especially in the media department, really care about everyone.”

He believes the faculty’s go-for-it attitude pushes students to explore their creative talents. “It promotes students to want to try projects like this, and it helps make success possible because people have your back,” Keegan said.

Cameron credits SHU for connecting him with Keegan. “Sacred Heart gave me this incredible collaboration with Paul that I would not have had otherwise. I think it's a collaboration that's going to last a lifetime. As long as I get to keep making movies, I hope he gets to keep making the music,” said Cameron.

Both Cameron and Keegan have exciting plans for the future. “Every movie you make, you make in order to make the next one. So, I'm hoping that the year-and-a-half I worked on this leads me to the next movie,” said Cameron. 

Cameron will attend New York University’s cinema studies graduate program where he will continue making films. He also welcomes the opportunity to return to Ireland, noting his “deep love for the country and its history.”

Keegan will continue his work with music and composition. “I want to keep writing and keep scoring music. It's just what I absolutely love to do,” he said.

trailer for The Space Western of the Southwest can be viewed on Cameron’s website.


About Sacred Heart University

As the second-largest independent Catholic university in New England, and one of the fastest-growing private doctoral institutions in the U.S., Sacred Heart University is a national leader in shaping higher education for the 21st century. SHU offers nearly 90 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs on its Fairfield, Conn., campus. Sacred Heart also has a campus in Dingle, Ireland, and offers online programs. More than 10,000 students attend the University’s nine colleges and schools: Arts & Sciences; Communication, Media & the Arts; Social Work; Computer Science & Engineering; Health Professions; the Isabelle Farrington College of Education & Human Development; the Jack Welch College of Business & Technology; the Dr. Susan L. Davis, R.N., & Richard J. Henley College of Nursing; and St. Vincent’s College. Sacred Heart stands out from other Catholic institutions as it was established and led by laity. The contemporary Catholic university is rooted in the rich Catholic intellectual tradition and the liberal arts, and at the same time cultivates students to be forward thinkers who enact change—in their own lives, professions and in their communities. The Princeton Review includes SHU in its Best 388 Colleges–2023 Edition, and Best Business Schools–2023 Edition. Sacred Heart is home to the award-winning, NPR-affiliated radio station, WSHU, a Division I athletics program and an impressive performing arts program that includes choir, band, dance and theatre.

Submitted by Fairfield, CT

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