Current News

SMM Comes Back Stronger with Its Self-Produced Horror Short Movie “Elevator”

Yosi Brilianto (right), the Director of String Movie Maniacs’ “Elevator” Horror Short Movie, giving his opening speech before the screening.

Yogyakarta (29/08/2022) – String Movie Maniacs (SMM) kicked the start of the fall semester of 2022 with its self-produced horror short movie “Elevator”. The screening was held on the Monday evening of August 29, 2022. In-room of S. 203, Gedung Sastra Universitas Sanata Dharma Yogyakarta, attend the representatives of three Student Associations in Sanata Dharma University’s Faculty of Letters, as well as the representatives of English Letters Student’s Activity Units and Lens Club.

During the two years of the pandemic, watching movies together through collaborative online platforms seemed to be the only feasible activity in SMM. “Elevator” is not only the first offline project that they produced. It is also the first project that enabled SMM’s members to meet face-to-face and get to know each other in real life for the first time. 

“I want to give my biggest appreciation because you guys (SMM) have been independently productive. Hopefully, this can be a good start since this is the beginning of the semester and our beginning of offline activities. Hopefully, there will be many more works coming, and expanding – not only internally in SMM,” stated Ma’am Sri Mulyani the advisor of SMM in her opening speech.

The hope for further collaboration between student’s activity units was also delivered by Mr. Simon Arsa Manggala the Vice Chairperson of the English Letters Department, “For the other student’s activity units, hopefully, this can be the event to get to know each other and work together. Who knows if it is possible to collaborate: SMM made a film about badminton, (Avis) Puppet Show play badminton, for example.

The introduction of the Cast and Crew of “Elevator” Horror Short Movie.

“This film was made within a relatively short time and with a limited amount of crew, and these limitations are not unreasonable. Because of the drawbacks in the online years, the process of making it was also faced with obstacles,” explained Yosi Brilianto, the director of the short movie. The process of script reading, shooting, and editing was all done within a week. The movie involved one director, one scriptwriter, 5 cast members, and 7 crews in total. What is more, is that the shooting process was done with only one camera and some additional equipment lent by Lens Club.

The cast also shared the difficulties that they had experienced in the shooting process. Especially, in the elevator scene taken at the elevator of Driyarkara Auditorium, Sanata Dharma University. On the day when the shot was planned to be taken, INSADHA (Inisiasi Sanata Dharma) was still ongoing and there were a lot of noises, creating an unconducive situation for the shooting.

This particular scene was also hard to take because of the height difference between Nasya and Goldy, the actresses who played Sandra and the ghost. They had to repeat the takeover and over again, even until they were scolded by the cleaning service in the auditorium due to the concern that the elevator may be broken if they use it too often without time breaks.

However, all these drawbacks did not stop String Movie Maniacs to amaze the audience with its horror short movie premiere. “Elevator” successfully crept on the audience, slowly, but surely. The thrill of the movie made some audience watch through the gap of their fingers. Some others even screamed when the jumpscare came. Once the screen went black, the room filled in total darkness, and the credit scene appeared, the audience loudly clapped their hands, both proud of SMM and relieved that the horror had ended. Click here to watch “Elevator” a horror short movie by String Movie Maniacs.

Journalist: Agnes Seraphine

Editor: Cynthia Olga Handoko (QC)

Current News

Moon at Noon 2022 Honest Review: Exclusive Interview with Pakde Agathon Hutama

(Yogyakarta, 11/07/20) –  Performing a self-produced play, Moon at Noon 2022 was seen to receive many affirmative feedbacks from the audience. The musical performance was as thoroughly enjoyable as the dynamics of the characters. In this article, we are going to take a closer look at this year’s play performance review, mainly from our interview with the current advisor of Teater Seriboe Djendela, Mr. Agathon Hutama. 

Mr. Agathon, also commonly known as “Pakde”, started his theatrical journey in 2006. He began to actively join the student activity’s unit of Teater Seriboe Djendela in 2009 and became deeply interested in the field of literacy and stage production management. Being an alumnus of the English Letters Department himself, Pakde Agathon has also taken the course of Play Performance in his university years.

To begin with, Pakde expressed his appreciation to the committee of Play Performance 2022 as well as the English Letters Department of Sanata Dharma University. Regardless of the outcome, the willingness and effort to continuously create the literature work is worth the acknowledgement. He mentioned that the challenge of originality has been accepted bravely by the committee, knowing that they have to make the quality of the script more or less equivalent to the classical play performed in the previous years, namely Seasons of Love, Mamma Mia, and the Sound of Music. Not to mention, the process of recontextualizing songs and composing choreographies to the play is an extra effort worth noticing.

“The main appeal of Moon at Noon is in its musical performance,” said Pakde. He further explained that although the singing part was impressive, it ironically distracted the committee from building further depth into the play itself. Pakde, on the other side, also agreed that it was a good strategy for the play, as the English Letters Department has not yet provided a long term learning medium with acting at its center while the majority of actors and actresses also did not have prior experiences in the field of theater. In other words, the lack of the depth in the script actualization might have been caused, saved, and over-charmed by the musical show. 

This case is commonly found in musical plays due to the duality of elements which needs to be performed in one show. To improve this, Pakde suggested that the songs are exploited more as a form of interaction between characters instead of a solo performance “isolated” from the script. This means that the characters should do more realistic gestures related to the story while singing instead of gestures which evidently show that they are singing at that moment.

Moreover, Pakde described how the depth of the play was problematic. Firstly, the number of focus in the story is too many. Thus, it creates confusion about which main message was supposed to be received by the audience. It is comparatively better to just take one main topic and break it down into several perspectives in the play. Secondly, the timescope of COVID-19 was shown by so few setting indicators aside from the dialogues. Details such as backsound of ambulances going around or people wearing masks were still missing from the play. 

For the next Play Performance, Pakde Agathon suggested that the topic of the play focus more on the issues that the society around us are struggling through. By this, students of the English Letters Department are expected to be more susceptible, compassionate, and critical toward the social occurrences around them. 

“What if next year’s Play Performance is not made into a musical?” added Pakde at the end of the interview, proposing a new challenge for the English Letters students should they also want to perform an original play next year. He explained that this proposal can be a way for the committee to take more of their time on constructing depth into the script and for students to get bigger opportunities on becoming great actors and actresses without being held behind by their ability to sing. From this, Pakde reminds us that musical play is not the peak of play performance, yet one genre among many others to be explored.


Journalist: Agnes Seraphine

Editor: Cynthia Olga Handoko (QC)


Current News

Celebrating Post Pandemic Situation through Play Performance: Moon at Noon 2022

The cast of Moon at Noon in the prologue scene singing “Another Day of the Sun” (taken by Ina Galuh Susetyawati)

Yogyakarta (28/06/2022) – “After two years separated by the pandemic and (also) all the virus issues, we’re finally coming back with a self-produced play performance, titled Moon at Noon 2022,” said Adriyan Frediyanto as the Head of Production in his opening speech.

Play Performance is an annual student project of the English Letters Department Sanata Dharma University initially conducted in 2016. Several titles have been performed ever since, including The Sound of Music, Mamma Mia, and Rent: Seasons of Love.

Unfortunately, last year’s play, Rock of Ages, was canceled due to the pandemic. This brought a great disappointment at that time and extra excitement for Moon at Noon 2022 as the audience had been waiting for a play performance comeback.

Mainly composed of the English Letters students batch 2018, Moon at Noon captured the experience of university students’ life during the COVID-19 pandemic. It aimed to raise the issue of mental health, togetherness, respect, and acceptance.

Through the self-liberation journey of Paul (Yohanes), Aryo (Yoga), Nadine (Shelitta), and Ms. Frida (Raffa), Play Performance 2022 encouraged the audience to be okay with being unique or “misfits” among other people. This is also shown in the title of the play itself, Moon at Noon. Accordingly, the Head of the English Letters Department, Drs. Hirmawan Wijanarka, M.Hum. mentioned that this was the possible reason why the performance was conducted in the afternoon, while it was usually held in the evening in previous years.

After approximately one year of preparation by the whole committee and the dilemma of whether or not to actually conduct the performance on-site, Moon at Noon 2022 was a huge success. A total of ten songs from Broadway and musical movies were performed by 14 talented actors and actresses. It was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience. The plot twist at the end of the story also made some gasp with surprise and excitement.

The sound of handclaps from more than 450 audiences filled the Driyarkara Auditorium of Sanata Dharma University as the show ended. The performance also received affirmative responses from live chats on its Youtube stream, where some spectators said that Moon at Noon was way beyond their highest expectations. Another even requested for its casts’ version of songs to be recorded and published on Spotify.

“I hope this performance will be a starting point again for our yearly agenda,” expressed Mr. Hirmawan proudly in his speech.



Journalist: Agnes Seraphine

Editor: Desca Geovani Kristi & Cherry Larissa Hendranata (QC)