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Los Alamos High School senior Aidan Bradbury-Aranda has come a long way since creating his first animated movie featuring Legos, when he was in fourth grade.
His first true film-making experience came in the form of Axle Contemporary, a Santa Fe-based mobile contemporary art gallery, owned by his friend’s father. Along with his brother, Owen Bradbury-Aranda, and his friend Quill Chase-Daniel, Bradbury-Aranda founded AquO, a film and video production company.
Since then, they have produced short documentaries for Axle Contemporary and the New Mexico Museum of Art. The most ambitious project the trio have chosen to tackle was a full-length, post-apocalyptic movie titled “After.”
“After” was meant to be a short movie, but hit a snag when the camera the guys were utilizing broke. So they bought a professional one, storyboarded the movie and decided to take a chance and commenced filming the summer between Bradbury-Aranda’s sophomore and junior year.
The movie revolves around a character that is trying to find the last city after the apocalypse and works with someone who knows the path, exchanging knowledge for water. Overall, the movie is about betrayal, as the two main characters cannot trust each other.
Neither of them have names, as they would be irrelevant in a world with only a few living beings.
Though it’s their most lengthy work, “After” is not their only production. In 2011, the boys entered the Santa Fe Three Minute Film Festival with the short movie, “Parallel,” a complex take on drunk driving.
The main character, played by Owen Bradbury-Aranda, exhibits obsessive-compulsive tendencies, while the movie switches storylines between the night — when the character was drinking and driving — and daily things, which reminded him of that night.
The movie had such a strong impact on the judges that, not only was it selected out of more than 400 entries as one of 50 movies to be shown, but it received the Jury Prize, the second highest honor, and one of only six prizes offered.
The production did not run smoothly and was completed in just one week, so it came as a surprise that the film made it.
With the Jury Prize under his belt, Bradbury-Aranda is thinking about the future.
Among some of his project ideas is a 20-minute film about a 1950s Russian journalist trying to answer the question, “should humans go against nature?” another short film starring Chase-Daniel as a “buff guy.”
The short film will find Chase-Daniel fighting an epic battle.
“We want viewers to realize we’re making fun of action movies,” Bradbury-Aranda said.
In addition to his movie projects, Bradbury-Aranda is also embarking on a solo project in the fall: he hopes to attend The University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, which has already accepted him. In the future, he aspires to channel Woody Allen from a cinematic point of view.
For more information on Bradbury-Aranda’s projects and AquO Productions, visit aidanbrad
buryaranda.com or aquoproductions