On a little hamlet of Long Island, NY stands a man with a camera, peering into the screen as his actors bring their vision to life. When the film is finally screened, he holds his breath with the rest of the audience. Soon, a room of 250 people is stunned into a deafening silence — he could finally release his breath.
The film worked.
A mere year later, he clips the video camera between the boxy legs of his drone, steps back, and launches his device into the sky. Controller in hand, he watches the scene pan over a field of green before zooming closer into a home. His body floods with the calm of a familiar rhythm.
Lucas Tran Kosmynka ‘23 is a Syracuse University film major in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, however much of his talent developed long before stepping onto campus. Lucas has come a long way since he picked up his first home video camera as he has now transformed his love for videography into a consistent independent venture.
Driven to create, Lucas spent his high school years creating powerful PSA films. The topics he chose had two requirements: relevancy and strong personal connection. The PSAs Lucas films are often inspired by snippets of his own experiences, molded to take on a greater message.
One of the films Lucas directed that holds particular meaning to him is his film advocating for mental health and suicide awareness. In 2019, he also won a distracted driving video contest, earning him $5,000, a feature on ABC7 New York, and his first national ticket to fame. The heart-wrenching video was a rallying cry for safety and awareness — a common theme in many of Lucas’s PSA films, which he hopes frame topics in novel, eye-opening ways.
“I’m not trying to change people’s minds. I’m trying to educate — to make people listen without even realizing they’re listening.”
This tactic is especially evident in his brief PSA on wearing masks, showing a quick comparison between wearing a mask (voluntarily) or a respirator (involuntarily).
His PSAs often feature the same leading actor. Lucas emphasizes the importance of a creative partner from his relationship with Michael Fedele, a custodian that Lucas met in high school who happened to be a passionate actor and writer. Together, they worked on their creative visions for any given film.
“It’s important to have an honest second perspective to improve an idea,” Lucas says.
Since then, Lucas has applied his abilities into the creation of SandPoint — a marketing business that mainly serves local businesses and real estate listings on Long Island.
While he is normally timid in social settings, Lucas had no trouble putting himself out there and cold-emailing businesses to offer his media services. As he received responses, he focused on quality over quantity, offering additional content for his established clients rather than spreading himself thin. His client-focused approach proved effective as he dedicated himself to a mission of close connection by acting on feedback from the people he works with.
“I always start by asking what they want to achieve as opposed to what they want made.” This provides him with clarity and vision, but Lucas also notes that he learned the value of flexibility in adapting this vision to what the client wants to see.
Ultimately, Lucas’s goal with SandPoint is to provide a more modern, innovative take on marketing businesses and real estate. He differentiates between video and film, emphasizing that he approaches his marketing content with a more cinematic focus. Rather than a “cookie-cutter” approach, Lucas strives for originality.
When asked what it means to be an innovator, Lucas says, “It’s the ability to make something out of nothing or out of what’s given to you.”
In this process, Lucas strives to create that which is beneficial to his community and offers a step toward positive change. This past summer, Lucas sought to find opportunity in the face of a difficult situation — a global pandemic. This resulted in kickstarting a business delivering groceries to at-risk New York residents.
Still, Lucas considers himself to be more of a creative figure than a businessman. To Lucas, entrepreneurship is not about the technicalities of business but rather about sharing your creations with the world.
“Put your work out there,” he says. “Don’t keep it locked away in a folder.”
Looking forward, Lucas is currently working on his New York Real Estate License so that he can act as an agent that creates marketing content for his own listings.
Lucas is inspired to continue what he does because of the satisfaction that comes with people appreciating his work, whether it is on a commercial or personal level.
“We live life in video,” he says. And so, Lucas hopes to bring this same life to his videography.
Lucas leaves us with one final message to consider: “If you’re passionate enough and have the drive to do what you want to do, no one is stopping you except yourself.”
Story by Sasha Temerte ’23, LaunchPad Orange Ambassador; photo supplied