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Simone, a timid waitress, uses music as an instrument of change to revive a monotonous fine dining restaurant and enliven its stuffy owner, Gustavo. Throughout the evening, Simone discovers she has an unexpected connection with an upbeat waiter named Nathan, who shares her lyrical passion.

This fully student-produced musical was inspired by Irving Berlin's "Say It With Music."



"'Say It With Music' has all the technical bells and whistles you'd expect from a VR musical, as well as that most elusive ingredient: charm."

Leonard Maltin | Film critic and historian

The experience

No longer confined to a single, composed frame, virtual reality (VR) filmmaking creates a 360-degree immersive movie-watching experience. This innovative, cinematic approach used to film "Say It With Music" allows for the development of multiple story lines and captivates viewers in an unprecedented way.

Go behind the scenes to see the making of the film


The process

SCAD students and alumni from 17 programs, including film and television, animation, costume design, dramatic writing, production design, visual effects, themed entertainment design and motion media design, collaborated to produce "Say It With Music."

In order to completely engage viewers, the team needed to develop a story so delightful the audience would forget about the VR headsets utilized to experience the musical. With creative solutions and inventive thinking, the students achieved their goal.



cast and crew









When tailoring a story to VR, the process is not about changing the type of narrative, but about how the storyline unfolds.

If cinematography is visual and theater is verbal, then VR is a hybrid experience requiring a new application. Through brainstorming sessions, multiple ideas were explored, and movement and music were determined to be the best forms of communication. An homage to the legendary American composer and lyricist Irving Berlin was then chosen as the most compelling story.


SCAD disciplines involved

Film and television

Visual effects


Dramatic writing



"Say It With Music" was shot in a single take on location at Gryphon, an elegant SCAD café in Savannah, Georgia, with the combined talents of more than 100 cast and crew members. The team maintained the integrity of the space and accommodated the needs of the equipment by working with practical lighting, covering mirrors and replacing furniture and décor that did not fit the set's color palette.



Filming with 11 cameras required extensive postproduction work and data management. In order to ensure the image did not warp when a cast member moved between camera angles, rotoscoping — a visual effects technique of manually creating a matte for an element on a live-action plate — was performed every time a person crossed from one frame to another.

To remove the camera rig and dolly track that were visible because of the 360-degree view, the postproduction team also reconstructed that space with a series of photographs.

The team


Joshua Howard

(B.F.A. film and television)

Marshall Young

(M.F.A. sound design)

Mãrien De Moya Pou

(M.F.A. production design)

Chadwick Harman

(M.F.A. dramatic writing)

Lubomir Kocka

(M.F.A., visual effects, B.F.A., film and television, 2012)

Emily Tomlinson

(M.F.A., performing arts, 2016)

Marjorie Ward

(M.F.A. production design)

Michael Chaney

Film and television professor

Oliver Chen

(B.F.A. film and television)

Joe Binzer

(M.F.A., performing arts, 2016)

Moira Burke

(B.F.A., film and television, 2016; B.F.A., visual effects, 2016)

Joerg Schodl

Film and television professor


Samantha S. Stratton M.F.A. film and television Unit production manager, second assistant director, pianist (cast) Beech Grove, Indiana
Sommersill Tarabek M.F.A. film and television Casting director, second assistant director, exhausted waitress (cast) Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
David Harland Rousseau M.F.A., illustration, 2002 Foundation studies professor, Gustavo (cast) St. Johnsbury, Vermont
Dana Joyce Schiller   Matilda (cast) Reidsville, Georgia
Gregory Beck   Dean of entertainment arts, record producer (cast) Tucson, Arizona
Shannon Brunson-Killian   Kleptomaniac (cast) Woodstock, Georgia
Julie Califf   Blind date (cast) Savannah, Georgia
Lucas deWindt M.F.A. performing arts Bartender (cast) Painesville, Ohio
Audrey Ducharme   Gryphon manager, posh girlfriend (cast) Montréal, Québec
Elbi Elm B.F.A. performing arts Stood-up newlywed (cast) Richmond Hill, Georgia
Alisha Frier M.F.A. performing arts Recording artist (cast) Greenbelt, Maryland
Maria Gregory   Upset wife (cast) Jourdanton, Texas
Matt Gregory   Rude husband (cast) Atlanta, Georgia
Camille Jenkins M.A., arts administration, 2016, B.F.A., performing arts, 2013 Lovebird (cast) Fayetteville, Georgia
Bert Jolley B.F.A., computer art, 2004 Voice of Nathan (cast) Charlotte, North Carolina
Jalyn Lageman   Angsty daughter (cast) Fort Carson, Colorado
Lynn Lageman   Unhappy mom (cast) Melbourne, Florida
Ember Love   Bridesmaid (cast) Columbia, South Carolina
William Maizel B.F.A. production design Worried son (cast) Palm Harbor, Florida
Kallie McShane B.F.A. fashion marketing and management Bridesmaid (cast) Houston, Texas
Georgia Nicholas B.F.A. performing arts Lady in pink (cast) Stonington, Connecticut
Virginia Erskine Patterson   Sad mom (cast) Homestead, Florida
Dylan Ruggiero B.F.A. performing arts Man at bar (cast) Wycombe, Pennsylvania
Paul H. Runko Jr.   SCADpro collaboration coordinator, waiter (cast) Monroe, Connecticut
Hunter Satterwhite   Sloppy boyfriend (cast) Montpelier, Vermont
Hannah Sharp B.F.A. performing arts Overworked woman (cast) London, England
Daniel Patrick Sheridan M.F.A. performing arts Bass player (cast) Elmwood Park, New Jersey
Faith Sherrod B.F.A. interior design Voice of Simone (cast) LaBelle, Florida
Callie Sorce M.F.A. sound design Saxophonist (cast), recording engineer, foley artist, music supervisor, studio musician (saxophone) Woodridge, Illinois
Val Tannuzzi   Napkin lady (cast) Uruguay
Tonya Thompson B.F.A., visual effects, 2015 Sneeze lady (cast) Miami, Florida
Joseph Zangla B.F.A. sequential art Cassanova (cast) Brunswick, Georgia
Josh Lind B.F.A., film and television, 2005 SCADpro director, executive producer, literature lover (cast) Rutland, Vermont
Skyler Parnell B.F.A. film and television Cinematographer, VR camera rig design Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
H.R. Scott M.F.A. animation Story, animatic St. Louis, Missouri
Lukas Borovicka B.F.A. film and television Production coordinator, marketing and distribution associate Železný Brod, Czech Republic
Marshall Young M.F.A. sound design Sound mixer, drummer (cast), recording engineer, studio musician (percussion) San Antonio, Texas
Alexander Krikes B.F.A. production design Production design assistant Carlsbad, California
Valeria Chelala B.F.A., production design, 2016 Wardrobe assistant Houston, Texas
Courtney Sherman M.F.A. production design Wardrobe assistant Atlanta, Georgia
Tithi Amin B.F.A. production design Set dresser Ahmedabad, India
Nikki Batts M.A., film and television, 2016 Set dresser Rocky Mount, North Carolina
Enna Chow B.F.A. production design Set dresser Penang, Malaysia
Marla Walkuski B.F.A. production design Set dresser Dryden, Kentucky
Joria James B.F.A. fashion marketing and management Makeup artist Charlotte, North Carolina
Morgan McLaurin B.F.A. fashion Makeup artist Laurel, Maryland
Marie Wallace B.F.A., fashion, 2006 Makeup artist Savannah, Georgia
Mykia Edwards B.F.A. fashion Hairstylist Covington, Georgia
MJ Bahr B.F.A., film and television, 2016 Dolly grip Nashville, Tennessee
D.j. Brandt M.F.A. motion media design Grip Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Austin Huffman B.F.A. film and television Grip Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Carlos Oquet   Grip Santiago, Dominican Republic
Alexis Perrin B.F.A., film and television, 2016 Grip Lake Mary, Florida
Bryan Swormstedt M.F.A. film and television Grip Andover, Connecticut
Stefanos Tai B.F.A. film and television Grip, marketing and distribution associate New York City
Mazyar Sharifian M.A., visual effects, 2016 Lead compositor Tehran, Iran
Chao Luo M.F.A., animation, 2012 Compositor Dalian, China
Paritosh Thanki M.F.A. visual effects Compositor Surat, India
Wenyue Zhao B.F.A., visual effects, 2016 Compositor Beijing, China
Mark McKinsey B.F.A. visual effects Compositor Indianapolis, Indiana
Shreyans Zaveri M.A., visual effects, 2016 Compositor Mumbai, India
Chao Luo M.F.A., animation, 2012 Stitching Dalian, China
Garrett Ilardi M.F.A., visual effects, 2016 Motion media design professor, visual effects photography Savannah, Georgia
Jacob McKee B.F.A., film and television, 2016 Colorist Martinez, Georgia
Peter Garvin B.F.A., graphic design, 2016 Motion design Franklin, Tennessee
Evan Smith M.A. interactive design and game development Website design Owatonna, Minnesota
Emily Mueller B.F.A. graphic design Website design Delmar, New York
Connor Jones B.F.A., photography, 2016 Still photography Santa Rosa, California
Kokoy Amante M.F.A. sound design Recording engineer, re-recording mixer, foley artist, studio musician (percussion) San Antonio, Texas
Rob Bridges M.F.A. sound design Recording engineer, re-recording mixer, studio musician (percussion) Los Angeles, California
Adam Traister M.F.A. sound design Re-recording mixer Scottsdale, Arizona
Ashleigh Bowers M.F.A. sound design Foley artist Durham, North Carolina
Richard Adams B.F.A., sound design, 2015 Foley artist, ADR mixer Flower Mound, Texas
Irving Berlin   Lyricist who wrote original "Say It With Music" Tolochin, Russia
Scott McKinney M.F.A. film and television Craft services Sterling, Kansas
Anna R. Braswell M.F.A. dramatic writing Location assistant Douglas, Georgia
Alexandria Dubus M.F.A. illustration Concept artist, illustrator Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Kathryn Hicks M.F.A. animation Concept artist Memphis, Tennessee
Chloe Rose M.F.A. animation Concept artist Toledo, Ohio
Rajkumar Ramalingam M.F.A. themed entertainment design Illustrator Madurai, India
Paul Hawkins B.F.A. industrial design VR camera rig design Missoula, Montana
Special thank you to
Paula Wallace   President and founder  
John Paul Rowan   Vice president for SCAD Savannah  
Gokhan Ozaysin   Chief academic officer  
Jesus Rojas Ache M.A., industrial design, 2003 Executive dean of academic services  
Greg Beck   Dean of entertainment arts  
Averie Storck   Dramatic writing academic program coordinator  
Chris Auer   Dramatic writing professor  
Carl Haber   Former film and television professor  
Jamie Gall M.A., arts administration, 2012 SCADpro collaboration manager  
Paul Runko   SCADpro collaboration coordinator  
Robin Beauchamp   Sound design chair  
Kay Green   Film and television administrative assistant  
Madeline Collins   Gryphon general manager and catering coordinator  
Audrey Ducharme   Gryphon manager  
Art's Cafe      
Aruna Inversin      
Brenna Cullman B.F.A. photography    
Dan Hernandez   Systems support III  
Bree Alexander B.F.A. animation    
Wilson Randall Jr.   Equipment checkout staff  
James Kaelan      
Olivia Vieria B.F.A. industrial design    
Kailee Roark B.F.A., sequential art, 2016    
Kamal Sinclair      
Lynette Wallworth      
Fred Gilbert      
Mike Buzzard      
Robert Youmans      
Chaz Moneypenny M.F.A., dramatic writing, 2013    
Meg Diamond      
Ben Fox      
Viki Chan B.F.A., video/film, 2004    
Moe's Southwest Grill      
Allison Falkenberry   Vice president for marketing and PR  
Andrew Meyer   Film and television professor  
Ally Hughes B.F.A., furniture design, 1999 Director of university communications  
Robert Vilushis   Senior media producer  
Sarah Ward   Director of institutional recognition  
David Storck   Performing arts professor  
Barbara McCullough   Former visual effects chair  
Stuart Robertson   Visual effects professor  
Deborah Fowler, Ph.D.   Visual effects professor  
Brad Grant   Vice president for information technology  
Bob Duncan   Director of film and digital media  
David Hanak   Executive director of interactive services  
Elaine Brown   Director of Savannah Film Studios  
Germaine Brown   Director of user services  
Adrienne Boner M.F.A., video/film, 2007 Facilities manager  
Albert Ross Jr. M.F.A., film and television, 2009 Assistant facilities manager  
Matthew Akers   Sound design professor  
Peter Damski M.A., sound design, 2012 Sound design professor  
Stephen LeGrand M.F.A., sound design, 2009 Sound design professor  
The families of the cast and crew

#scad #VR musical "Say it with Music" world premiere today @savfilmfest @SCADdotedu — what a crew!

#SCADATMIAMI introduces legions of new fans to "Say It With Music," the world's first-ever virtual reality musical, a rousing tribute to the oeuvre of Irving Berlin. Josh Howard, a current B.F.A. film and television student who wrote and produced the film, was on hand in Miami last week to show visitors the ropes. Kudos to Josh and the "Say It With Music" team! #vr #virtualreality #sayitwithmusic #SCADATMIAMI

A #behindthescenes image from one of the most fascinating projects I've ever worked on. About 6 months ago, I was asked to co-write the #screenplay for a #virtualreality narrative #film. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I said yes. I wrote the screenplay with @chadwickharman, became lead #producer of the entire project and worked with 84 insanely talented people to create something that we are so proud of. @google and @youtube came to check it out and we can't wait for the rest of the world to see also as soon as it's out of post. The eleven-camera #vr rig our team built is in the foreground. More info on this groundbreaking project to come! @scadclc #scadclc @natgeo @natgeocreative #natgeocreative #liveaction #sony

Featured at these festivals and events

SCAD at Miami logoSavannah Film Festival logoOxford Film Festival logo


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