If you don’t know what a man bun is, you can let Lucas Rooney tell you. But he’d rather show you.
The 16-year-old from Cape May created a film about the men’s hairstyle phenomenon and won the opportunity to show it in Times Square in New York City.
Rooney’s short film, “Man Bun,” was chosen for screening Friday through Sunday in the 2016 All American High School Film Festival, which will show films in the AMC Empire Theaters.
“It’s about a teenager who has a girlfriend that dumps him for someone that has a man bun. He’s not very sure what a man bun is. The whole movie leads up to this one joke,” Rooney said. “I kind of made the movie knowing I wanted to submit to some festivals.”
The film is a glimpse into teenage relationships in 2016 and the men’s hair fashion trend, the “man bun,” that, at least in the film, disrupts them.
Rooney said he submitted “Man Bun” to a few smaller festivals around the U.S., but they didn’t bite. The New York festival chose Rooney’s film among 1,850 submissions from 48 states and 40 countries. Rooney will be eligible to win scholarships and prizes that will be announced Sunday in Brooklyn.
Rooney said he has always been interested in cameras.
“My parents always had a video camera out during family events. I was always interested in the fundamentals of it and how it works. So when I got a little older, I went on my computer, used iMovie, and I taught myself,” Rooney said.
Rooney attended a film camp in Cape May that he said taught him a lot of the fundamentals of film. Along the way, he learned more specialized camera techniques and programs.
“It was part of the evolution of me growing up as a filmmaker,” Rooney said. “I’ve always been on the more technical side, but I’ve been striving the last few years to go to the creative side: the writing and directing artistically.”
Rooney said that without the help of friends P.J. Short, Spencer Hughes, Tony Herouvis, Sam Dragon, Emma Stanford, Nick Presnall and John Mazurie, “Man Bun” wouldn’t have been created.
“I had put it on YouTube, and a lot of people from school have seen it. I’ve geared it toward not just my generation but also adults,” Rooney said. “It was really appealing to adults and kids, and it has been getting good reactions from basically everybody.”
Next, Rooney says, he will focus on the TV/media class he’s enrolled in at Ocean City High School. He’s excited for the projects he has in preproduction.
Family members will accompany Rooney to the screening Saturday in Times Square.
And looking ahead, beyond high school, Rooney said he hopes to continue on the film path.
“I’m definitely interested in this in college and even career,” he said. “I’ll hopefully make a career out of it.”