Mr. Manhattan Film to Stream on Great American Pure Flix – Asbury University
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Mr. Manhattan Film to Stream on Great American Pure Flix

Feature film shot on Asbury’s campus to hit streaming service May 24

April 16, 2024

Alexa and Carlos PenaVega. Credit: Getty Images.

Mr. Manhattan, a film shot around the Asbury University campus, central Kentucky, and New York City, will be the first entertainment piece to stream on May 24 through Great American Pure Flix. Through a 2023 merger with Sony Pictures Television, Great American Pure Flix is now part of Great American Media, the leading provider of uplifting family-friendly movies and programs.

Many Asburians including alumni, students, faculty, and staff worked on set for Mr. Manhattan. Produced by alum Brady Nasfell ’93, Brian Herzlinger directs from an original screenplay by Andrea Gyertson ’95 Nasfell which stars seasoned actors Carlos PenaVega and Alexa PenaVega of Spy Kids.

Last summer, Asbury hosted the professional feature film’s production, shooting in several locations on and around Asbury’s campus with the Andrew S. Miller Center for Communication Arts acting as hub for the production. The on-Asbury set consisted of a fully furnished apartment built in the TV studio soundstage with other classrooms and spaces utilized as dressing rooms for the actors and production offices for the crew.

“The building creates a lot of opportunities for students, and now we’ve been able to bring a fairly sizeable feature film and make use of the facilities,” Brady Nasfell said. “It’s more than adequate for what we need, and it’s given students an opportunity to work on a production that is professional, and they’re learning a lot.” 

Mr. Manhattan tells the story of successful lawyer Mason Bradley (Carlos PenaVega), who believes there’s nothing he can’t handle. That is, until he gets the news that his brother and sister-in-law died and made Mason their children’s legal guardian. Despite having zero parenting experience, he steps into his new role with can-do bravado, but between a demanding new client and moving his niece and nephew into his not-exactly-child-friendly Manhattan loft, it’s not long before Mason realizes he needs help. The kids want that help to come from their mom’s best friend and hometown babysitter, Dani (Alexa PenaVega), who also happens to be Mason’s ex-fiancé.

“I was working as key grip and had a group of students working on my team,” said Assistant Professor of Media Communication David Whitaker ’10. “It was a privilege to give students an opportunity to work on Mr. Manhattan. Seeing them progress and improve at such a rapid pace during filming was a joy, and I’m hopeful that we will be able to provide students with more of these opportunities in the future.” 

One of those students was film major Ian Wang ’24.

“The hands-on experience that Mr. Manhattan provided for students was not only eye-opening, but also a ‘jump into the deep end’ type of exponential growth,” Wang said. “The communication style, workflow, and productivity of everyone involved offered me a glimpse into the demanding but highly fulfilling environment of a feature film.”

The Asbury University Media, Journalism, and Digital Storytelling department offers majors in Media Communication and Multimedia Journalism. Online majors include Digital Content Creation and Instructional Design & Media. Graduate programs include the M.A. in Digital Storytelling; the M.A. in Instructional Design, Innovation & Leadership; the MFA in Film & Television Production, and the MFA in Screenwriting. Learn more: