Brandon Lazenko, ’16


Brandon Lazenko, ’16

Brandon Lazenko, ’16, brings Stephen King short story to life on the big screen.

Brandon Lazenko, ’16, found a way to provide an unusual opportunity for Kent State film students to learn outside of the classroom through his upcoming project, “October Roses.” He and fellow Kent State graduate Shelby Wyant, ’18, wrote the 40-minute film adapted from Stephen King’s short story “Nona.” The alumni pair got permission to create their adaptation of the short story from King and his team through his Dollar Baby Program. “October Roses” follows a down-on-his-luck professor who meets a beautiful woman while hitchhiking around Maine. He gets wrapped up in her web and makes decisions he normally wouldn’t make. His team for the film includes Kent State students who are helping on set, horror special effects icon Robert Kurtzman and his wife Marcy King who are both Ohio natives. However, Brandon’s experience in film didn’t begin with “October Roses.” He’s also created two miniseries and four short films, including the award winning “A Serpent by the Nest.”

KSU: What is your idea of perfect happiness?
BL: Happiness to me is synonymous with comfort.

KSU: What is your favorite trait in others?
BL: Being open minded and willing to say, "Hey, let's do it and see what happens…"

KSU: What trait about yourself do you like least?
BL: I feel like this is one of those interview questions where I'm supposed to make a strength sound like a weakness. But I'll answer it at face value. I sometimes catch myself complying rather than questioning due to a fear of confrontation. This is something I'm actively working on as I grow as a leader.

KSU: Who has had the greatest influence on your life?
BL: Anyone whom I've seen take risks and make sacrifices.

KSU: What is your favorite Kent State memory?
BL: I was a campus tour guide when I met Shelby Wyant, my Soup Snake and my role model.

KSU: What is your favorite journey?
BL: Assuming anyone's favorite journey would be their most difficult to overcome. For me, it was my educational journey. I was diagnosed with learning disabilities and placed in special education programming in third grade. After a lifetime of adversity and a seven-year climb to earn my KSU bachelor's degree, I can look back and appreciate the personal growth I experienced along the way.

KSU: What is your guilty pleasure?
BL: Battlebots. When people ask me if I watch sports, I can confidently tell them yes. Team Hydra!

KSU: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
BL: This is a hard question for most people to answer confidently, and I fall into that majority. So, in this moment, as I try to recollect my entire life, I feel that my greatest achievements are the relationships I've built with the at-risk and underserved youth in our communities.

KSU: If you could come back as one person, who would it be and why?
BL: Probably Jack Black. I self-identify as socially awkward, and I envy his ability to be unapologetically himself at all times of the day.

KSU: What part of your college experience most formed who you are today?
BL: The people I met in the back half of my seven-year undergraduate experience are the people who hold me accountable and offer unconditional support. Those relationships are what keep me motivated.

October Roses Trailer

Back to the Faces of Kent State homepage

POSTED: Monday, October 3, 2022 09:49 AM
UPDATED: Sunday, July 14, 2024 01:21 PM