By LENA MOSES-SCHMITT
Sophomore Jonathan Stallings has been shooting and editing films since he was in seventh grade. Stallings submitted three of the dozen or so films that will be shown at University of Mary Washington’s student-made film festival, The Spectacle, this Friday, Feb. 9.
Stallings got his start in motion pictures during middle school while filming his friends skateboarding. From there, he branched out into short films.
One of them, “Dedication,” depicts a student’s shoes coming to life.
“I was thinking skate shoes are made for skating,” Stallings said. “If they had a real personality all they would think about is skateboarding, and so they get a life of their own…and it just goes on from there. It was a cool concept I thought of and I developed it into an idea.”
Yet another one of the films he submitted, made during his sophomore year of high school, is about someone buying lemons from a mob boss.
“Insanity ensues. It’s a really goofy, but fun, movie,” Stallings said.
Although this is his second year on the Film Festival Committee, this is the first year he has actually submitted films.
“I was kind of intimidated as a freshman,” he said. “I’m a little more confident [this year]. I’m pretty sure they’ll enjoy what I put out.”
Shin Fujiyama, fifth-year senior and CEO of Students Helping Honduras, will be showing a documentary about the children he helps in Honduras.
Fujiyama won the award last year with a similar documentary. His latest will be one of the longer films featured.
“We can’t help the children unless people see the movie,” Fujiyama said. “This movie is a special thanks to everyone who helped last year, and about our next step. I was very grateful to be able to winlast year because it’s all for the kids.”
The Spectacle is in its fourth year. Founded by 2006 alumna Elise Tobin, it is now one of the biggest events on campus. Last year, The
Spectacle almost completely filled Dodd.
“It’s like the Oscars and a movie premiere all rolled into one,” said sophomore and Spectacle chair Megan Kelly.
The student-made films run anywhere from three to fifteen minutes long and are then judged by a panel made up of three faculty members and two students. Awards are given out at the end of the show.
There will be a few surprise guests.
“We have amazing celebrity presenters and we like to keep those top secret until the night of, but this year they’re top notch,” Kelly said. “We have very very special appearances.”
Adding to the drama of the evening is a big red carpet sprawled outside of George Washington Hall that the filmmakers walk out onto from a limo. As they stroll into Dodd, they are interviewed by a host.
Audience members can watch the glitzy appearance take place through a live feed hooked up to a big screen inside the auditorium.
Although the event itself is free, students will get a chance to win a few door prizes by entering in the raffle. The door prizes include a
TV, digital camera, portable DVD player and a $50 gift certificate to iTunes. The money from the raffle tickets goes to benefit the group Students Helping Honduras.
The Spectacle opens its doors in Dodd Auditorium at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 9. The red carpet walk starts at 7 p.m. and the event will run until around 9 p.m. or 9:30 p.m. It is free for all students.