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The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Texas State Film Club to release first short film


Director of Photography Michael Hurbanis records a shot for “Haven” on Oct. 20, 2021.

Texas State’s Film Club plans to release its first-ever short film next month.
The film, “Haven,” tells the story of a student named Irby, who in an attempt to cope with a crush on their friend Grace, disassociated from their own world only to meet a girl named Cleo who helps them accept their crush and themselves. “Haven” was written by Emery Jones, a theater sophomore. 
“The story is about social anxiety and loving someone intensely,” Jones said. “‘It’s supposed to be a fantasy, but symbolically it’s reality.” 
The idea of a club-wide film started with the Unit Production Manager Taylor Wright, a film senior, when he ran for Film Club treasurer in spring of 2020. He wanted the club to create the film so they could make something together. Unfortunately, Texas State transitioning to online classes due to COVID-19 that year put a pause on his efforts. 
Wright proposed the idea to the group once again this fall. 
“We’re a club because we love film. And what better way to showcase that than by saying, ‘hey we had over 100 people work on this film.’ That’s what was really exciting,” Wright said. 
The entire cast and crew consisted of over 85 students, 60 of which would be found on-set the weekend of Oct. 16. The goal was to get through eight pages on Saturday and have the other two completed by Sunday afternoon. Saturday was a 13 hour day with Sunday adding another six. 
 Despite the long hours, the environment the crew provided was well-received by people in all departments from those who worked on-set all day to those who worked in the downstairs lobby of the Theatre Center where the film was shot.
“Amazing, so fun, like very exhilarating, exciting. Just like this completely new experience”, theater freshman Leah Rodriguez, who acted as an assistant hair and makeup stylist, said.
This was Rodriguez’s biggest film project to date with this being one of her first works as a hair and makeup stylist.
One of the film’s directors, Miranda Wachtler, a theatre junior, said it was amazing working with the entire group, especially for it being their first film.
“Everyone who was a part of it was amazing. I loved it. And seeing everyone working together and putting all their hard work in, especially with the first film, seeing how they were passionate about it too, no matter what department they were in. Without their help, we would have never got this film done,” Wachtler said. 
Abi Jose, an anthropology sophomore, played one of Irby’s subconscious friends named Elliot. Jose said the script was relatable and brought awareness to how the mind operates. 
“I liked the awareness that it brought to dissociating and how the inside of the mind really looks,” Jose said. 
Devon Khalsa, a theater junior, played the role of Irby. She said the character was really relatable and loved how the script was about figuring stuff out in the world. “Haven” marks Khalsa’s first involvement with the Film Club after several years in theater.
“I’m such an Irby. They seem like a non-emotional person. Someone that disassociates from their emotions rather than deals with them,” Khalsa said. “I definitely go into my imaginative world. When I have an emotion, I kind of just sit in it and imagine a world that’s opposite” 
Not only was the experience, the concept and the script well-received by everyone on set, producing “Haven” also inspired members to continue pursuing a career in the film industry.
Wachtler aims to become a freelancer and plans to continue into the film industry. She currently works for ESPN+ as a director and editor and has already done several class films. However, she considers her work on “Haven” her biggest debut yet.
“Anytime it’s a freelance opportunity or student film opportunity, it reminds me every single time why I’m so passionate about this job,” Wachtler said.
Tyra Williams, a theater senior, worked as an assistant director for the film. Williams said she found the hard work and difficulty of shaping the film fun because of the people and content she was working with.
“Making movies should be like a summer camp. There’s time to joke around but sometimes it’s serious,” Williams said. “It’s still work, but you’re having fun. It’s like a playground.”
Overall, the movie cost $1,488 to produce. The majority of funding came from membership dues which are $25 per per person. 
“Haven” will finish post-production by the end of November. A premiere is scheduled for the evening of Dec. 2 with an open invitation to all Texas State students.
For more information on “Haven” and other Film Club projects, visit the Film Club on Instagram @txstfilmclub.

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  • Crew members prepare for the opening shot of “Haven.” The film was produced by Texas State’s Film Club and is set to release in December.

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