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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

TXST Film Club debuts new short film “Soapbox”

Jamin Ochoa
Team members of ‘Soapbox’ answer questions on a panel, Monday, April 22, 2024, at the Theatre Center.

Texas State University’s Film Club debuted one of its new short films, “Soapbox,” on April 22.

The screening is one part of the Film Student Outreach’s (FSO) new project: Texas State Film Celebration. The club creates a short film every year as a project for members. Writers submit their self-written scripts, and once selected, the club can participate in the creative undertaking.

“Soapbox” was written by Samuel Hamilton, an international studies junior, in under an hour and a half. He was tasked to direct his first short film soon after. He took inspiration from Texas State’s long-lasting tradition of soapbox derbies.

The film follows the main character, Stephen, as he embarks on this journey to win the derby whilst losing other aspects of his life. To Hamilton, this tug-and-pull storyline does not just radiate in the film but is seen throughout the lives of college students.

“A lot of the things we do in college for hobbies are keeping this kid in us, like film,” Hamilton said. “I think that can symbolize a lot of the in-between stages we’re in at this moment.”

Hamilton said he wrote the film with little regard for his own life but later found he subconsciously wrote it with himself in mind. He wanted to write a film about Texas State’s students and traditions. Connor Duncan, a performance and production junior and lead actor, found connections to the very character he portrayed on film.

“Where I relate to [Stephen] on the biggest level is getting so caught up in things you’re passionate about,” Duncan said. “You lose sight of all the other stuff around you that you need to pay attention to.”

The screening of this short film is a part of a much larger project by FSO. They have actively been planning Texas State Film Celebration events that will take place from April 17 to May 10. Avery Evans, a theatre freshman, said the work done by FSO holds special importance for the future of the film community in San Marcos.

“This committee is trying to create more community within the film program at Texas State and bring it all together,” Evans said. “We are trying to build up the film department’s brand and bring all of our people together.”

The growth of both Texas State and the film community in San Marcos has led to special opportunities for film students. This is the first year two separate short films by the film club were scheduled to screen at the same time; however, technical difficulties led to the screening of the other short film, “Noche,” to be pushed back to May 1.

Hamilton, along with other film students, feels inspired and excited for the future of film at Texas State. He is grateful for the support the community has provided for projects such as this. Hamilton wants all students to ignore feelings of nervousness and embarrassment when pursuing their dreams and passions, as he is doing with “Soapbox.”

“I hope they give themselves credit for what they are doing. Try the things you’re passionate about,” Hamilton said. “You’re going to be rewarded for it. Go have fun, go create something.”

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