By Dionne Smith, Community Editor
The Film Club at USM was made with the idea that it could be an area for the film community to to share movies, grow contacts, and help each other if needed, according to Haley Depner a senior majoring in general biology and minoring in video and audio production, who is also the president and founder of the club. The Virginia native first got her start with film when she was 11 years old. She entered a video contest, competing for a prize to visit the Australia Zoo. The theme of the video was how your dream would come true if you went to Australia Zoo. Depner made a video of her packing her things and telling her pet lizard he would have to stay behind, but instead the lizard stole the ticket and went to Australia while Depner stayed behind looking for her lizard. Years later she began to experiment with stop motion due to the lack of a video camera, making due with a still camera and toys.
Depner expressed that she enjoyed stop motion because of the flexibility and smaller scale of it. On top of minoring in video and audio production, when she can Depner makes short films, usually stop motion, using clay. Some of her favorite films match her interest in stop motion, two of them being The Corpse Bride and Caroline, two famous stop motion style movies. Outside of school, Depner is going to be working with Daniel Chaimowitz, a professor in the Communications and Media Studies Department on a film, using stop motion and special effects. “I really like to work with bending reality,” Depner said. “I think the best effects are the ones you don’t know are effects.”
Three years ago she founded the Film Club. “I did it because I wanted to go and have a place where students could come together to share different types of movies…as well as a place to network,” Depner said. The Film Club has hosted open film nights and have collaborated with Sodexo for one of their upcoming events, an E.T. themed dinner. Last year there was a Jurassic Park themed dinner in which Sodexo catered with dinosaur-themed food and the club streamed movies on a projector. They want to continue to put on more public screenings like these to bring in more people. Two summers ago they went on an overnight camping trip to see movie screening at a drive-in theater.
One big event the film club will be hosting is the Husky Filmfest in May for the first time. “Before it was anyone who submits a film gets screened, we upped the ante a little bit this year and we opened it up to students all around the globe and we’re getting lots of really awesome submissions,” Depner said. There will also be a jury of staff and faculty from USM, MECCA and SMCC.
Unfortunately, events have been hard to put on since the club still needs a treasurer. Depner is hoping that upcoming events will help garner interest to fill that role, and to recruit people to help set up future events. Depner hopes that with a treasurer they could host more open movie nights so they can pay royalties for the screenings and attract more people. She also would like to see dedicated members have the opportunity to participate in film related workshops, attending film festivals and having the club cover the commissions.