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The School Newspaper of Texas High School

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A new shot

UIL Film makes its debut at Texas High School
Light+shining+on+her%2C+senior+Riley+White+sits+in+front+of+a+camera+while+students+practice+their+UIL+Film+skills.+
Lily Nielson
Light shining on her, senior Riley White sits in front of a camera while students practice their UIL Film skills.

Over the last month, Texas High’s new theatrical film class put in multiple hours of work on their short films to submit to the UIL competition for videography/short films.

Originally intended to give students a way to learn behind the scenes of making a film, this new class isn’t solely beneficial to students enrolled in the class. The class allows anyone in the student body to audition to act in the films the students make.

“The film class is a CTE/Theater class where we learn how to effectively create a movie,” junior Lily Nielsen said. “[We learn] script-writing, pitch, advocating to direct the script of your choice, shooting and editing.”

TISD hired teacher and executive director Brandon Shoemaker to lead the class. His students opted to name the company “The Shoebox Studios.”

“Shoebox Studio is inspired by Mr. Shoemaker,” Nielsen said. “Since we were the first group to go through the class, we got to decide the name.”

This year, the Shoebox Studios will be competing with two short films.

The first film the students will be filming is called Erasure, written by Abigail Gold and produced by Lily Nielsen. Actors in this film include Riley White, Kateleigh Crowson, Trent Hanna, Coy Ward, Kyleigh Watt and Jadyn Weinstein.

“Erasure is a short film with themes of corruption, trauma, and how some things you may want to forget are better to remember,” Nielsen said. “[The characters are] imperfect, so they must be hidden away.”

The second film is titled The Color of Violence. Jadyn Weinstein wrote this short film, and Abigail Gold is the director. Actors in this film include Payton Shuman, Julius Ricks, David Morales-Simon, and Isaiah George. 

“My character is a lady who was raped at a young age,” freshman Payton Shuman said. “This would lead her sons not to have a good childhood.”

Being a new class that none of the students have previously taken, the UIL film course presents many challenges at times.

“[The biggest challenge of the film is] transitioning from acting in front of an audience to acting in front of a camera,” freshman Payton Shuman said. “[Another challenge is] adjusting to the camera when the angle was changed.”

Despite the challenges, many students enjoy participating in the films and are hopeful about the future of the class. 

“If you like movies, this class is for you,” Nielsen said. “We have about 11 kids this year, and if we had more, I think we could do [more] great things.”

Overall, the UIL Film class allows interested students to gain experience in a field not previously offered by Texas High. The students enrolled in the course are brainstorming ideas for next year and thinking of more ways to improve the class. 

“This class has a very bright future because of how different it is.” Shuman said. “It’s an experience that Texas High has never had before.”

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About the Contributor
Kateleigh Crowson, Staff Writer
Kateleigh Crowson is a first-year staff member of THS Publications. She is an active member of STUCO, Leader in Me and the Tiger Theatre Company where she serves as the Advocacy Officer. For fun, she enjoys dancing, reading, watching dance moms and facetiming friends. A fun fact about Crowson is that she is left handed. In the future, she plans to become a CPA because she loves math.

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