UNR Film Club Take Two

Joffea Burgos and Owen Christopher interview officers of a film club on the UNR campus who are optimistic about its future despite the many recent challenges they have faced. This semester marks the second year of the group’s existence.

Camera operator shows off video production equipment. Visual created by Joffea Burgos.

Start Rolling On A New Semester

Early in the semester, dozens of booths started setting up for the club fair on campus. One humble group wasn’t expecting much from the event, having been disappointed by turnout in the past. However, the UNR Film Club booth would soon be swarming with excited new members.

UNR’s film club started in the summer of 2020. Most of their meetings have been hosted on platforms like Zoom and Discord, and many of its members have struggled to stay motivated. “COVID put me in this mental block.. which hasn’t helped my creativity,” said film club president Sophie Geyrosaga.

The club’s numbers had dwindled over the course of last year. Less than a dozen active members remained at the start of fall semester.

Now that campus is open and classes are in person again, things are looking up for the club. After the recent club fair, and a push on social media, it has grown to over 40 members. “It’s a sign of healthy interest and future growth,” said club advisor Nicholas Gapp.

Currently, the club is in the production process of a film titled The Last Ten Minutes. It’s a psychological thriller tackling heavy themes like addiction. Rehearsals started this month and the club hopes to release it by the end of the semester. There are plans to show the short film at a public event on campus.

Collage by Joffea Burgos of some of the behind the scenes of the production process at the UNR Film Club.

Nevada’s potential in film

One of the goals of the film club is to promote and expand the filmmaking scene in northern Nevada. “I want to grow it into something more confident,” said Gapp. The club sees the diverse scenery as a distinct advantage for filmmaking. “You can drive an hour in two different directions and get a totally different climate,” he said.

It hasn’t always been easy to film in Reno, especially recently. Fire and smoke has plagued the area this past summer, which poses a unique struggle for filmmakers. “I had to continuously put my film on hold because I couldn’t subject my crew to those hazardous conditions,” said Film Club ambassador Brie Albright.

Beyond landscapes, the club also finds inspiration in the people who live in the area. “Compared to the cut-throat filmmaking communities in places like Los Angeles and New York, the citizens of Reno are much more encouraging,” said Gapp.

Hosting the club at UNR also comes with its own benefits. “The different communities you can find here make it special,” said Geyrosaga. The university has a large population of students from Las Vegas and California, but people from all over the country study here.

Film club is open to anyone who wants to join. They encourage students who are even remotely interested to stop by. “We are the future of the film industry,” said Geyrosaga.

Reporting by Joffea Burgos and Owen Christopher for the Reynolds Sandbox

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The Reynolds Sandbox showcases innovative and engaging storytelling by students with the Reynolds Media Lab.

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Reynolds Sandbox

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Showcasing innovative and engaging multimedia storytelling by students with the Reynolds Media Lab in Reno.

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