Wednesday, Nov. 7, the newly formed student-run club WeMake Filmmakers hosted its very first Script Showcase in the York room of the Sadler Center. Students at the College of William and Mary gathered around the tables to listen to their peers pitch short film ideas to the group. Once the pitches concluded, students got to know one another better by filling out a networking bingo sheet. Those who felt they had skills to add to the production of a short film signed up to work on it as actors, directors or editors.
“I am in the WeMake Club, so I try to make it to pretty much anything that they host because I love it, it’s so much fun,” attendee Raegan Pyle ’26 said. “I really love film, so I try to be as engaged with it as I can, and I know that there haven’t been too many on-campus activities to get involved with film until recently. So when I heard that they were hosting the Script Showcase, I knew it was just the perfect opportunity to immediately jump in and just get involved.”
WeMake Filmmakers, only established at the College this semester, centers on short films and meets every other week. Its current president, Tatiana Coleman ’25, was inspired to start the club while studying abroad in the spring of 2023.
“WeMake Filmmakers is a brand-new club to create a community of like-minded individuals to create short films specifically, ranging from everything: editors, directors, producers,” Coleman said. “We’re here to help and teach and get people to meet each other and create a little community of filmmakers here at William and Mary.”
The organization’s executive board members organized the Script Showcase to get members interested in submitting pitches for scripts, and they encouraged other club members to come to the event and sign up for projects as actors, editors and directors. The board then reached out to professors in the film and media studies department and the theater, speech and dance department to get students interested in participating.
The Script Showcase provided an opportunity for students at the College to gather a group to make their short film ideas a reality. The short film pitches ranged from horror stories and comedies to a music video of Taylor Swift’s 2020 song “no body, no crime.” Each short film requires multiple actors, a director, a screenwriter, a crew and an editor. The various different talents, specialties and interests of the club meant each film could assemble a team that filled every position to begin production in the spring semester.
Several attendees expressed their desire to use the budding organization as a place to experiment with new film-related activities that are outside of their traditional wheelhouse.
“I came [with an] open perspective. I wanted to just be able to work on as many as I could,” attendee Noelle Geron ’24 said. “I’m traditionally an editor, but I want to branch out and do other things like acting or cinematography.”
“I love writing, and so I mainly came to see if anybody needed any help writing their pitches,” Pyle said. “But I’m also very interested in directing and editing, so I’m really just here for anything that I can get involved in.”
For Geron, who cited the structure of the event and the activities available for attendees as her favorite parts of the event, the Script Showcase seemed to flow seamlessly.
“It was very natural the way that the people presented,” Geron said. “And it was very easy to talk to people after with the common bingo activity.”
For other attendees, just simply hearing the ideas from others and witnessing the creativity on display were the highlights of the event.
“I think just hearing people’s ideas was really interesting for me,” Pyle said. “I’m just really looking forward to where this is going to go, and I can’t wait to get started on the projects.”
Production on the short films is scheduled to begin early next semester as the organization hopes to present the final short films at the Ampersand International Arts Festival. Open to all students to attend and participate, the annual festival will take place March 18-24 here in Williamsburg, Va. WeMake Filmmakers plans to present their short films on March 18.
“We’re going to have a special showcase for WeMake Filmmakers at Ampersand, and it’s going to be a screening, but then also a q and a afterwards to get to know the creators, directors and writers,” Coleman said.
Each short film is slated to be around ten minutes in length and are expected to be filmed around the College’s campus.
“We definitely have a lot of good ideas, so I’m very excited to see how they’ll turn out, and I’m very excited to start working on them,” Pyle said.
The organizers ultimately deemed the Script Showcase event a success that earned the engagement of students dedicated to creating original media for all to enjoy.