Sophomore aspires to make movies

Morgan Rogers

With influences like George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, James Cameron and Christopher Nolan, sophomore Lauren Effertz hopes to join the list of praised directors and is taking steps in the right direction.

Effertz began making movies in seventh grade after seeing “Star Wars” for the first time. “The more I looked at [‘Star Wars’] the more I realized the directing was more my thing. Christopher Nolan’s work on ‘The Dark Knight’ really solidified that notion in my mind. ‘Dear Jack’ , a documentary about my favorite singer, Andrew McMahon, sparked my interest in documentary film making,” said Effertz.

Effertz is about to show her latest documentary “It Doesn’t Define You…” at the History Center on March 9 through a film studies program called Story Board. “My documentary is about my Aunt Kathleen. She discovered she’s lesbian when she was in high school,” said Effertz, “the [film] is all about that journey of self-discovery and coming-out to herself, friends, and family.”

Spending multiple hours in the play’s tech room has already given Effertz ideas for another upcoming film. “After this, I’m probably going to start working on a documentary about what it’s like to be a techie. I’m thinking the title will be ‘Behind the Glass and Sawdust,'” said Effertz.

Besides immediate plans, Effertz would also like to continue film making into college and eventually as a career. “My dream in life is to go to The University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. George Lucas went there and Spielberg is an honorary grad,” said Effertz, “USC SCA really is the epitome of film school, so I have trouble picturing myself anywhere else.”

Over MEA, Effertz flew out to San Francisco to check out the Letterman Digital Arts Center (LDAC), which is half of Lucasfilm, Ltd. headquarters. Effertz recalls that is was a very beautiful part of the city and would love to work out there in the future. “The only place the public can access other than the park is the main lobby where they have all kinds of memorabilia from different Lucasfilm movies,” said Effertz, “but that didn’t stop me and my grandma from following behind an employee to get in to the Starbucks.”

Effertz would like to encourage other aspiring directors to check out storyboard.org. “Story Board is fabulous. We are taught by real professionals and it’s only about $15 a class and we only meet once a month, so if you’re really interested I cannot think of a better investment,” said Effertz.