The movie was simple -- "It didn't have a plot or anything" -- but it started Stauffer's goal of becoming a feature film director in
Since that time, Stauffer's Christmas and birthday presents have included gifts that furthered that dream: He now has his own camera, audio equipment and other tools necessary for movie production.
Stauffer, 17, of
Contest winner: The movie caught the attention of Stauffer's teacher,
Stauffer submitted the film and won three awards at the festival in early May, including Best of Festival.
Stauffer was the first student not from
Stauffer said he enjoyed viewing the other movies nominated for awards: There aren't too many other film creators at
Stauffer said he plans to enter in next year's film festival at
Action movies catch Stauffer's eye, but the Spring Grove Rockets linebacker and running back is also going to try his hand at creating a documentary about his football team's pre-season.
Future plans: Stauffer said his choice of college might blend his love of film and football. He visited
Stauffer said the movies he watches this summer will be part enjoyment, part study. Movies from directors such as
"I use what I have to try to duplicate the same effects," he said.
Stauffer's award-winning short film took about 70 hours to create from start to finish, documented carefully for his graduation project. Stauffer said much of the editing is like trying to solve a word problem in math, when you know the answer but have to figure out the formula to get there.
In the same way, Stauffer finesses the effects and edits the shots to create the product he wants to see. The end results are often his favorite part of the project.
"I like seeing all the hard work come together," he said.
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