Sitting inside a
But that part of Conley is never too far from the surface these days.
He calls it an action drama and says the script fills 30 pages. He and his colleagues are working on trailers and promos, and they'll begin filming in earnest after the football season.
It's a far more ambitious project than Conley's previous one, but he hopes it will be as well-received.
Conley wrote and directed a 26-minute Star Wars fan film titled Retribution that was released last week and has been viewed more than 350,000 times on
The film includes many fight scenes, taking place at
"I'm not a film major," Conley says. "When I was writing the script (for Retribution), I didn't write in the correct script format. I didn't know about being a director, how you go about doing film. I took a crash course from November to March in being a filmmaker. No film school; I read things online, magazines, books. I said, 'If I want to do this, I want to do it well.' From there, I had to learn a lot, had to make a lot of mistakes.
"Before this, I wasn't really thinking about this industry that much. Now that I've had a little bit of work in it, I really like it."
Conley sits at perhaps the most interesting intersection in college athletics.
He's a star wide receiver for a
"The experience I have here with the football team helps me being a director," Conley says. "People ask me all the time, 'How do you work with so many different people? How do you have the patience to do that?' Because I deal with 135 knuckleheads every day as a team captain."
Conley smiles. He's enjoying this double life.
Last season, Conley led
Conley will play a similar role this season, albeit alongside a new quarterback in
Conley keeps up with news regarding the playoff, saying he's eager to see how it's run. He's as well-versed in the happenings of college athletics as anyone else in the field. He spent the last two years as the
In January at the
There was no mention of the players. Then Conley sent out a group text to his fellow SAAC colleagues: Let's do something.
During an open session, Conley stood in front of more than 800 administrators and asked why the proposed governance model didn't include student-athletes. After initially fumbling their answer, members of the steering committee changed their tune in the following days, talking about the need for student-athlete input.
"I felt like I had some say in some stuff," Conley says. "It is a pivotal time in the
"It's important people make sure their voices are heard. I think it's going to happen. I believe it will happen. Now, it's just a matter of time."
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