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Talking About Movies With the Student Filmmakers Club

By John Crawford

Remember in the heyday of video stores, when the clerks were all too happy to discuss movies and recommend something to see? The Filmmakers Club is filled with similar souls. The student group, which has about two dozen members, gathers to watch movies, talk about them, and occasionally, make them.

Matthew Mashburn ’10 founded the club. He wanted to reach out across campus and find other cinephiles and creative types like him. He knew he wasn’t the only one. “There are a lot of people with different interests at Babson, even though it’s a business school,” he says. “I wanted to provide an outlet for that.”

The club’s most visible activity is the Babson Film Festival, which screens short movies made by students at Babson and other colleges. The fourth annual festival will take place this spring. Last year, to promote the festival, the club and some Babson Players actors made a series of shorts called The FME that used The Office TV show for inspiration.

The club also works as a support group. If a student is interested in making a movie, the members offer encouragement, share equipment, and bounce ideas off each other. To have the help of such a community is comforting. The time crunch that busy Babson students face doesn’t make filmmaking easy. Even the short films they create can prove time-consuming. “You can get exhausted by it,” says Yue Wu ’12, who made a short movie called Bottle, which looks at recycling. Wu, who goes by Shin Shin, is the Filmmakers Club president.

While most members see the club as just a fun thing to be a part of, “there are always some who are serious about doing it as a career,” Mashburn says. That being said, the idea of working in movies is a daunting prospect that can lead even enthusiastic club members to engage in soul searching, to wonder if such a career is realistic. “How do I know if I’m good enough?” they ask themselves.

But Mashburn points out that, if students want to be directors, they should just grab a camera, think up ideas, and shoot them. Nothing should stop them from gaining experience, even the fact they’re not at a film school. “You can make films anywhere,” he says. “I think the biggest factor is how badly you want it.”

And Babson is a great place to be if students want to be movie producers, Mashburn says. After all, films are a business.

For his future, Mashburn hopes for a career in something creative. He has two loves: movies and music. For now, he’s focusing on songwriting and his band, but he hasn’t forgotten about filmmaking. “I’m still determined to make movies before I die,” he says.