While many students struggle just to stay awake in some classes, junior James Koth was having an epiphany of sorts.
“I took a COJO 111 class where we had to go unplugged for one week,” Koth said. “I used that as a springboard along with my own anger with people who would rather text others when hanging out with you one-on-one.”
Koth used this experience as inspiration for “The Towers,” a short film he wrote, directed and produced.
“The film is a social commentary on my generation, college students specifically,” Koth said. “It’s meant to say that you can’t escape technology, but you can control what you do with it.”
Senior Perry Chicos is an aspiring actor and the lead in “The Towers.” Chicos has been in other films and musicals produced in the area but has never had a large part in a film.
“It’s fun to be a leading role in a film because it’s a completely different animal,” Chicos said.
Chicos defined his character, Jeremy, as an average guy who starts to see how consumed his life is with technology.
“The movie is about how technology is consuming our lives,” Chicos said. “We always have to stay connected, but we’re not connected with reality. It gives people something to think about.”
Bethel University alumna and aspiring actress Emily Muyskens said she enjoys working with Koth.
“Of all student films that I’ve done so far, (Koth’s) run this one the most professionally, and that’s been really helpful,” Muyskens said.
However, Koth said he has not had a lot of directing experience.
“A lot of my film experience has just been in the backyard at my parents house with my dad’s old camera,” Koth said. “The only people that thought it was good or laughed at it were the people working on it.”
Koth said people around St. Thomas and other ACTC schools, including St. Thomas professor Jim Snapko, have been very helpful.
Snapko said Koth is serious about film and loves it.
“He has been the most prepared and organized student filmmaker I’ve worked with,” Snapko said. “Hopefully that translates into a good film. I’ve got a good feeling about it.”
Even though he has had fun putting the film together, Koth hopes that audiences will take away a larger message.
“Hopefully it strikes a chord with people. They’ll realize they can just hang out with people, and they don’t need all their gadgets,” Koth said.
Koth hopes to debut the film during finals week in the O’Shaughnessy Educational Center.
Caroline Rode can be reached at email@example.com.