Westmont Magazine Students Work Hits the Big Screens
Film Based on Student’s Script Screens at the Santa Barbara Film Festival
Ask Ashley Stratton ’07 what she wants to do with her life and she gives a different answer than she did a few months ago. That’s before the junior from Victoria, Minn., became a finalist in the Screenwriting Competition at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Her script, “Fool Proof,” was made into a 10-minute film and shown on the last day of the festival. Though her screenplay didn’t win top honors, the experience has made a profound impact.
“It’s been amazing,” Ashley says. “It’s been really crazy because it’s not the direction I saw myself going.” Last summer, while nursing a broken foot at home, she searched deep inside herself and asked out loud: “What am I going to do with my life?
“My mom was laughing at me when she came out to see the film festival,” Ashley says. “This is what you’re going to do with your life,” her mother told her.
Last fall, Stratton enrolled in a screenwriter class with Instructor John Wilder, who mentioned the competition in class. “I’ve always loved movies and writing, but I never thought about putting them together,” Ashley says. She also took screenwriting this spring.
Four other students in the class also entered and submitted 10-page scripts. “It was the longest sequence I’d ever written,” she says. “I didn’t even know what a sequence was!” Wilder helped Ashley get the screenplay into the right format and guided her through the process. He is also advising her as she negotiates a contract with a producer interested in turning her screenplay into a full-length feature film.
,p>Next fall, Ashely will attend the Los Angeles Film Study Center as on off-campus program. Laughing, she says she’s also been told to write a couple of full-length scripts and get an agent.
“It seems really funny to me,” she says. “I would love to be a screenwriter. I’ve fallen in love with it, but we’ll see. It’s whatever God wants me to do — but it does seem a little crazy.”