Case Kirby and Timothy Sturtevant made Wylie history this semester when they became Wylie’s first-ever students to go to state in film.
The duo finished 4th in the state with a film they created called The Voices.
“We decided to do something serious because we wanted to make a difference,” Case said. “We didn’t really expect to advance until we started working on it, and that’s when we realized we had something special.”
The film portrays in an impactful way the difficulties of someone with mental illness or suicidal thoughts.
Case and Timothy are both in Wylie’s video production class. They decided last year that they would team up and produce a film that they could enter into the UIL competition. Once they decided on an idea, they worked together on a script.
Then came time to cast the main character. Case is in theater, so he knew all the theater students and their skills.
“I chose Mason Kerby,” he said. “I’ve seen him grow over the last four years. He’s just an amazing human being. He was on board from the moment I brought it up to him. He was the only main character we had to worry about casting.”
The main character is supposed to be feeling alone and isolated. The only other characters in the film were small supporting roles. Case said that Mason helped make the film a success.
“I thought he did a phenomenal job in portraying it,” Case said, adding that there was one scene where Mason was especially good. In the scene, the main character is contemplating suicide.
“He started breathing so heavy and his breathing was paced so Student Film Makes Wylie History perfectly,” Case said. “There was a look of terror in his eyes. That was the moment I realized this was the perfect casting choice.”
Timothy did most of the camera work, and Case did the majority of the editing. They co-directed.
Timothy said several of the scenes were in a small bedroom, which proved difficult from behind the camera.
“You don’t want too much of the same camera angle,” he said, “but in a space that small it’s challenging. We ended up taking some inspiration from some movies that we liked and just messing around and seeing what stuck.”
Both boys were ecstatic when the film made it to the semi-finals, something that had never happened at Wylie before. The film went on to not only advance to state, but also qualify for the finals and finish 4th.
“It didn’t feel real,” Timothy said. “I thought this is a dream. This isn’t real. It just felt like a dream.”
Case said the pair were very excited when they heard that they had qualified for state.
“We were hugging and screaming,” he said. “It was awesome. We hugged for like five minutes straight. We were happy. For people to recognize it is even better. It’s just amazing.”
Case said it was especially hard to wrap their heads around the fact that they were the first qualifiers in Wylie history.
“That was even crazier to think about,” he said. “I want to be a film director. Being able to do something that no one had ever accomplished, I was really proud of myself and my crew members.”
“I’m in the school history books,” he said. “That’s really cool. What’s important is that we proved it is possible. We proved that little ole Wylie, if we can do it, anyone who wants to can do it. It’s about how much passion you put into it.”
By Candy Reagan