by Corran Hale
On Sept. 23, 2021, a new light shined at Shenandoah University for those interested in media and film, and its name was Valley Star.
Valley Star media is a media consumption and production club that seeks to create both a professional and personal community for film majors and media creators, according to President Andy Espinoza. Espinoza came up with the idea for Valley Star because he felt a lack of community for film majors at the university due to the major being quite small.
“When I started my first year here at Shenandoah, I noticed there was a surprising lack of film students,” said Espinoza. “As it turns out, there were only two film majors, so it was kind of hard to look for a community here.” Throughout his years here at Shenandoah, Espinoza had trouble finding that community so he decided to create Valley Star media.
One of Valley Star’s goals is to bring filmmakers and creators together to work on different projects so they can increase their skill sets.
“Let’s say I’m a filmmaker and I want to look for someone to work with me. There aren’t many resources that tell you like ‘hey, here’s people that do this or people that do that,’” said Espinoza. “My goal in mind was ‘hey, let’s centralize into a single database or network where if you need something, we can provide that service.’”
Valley Star hopes to have a functioning database and website by the end of the semester. On this website, people can post different movie projects, and people who want to work on those movies can post resumes. In the meantime, they have a temporary Google form for those who want to apply for projects. Any student can get the form by emailing email@example.com.
Valley Star also has many events such as workshops to help fellow Shenandoah students hone their creative and filmmaking skills. Like the scriptwriting workshop held in February in which students learned how to write scripts and present scripts they had already worked on. The event was considered a moderate success.
“There weren’t as many people as we had hoped,” said Evelyn Moore, secretary of Valley Star media. “However, I feel like it’s not about how many people but who shows up.”
They also plan to have other events this year, such as a camera and lighting workshop, an editing workshop, and many others.
“If you’re someone who’s interested in filmmaking, whose interest is in TV, who’s interested in the entertainment arts, don’t be afraid to reach out to Valley Star media,” Espinoza said. “Feel free to be active in the community and don’t be afraid to look out for opportunities.”