Film Star on the Roll

Humans of Chaffey

Adam Stevenson. Photo by Matthew Funke.

Adam Stevenson. Photo by Matthew Funke.

Adam Stevenson, a first-year film major at Chaffey College, recently starred in a short film titled "Control" about a skateboarder in college who tries to put his life back on track. The film was directed by fellow Chaffey student Justin La Turno. In a film class, Stevenson became friends with La Turno and bonded over their passion for cinema. Stevenson often rides his skateboard around campus, which was La Turno's initial inspiration for the film.

“Basically, Justin came to me," said Stevenson, "I think when he saw an Instagram post from me and my friend talking about how skateboarding is therapeutic and relaxing because you're in complete control of the board.”

La Turno wrote the main character according to his perception of Stevenson, characterizing him as an individual stuck between youth and adulthood, between folly and responsibility. Since this was Stevenson’s first time acting, he was initially nervous because everyone else working on the project had been taking acting classes for years. He noted that his performance came naturally because he only had to act as himself.

“He sent me the script and it was all super smooth. Justin had everything planned out so it wasn't stressful,” recounted Stevenson.

Stevenson loves filmmaker Wes Anderson, the director of movies like "The Royal Tenenbaums" and "The Grand Budapest Hotel", especially for his use of colors and symbolism. He also greatly admires the French New Wave cinematic movement. The film that had the largest impact on him was François Truffaut’s 1973 classic, "Day For Night".

“It's an old French film about making a movie, like a movie within a movie, and it shows all the drama on set with everyone's jobs. I remember falling in love with it,” described Stevenson.

Stevenson noted how he gradually took an interest in filmmaking, saying, “Ever since I was a kid I was always into creative things like dancing and fashion. I began taking it seriously after taking a video production class in high school during my junior year, and then I became fascinated by cinema in general."

He described his work as an intern under high-fashion clothing designer Weston James Palmer, as he helped make films for Palmer's clothing line, "Sex". "The clothes were all gender-neutral. We'd collaborate with other artists for videos, and I just loved seeing all of it come together,” explained Stevenson.

Stevenson is currently working on several other film projects. What he loves most about cinema is “the process of it.” There are many passionate student filmmakers at Chaffey like Stevenson who are knowledgable in the history of cinema, and one of Stevenson's goals is to put to use what he's learned from watching films. At Chaffey, students like Stevenson are given a chance to hone their cinematic craft.