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An Ode to Film: Pawel Williams’ Perspective on Hollywood

By: Nicholas Tucci '20

Damp and cold, the echoes of rain falling on the dimly lit Chicago streets are heard even through walls. Inside the walls of a similarly cool apartment, a group of mysterious men play a tense game of poker.


The dark nightscape and the seedy apartment dissolve, revealing a basement in Minnesota with black sheets pinned to white walls by thumb tacks, a boom mic, and a Canon camera capturing the entire scene. Pawel Williams lifts his head from behind the camera and assures the cast and crew of his short film The Seven Aces that they are doing a spectacular job. He calls out his patented “perfect!” followed closely by, “I just need a few more takes” along with a sigh of disappointment by those involved.

Pawel, a senior here at Saint Thomas Academy, has developed such a special love for the film industry that he himself aspires to become one of Hollywood’s great directors. Next year, his journey will take him to a school with a strong film program, a list that includes New York University, the University of Southern California, the University of California, Los Angeles, or Loyola Marymount University where Pawel will continue to hone in on his filmmaking skills.

Image of Jacob Farley

Farley’s Last Hurrah

By Jack Sexton '21

Prior to mainstream television and readily available movies and shows through Netflix, cinematic art was more highly valued. As luck would have it, Saint Thomas Academy is fortunate to have filmmakers like Jacob Farley and Pawel Williams who are trying to restore art to cinema through their short film works. 

Jacob Farley began writing short films and vlogs for his Youtube Channel, Farley Films, during the beginning of his sophomore year of high school. “My first video was mainly about having  fun rather than actually trying to create what people wanted to see,” Farley said, “but after I received over 200 views on my first video in the first week, I was inspired to do more.” His first video, “Eggnog,”he says, consisted of horrible acting, which made the piece so comical. In the film, Nick Tucci, one of the main characters, begins throwing up blue goo after drinking a carton of eggnog. Anyone who comes into contact with this mysterious eggnog becomes extremely violent, killing anyone in their path. 

Jacob was not interested in becoming a famed Saint Thomas Academy Youtuber, but wanted to create the content he enjoyed: “I never planned on making as many videos as I have,” Jacob responded, “it just sort of happened, [and] I wouldn’t change anything about my beginning.”

Image of Brennan Crow

Filmmaking of the Future: Brennan Crow 

By John Grismer '21

Two men are taken to the brink of insanity from the desire to quench their thirst on a scorching summer day. In the blistering sun, there is only one liberator from the heat: The Last Freezie. How far will they go to obtain this final freezie? How much of their humanity will they put on the line to achieve some relief from the pain of the feverish day? Find out for yourself in  the film “The Last Freezie”, the first production of Clover Alley, which is headed by Brennan Crow and Charlie Treacy.

Brennan Crow ‘22, founder of Clover Alley Productions, is going to reinvigorate the filmmaking industry for the better. Crow is a young filmer and director who doesn’t shy away from any challenge when it comes to the production of his upcoming movies. Some of the challenges he has had to overcome are time constraints, need for money, and little to no initial following. Being a highschool student, Crow is booked all year with school and homework, tennis, and alpine skiing. Making films is not a cost-free endeavor; however, with the purchase of a new drone and other equipment useful for film creation, the obstacle is less of an issue now. Finally, Crow needs to get a following in order for his influence to grow naturally. There is no artificial way to grow a business forever, so he needs to plant the seeds of his garden of movies.