by WES FERGUSON
A Friday night movie premiere in San Marcos, and the stars would be arriving at any minute. Gaggles of fans had positioned themselves along the red carpet, contending for the best views.
It was a long red carpet, the kind you see on TV or in magazines. It began where the ticket collector stood and ran through the lobby of the Starplex Cinema in San Marcos, shooting beneath the double doors, right on out to the curb, where many people were waiting in the cold.
One shivering teenager was Jason Torres. Jason, who is 16, had heard about the debut film “Campus Radio” when the film’s director spoke to Jason’s class at San Marcos High School.
“I said, ‘You know what, I’m gonna go see that film,'” Torres said. “It took place in Austin and San Marcos, so I’m gonna go see it.” Torres is a big film buff. “My passion is making movies,” he said. “I would like to learn how to direct a movie, how to write a movie. To me, that would be pretty cool.”
To escape the cold, the less dedicated fans waited inside the theater. They milled around, rubbing shoulders with teenagers and earnest college journalists who gripped digital voice recorders. One middle-aged man stood alone with a bucket of popcorn, stray kernels gathering around his feet.
You could feel the anticipation in the air. You could smell the popcorn.
Then the cameras started flashing. Fans rushed forward, pressing against the velvet ropes that kept them from stepping on the carpet. The stars were here.
Among the first was a blonde on the arm of a spiky-haired guy. She teased the paparazzi, posing and preening and puckering her lips. Ladies wearing ironic skanky dresses told the student journalists they were “unibroads,” the term for cheerleaders for the local unicycle football league.
Then a guy on a unicycle rode by. Unicycles and unicycle football play prominently in the film. The movie features many cameos from around San Marcos and Austin.
Other stars and starlets sauntered past, smiling and acknowledging the people. San Marcos’ mayor, Daniel Guerrero, wearing a yellow “Campus Radio” T-shirt beneath a dark blazer, accepted rounds of cheers as he walked the carpet. “This is incredible,” Guerrero said. “This is a unique opportunity for San Marcos.”
“Look, a limo just pulled up,” someone said.
“It must be the director,” someone else said.
Indeed, the director, Aaron James Sorensen, had arrived. He was tall and Canadian, wearing circular spectacles and a collared shirt with the top unbuttoned, revealing a triangle of dark chest hair. As he made his way down the carpet, the director gave a series of interviews, first to a TV news station, then to the San Marcos Daily Record, and then to the San Marcos Mercury.
Mercury: “What’s the movie about?”
Sorensen: “Boys and girls and rock ‘n’ roll. Love, forgiveness and big titties.”
Mercury: “How big?”
Sorensen: “You’re gonna have to come see for yourself.”
The movie director moved on to the student journalists. They raised their voice recorders to him.Email | Print