STLCC Alumni Set to Release New Film
St. Louis Community College alumni Stephen Schroeder and Chris Sage are preparing for the release of their film, “Nickels.” A labor of love, this film explores a very real, yet underrepresented theme in media arts – the unique dynamics of blended families.
“It’s no secret that families are becoming more complex and diverse,” Schroeder said. “In this film, we highlight the struggles single parents face when introducing their children to new romantic interests.”
To tell their story, the duo chose to introduce the audience to a mythical monster named Nickels. This character lives under a bed and bestows knowledge to a soon-to-be stepfather who is having a difficult time connecting with his fiancé’s daughter.
“The film is one both kids and adults can identify with and enjoy,” Sage said. “Stephen and I decided to collaborate on this project because we both have a passion for family entertainment and animation. We also knew that the scope of the project was bigger than anything we'd ever done, so working together just made sense.”
Schroeder and Sage co-wrote, directed and produced the film. They used computer-generated imagery, or CGI, to bring “Nickels” to life on the screen.
The community is invited to attend a free screening of “Nickels” at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 20, at the Chesterfield YMCA, 16464 Burkhardt Place in Chesterfield.
In conjunction with the film screening, the team is working to build momentum for “Nickels” in hopes to put it through the festival circuit in 2020. Ultimately, they would like to receive a distribution deal for short content or receive offers to work on other projects.
While their professional careers are just warming up, their friendship was formed years ago as students at STLCC-Wildwood. After STLCC, they both transferred to Webster University to pursue degrees in scriptwriting.
“Chris and I met at the Wildwood campus in 2013,” Schroeder said. “It was an enjoyable experience and one that allowed us to complete a bachelor’s degree at an affordable price.”
Although “Nickels” is their first professional collaboration, they are in the early stages of another project.
“Right now, we’re trying to get funding for our first feature film,” Sage said. “Titled, ‘Sizzle Reel’, this story is about two friends who spend a weekend with a man who lives nocturnally.”
STLCC Instructor Allyson Wright weighed in on their work and expressed her hopes for their futures.
“It’s always fun to reconnect with former students and learn about things they are doing,” she said. “Stephen and Chris are gifted writers, and I look forward to watching them succeed in their careers.”