The Simple Passion of Maddox Stockton

Some passions are too simple and natural to explain. For junior Maddox Stockton, his passion for film is just that: simple and natural. He has always loved movies and he’s never needed to complicate that. 

Stockton while filming a recent project.

Going from watching movies to making them is a big leap, but for Stockton, what was going on behind the scenes has always had his attention. Before he could even remember, when Stockton would watch DVDs, he would turn on the special features or commentary tracks for the movies he watched before actually watching them. He wanted to get an understanding of what went on beyond the screen. Then, one day, Stockton started making his own movies. 

Stockton said, “I guess (making movies) just kind of stuck with me… It just kind of fell in my lap.”

Stockton started off making his own trailers on his iPhone with friends in middle school. He would use clips to make his own plot for films to fill the gaps that had been left in trailers or characters’ backstories and would even make up his own storylines for things that he wanted to see on the screen.

In high school, he started making short films for class and in his free time. He does what he can to have his visions for his projects come to life, sometimes staying up until four in the morning editing his footage until it’s just right. 

“These little things kind of build up to maybe a scholarship,” Stockton said. 

Shot of Freddy Krueger from the short film.

Now, Stockton has a collection of friends from school who share his love of filmmaking and bond with him while they help each other with projects, whether it be by critiquing their pieces, writing, acting, or filming alongside one another.  His girlfriend, junior Angelina Garcia, is someone who looks over his work-in-progresses frequently when he needs another set of eyes. The two also recently worked together on a short film, a modern take on “A Nightmare on Elm Street”.

Explaining how she helps Stockton with his projects, Garcia said, “I try to help him buckle down on one true idea so he doesn’t overdo it… not only are we dating, we’re best friends. I can be as completely honest as I can with him. So if I don’t think something’s gonna work, I could be very brutally honest.” 

Picture of Stockton and Garcia.

Just like Stockton’s explanation of his passion, his production of these films are simple. He only uses his phone, but this isn’t because he couldn’t get better equipment.

Stockton while filming a scene with A/V teacher Sherry Sabogal.

“I could go buy the fancy, you know, on-the-shoulder camera with the lens and everything, but I don’t think I need it… I don’t think I’m there yet… I gotta kind of earn to get there,” Stockton said. He added that he felt like having all of the extra equipment would only complicate the work that he is trying to keep simple for the time being. 

This year, for NISD’s annual Nerdvana Con event, Stockton decided to participate in the 90 Second Film Contest to share his passion. His entry was a film sharing his take on the origin story of Marvel villain, Bullseye, who got his attention while watching the Daredevil show on Netflix.

He said, “(Bullseye’s) so determined about something and he’s so one minded, and I don’t know what about that, but something about that’s kind of interesting where he’s just so focused in this bubble he’s in.” 

Shot of junior Magnus Bishop who plays as Bullseye in Stockton’s submission to the contest.

While producing projects like this, Stockton looks up to the work of the greats in the film industry such as Zack Snyder. 

“He’s always talking about his movies- he makes for himself pretty much he doesn’t make them for a studio…he’s just this really great like model image of something that maybe I hope I can kind of be one day,” Stockton said.