The Record is a biweekly Life & Arts segment dedicated to featuring the many people and traditions that make The University of Texas at Austin such a unique place. For our second edition, we talk to Erick Muñoz and the rest of the University Filmmakers’ Alliance officers about movies, banana suits and master filmmakers.
Erick, as organization president, starts us off by telling us what University Filmmakers’ Alliance is all about.
Erick Muñoz: UFA is an organization meant for students with a passion for film to network and get hands-on experience. As an RTF student, it takes you a few semesters to actually work a camera or shoot a short film, so in UFA we say, let’s jump on it now! There’s a lot of talent that needs to be seen, and we’re ready to see it and nourish it.
The Daily Texan: Very cool! So, since you pride yourselves in incubating talent, do you think some of the next great filmmakers might come from UFA?
Muñoz: I am sure that we’ll be seeing some of our members’ names on a big screen in the future. The amount of people I’ve met in UFA that are right now in Los Angeles working in different companies is incredible.
DT: That’s very good to hear, Do you think any of these future master filmmakers would make a film about his/her time at UFA?
Muñoz: [Laughs.] I guess that would depend on how crazy we manage to make this year, wouldn’t it? I’m pretty sure that there’s more than one crazy movie that can come out of UFA’s anecdotes.
DT: Ah, so UFA has a legacy of crazy anecdotes, then? What has been the craziest thing that has happened at UFA?
Muñoz: I don’t think I should disclose this one, but it involves cameras, a piñata, over 50 filmmakers and a variety of tropical fruits.
DT: [Laughs.] I’ll just have to wait to watch the movie, then. And speaking of which, if someone were to make a movie starring the UFA officers, what would it be about?
Muñoz: Knowing how different our personalities are, you could very much have “The Hangover Reloaded” or a weirder version of “Gilligan’s Island.” Actually, that sounds interesting: the officers in a deserted island would be an interesting “Lord of the Flies”-esque experiment.
DT: Lastly, Erick, I’ve heard you have a very unique approach to answering UFA emails. Can you elaborate?
Muñoz: I try and keep it as relaxed as I can so that the members realize that we can all just take a moment and have fun in this organization. If I receive an email asking me how to join UFA, I’ll probably say something like, “Dress in a banana suit and run around campus yelling that Oprah is an alien from Saturn ... or just come to our meetings. Your choice.”