The Man of the 70s

Photo by Celia Nofsinger

By Cameron Gurgainus

It’s almost impossible to get Nate Stoughton to sit still. In his bell bottom pants and fringe jacket, he is constantly going from place to place. And every time he does, heads turns on campus to get a glimpse of this most eccentric person. Nate, who is a junior at Flagler College and a media production major, has a style that is hard to miss. Along with all those vintage clothes is a dream that has been building in his head since he was 13 years old.

He excitedly talks about how he knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life after watching a trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” “It went behind the scenes of how they built the sets, and this guy explained how he created the life size Millennium Falcon,” he says. “Then he went on to say how his dad built the original Falcon in 1977. A picture was shown of the dad in the 70’s with the ship and his son. He then looks at the camera and says, ‘I get to come to work every day and live the same dream my dad did. I take everything he’s ever taught me and put it towards something that I love. What do you want to do?’ ”

After shedding a few tears in the movie theater from watching the trailer, Stoughton said it helped build an aspiration for working on movies. “My passion is writing, whether that’s short stories or scripts,” he said. “I want to write movies for sure. Then I want to direct, edit, do camera stuff, produce and the whole shebang pretty much!”

Nate took a deep breath when asked how important films are today in this society. “Movies are like the gladiator fights of today,” he said.

“You come to watch this spectacle happen on screen and you’re with these people experiencing the same thing as you. It’s profound!”

Everyone knows Stoughton as the outgoing dude who follows the beat of his own drum. Has he always been this way, though?

He was a shy kid growing up, but very creative and used his imagination wildly.

“I got into stuff constantly and really enjoyed drawing comic books and watching TV,” he said. “Movies always interested me.”

That passion for film has led Stoughton to the Flagler College Film Club, where he became president his sophomore year.

“I came in 2017 wanting to start a film club because it wasn’t even listed anywhere,” he said. “It just started up though as soon as I went to the Registrar’s Office to ask about it. I soon went to the meetings, and it was really small. There weren’t a lot of people, but everyone had a love for movies.”

He decided to run for the president position since the staff was leaving the next year.

“I’m a freshman, young and hopeful,” he said. “I’m just going to run for president, here we go! I ended up winning, and I’m really grateful I got the position because a lot goes into running a club that people don’t even think about. The club is getting traction though, and we get good numbers of members who show up every Friday.”

Film Club’s secretary Arabella Casson said Stoughton’s friendliness has made working with him a pleasure.

“It’s been fun being in this club and getting to bounce ideas around with Nate, and he’s just a really good person to talk to overall,” she said.

“His knowledge and fondness for movies is unlike anyone I’ve ever met.”

When asked how he feels about being a role model or inspiration to others, Stoughton cannot wrap his head around the idea.

“It’s baffling,” he said.

“I just look a certain way, and people just see me. Of course, that’s what happens when you stick out like a sore thumb. It’s crazy to think people idolize me, though. Others see me, too. They talk to me, but they don’t get to know me. It’s jarring when people would rather be my fan than my friend. I like talking to people and conversing with different people. It’s nice to talk about me once in a while, but I want to know why people appreciate what I’m doing.”

“When people come up to me saying that they wish they could have my sense of style, it takes every fiber in my being to say that they can too. It is hard to get out of your comfort zone. It took me a long time to break out of my shell, so I completely understand!”

Stoughton has a unique outlook, noting he was always dealt some strange cards in life.

“I’m grateful for those same cards because they helped shape me into the person I am today. Realistically, I’m just trying to be me and show what I appreciate. I’m free to be me.”

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