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Arts and Entertainment

Hubbel Palmer, Actor and Screenwriter

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In 2007, a little movie called American Fork made the film festival rounds, garnering rave reviews and some awards as well. The story, written and staring Hubbel Palmer followed the life of Tracy Orbison, a grocery stork with aspirations of being an actor and changing lives. LAist got a hold of Hubbel to discuss the changes in his own life, as well as some of the themes that run through out the film and emerged in the course of the discussion, such as friendship, disillusionment, alienation, and the little victories that bring us joy.

What was the inspiration for the film and what was your objective when you actually set out to make it?
I worked at a grocery store in high school. I was always fascinated by the people who had chosen this as their "career." Since then I have wondered what my life would have been like if I had stayed at that job and never left town. When I thought about what I wanted my first film to be like, I always had this feeling it should take place in a grocery store and that it should focus on a character like Tracy. In film school I got really excited about the idea of using film to tell the stories of everyday people who usually wouldn't merit a movie. I feel like everyone's life could be a movie if you found out what they really cared about. So that's what I set out to make.

And when'd you decide to make acting your career?
I acted in many plays in high school, but was never as committed to it as other people were. I studied film in college and screenwriting in grad school at USC. Whenever I acted it was because I got drafted into it by friends who were making movies. When I started writing the script for American Fork, I didn't intend to play the character of Tracy. But because I was writing about things I knew and a character I could relate to, I really felt I could do justice to this part. The hardest part of the process was convincing people to take a chance on me as an unknown actor. I had been in a few films but I didn't have a lot of high profile stuff that I could show people.