Film acting class prepares short films for festival

Troylon Griffin II, Managing Editor

Throughout the months of November and December, Creek’s film acting department has been working to create original films for the UIL Young Filmmakers Festival. The festival’s deadline for submission is January 14, 2016, when the first festival will begin. The film class’ students have been working on the project since November to ensure they fulfill their artistic cinematic vision. The time limit for the films is seven minutes, including the open and ending credits.

While the project is meant to be the semester exam, many are taking the project very seriously for the chance to participate in the film festival.

Upon being finished and ready for viewing by December 17, Theatre Department head and film class teacher Bradley Hewlett will choose what he considers to be the two best films worth entering the festival. The films will be entered in the Narrative division of the competition.

While the chance of possible entry is done every year, what separates this year from the previous ones is that the film class will be collaborating with the Audio and Video Production class on campus, or as they’re popularly known as, Paws On Productions. The class consists of students who learn strictly the technical side of filmmaking, such as editing, sound effects, camera lighting and more. This contrasts with the Theatre Department’s film class, which focuses more on the skill of acting in front of the camera.

The collaboration is meant to make full utilization of Creek’s film related talents.

The short films will compete against other films made by other students in the district. They will be judged based on quality, originality, cinematic storytelling, and technical execution. The top five films will then advance to the State Festival.

The uniquely different groups got together in early November to meet and make plans for how they will be conducting business.

“I wanted this to be very professional and I didn’t want there to be any awkward meetings,” Ms. Thompson, teacher of the Audio and Video Class, said.

Group members included aspiring filmmakers like Matt McKisson, who entered the competition last year with his comical film about living inanimate objects that try to escape from the house they reside in.

Those at the meeting were asked what they considered were their best skills in filmmaking, McKisson’s being screenwriting and minor editing.

The group decided that they would meet back up weeks later and discuss story ideas they had come up with.

Working with members of the Audio and Video Class was only optional, as students can choose to work independently with their own resources. Some simply used the help of the production team by borrowing cameras, like Cole Hutto. Hutto is a notable exception to the story telling side of production, as he is remaking one of his previous films. When the students were assigned to make a silent film, Hutto made his own personal project titled The Room, which  detailed the story of a man who is slowly driven insane when he is locked in a room by an ambiguous force. Mr. Hewlett encouraged Hutto to take advantage of the Paws On Production collaboration and produce a higher quality film.

“I thought it was the right thing to do,” Hutto said. “I loved my original product but I felt that with the right equipment this would be something I’d look back on and watch until I’m eighty.”

Hutto has revising his script and developing his cinematography.

Paws On Production’s team will be individually participating as well, only they will be entering films in the documentary division.

Overall, the students of both classes are looking forward to making their films and possibly entering the film festival.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing what each class has created,”Kat Henderson, who is in both the film class and Paws on Productions said. “The UIL film festival has only been around two years, so everyone has a fresh perspective.”

With the deadline submission being in January, the students are looking forward to entering their artistic visions.