On Friday March 17, the Easton High School Interactive Media Production Career and Technology pathway hosted its third annual “Film-in” challenge. This process models the 24-hour film challenge of the Chesapeake Film Festival and other venues. Twenty-five students on four different teams competed to storyboard, film and edit a five-minute narrative sequence, all within the span of six hours.
The genre of each team’s film, as well as a prop, event, theme, line and actor that had to be incorporated, were not revealed to students until the start of the event. Students were restricted to the school grounds to shoot the entirety of their film. Members of the Interactive Media Production advisory board were present at the event to support and assist students through the process.
Advisory board members Kim Skyrme, Casting Director – Producer – Director with 27 years of experience in the entertainment industry; Liza Ledford, Producer and Manager at Northstar180.com; Nick Richards, filmmaker and MCTV Manager; and Cid Collins Walker, Documentary Filmmaker and President of the Chesapeake Film Festival, worked with students and acted as the event’s judges at the end of the evening.
Easton High School Interactive Media Production Career and Technology pathway completers returned as mentors for the teams. Present were Katy Trice and Lucas Saulsbury (class of 2014), Luke VanTrieste (class of 2015), Ginny Denny, Beau Burton, Jonny Small and Jack Connolly (class of 2016), and Meredith Lyons (class of 2011).
After three hours, all filming ceased and students began the task of editing and creating special effects for their films. It was also revealed at this time that in addition to editing, they were also challenged to design a poster for their film to connect with two distinctly different target audiences, create a bloopers reel AND write a design pitch for the ‘film executives’ who would be judging their film.
The teams rose to the challenge and produced diverse and engaging narratives, ranging from humorous conspiracy theory regarding a missing teacher and dramedy about a boy who can’t seem to catch a break. Students applied industry-standard Adobe Premiere and Adobe After Effects to edit their films.
At the end of six hours, students showcased their films and were assessed by the judges with a rigorous list of criteria including sequencing, application of effects and incorporation of their surprise props and genre.
Team “The Buds,” which included Easton High School juniors Nat Trice, Nick Covey, Lexi Miller, Cali Blizzard, Justin Copper and Freshman Seth Wagner, created the cinematic “Revelation.” Their film was chosen as the top film for the evening. The students’ completed films will air at the Chesapeake Film Festival in the Fall. The films are also showcased in the new media display outside Garnette Hines’ classroom.
Garnette Hines, the Interactive Media Production teacher at Easton High, organized the event to challenge students and give them an opportunity to work with professionals in the film industry. Each year, she has tried to grow the event. This year, several members of the school’s Improv Club participated as actors in the film. Local businesses, including Chick-fil-A, Ben Franklin Crafts, Ledo’s Pizza and Easton Premier Cinema sponsored the event by donating prizes for the winning teams.