Carmel Valley school film students ‘Reel In’ Best Fest America award
Five Canyon Crest Academy film students won honorable mention at a recent film festival at Ultra Star Cinemas in Hazard Center. Ten student film teams from high schools and colleges across San Diego County competed by creating their own scary adaptations of an original screenplay “Ghost in the Machine” (by local screenwriter Lisa Merrill) for the 10th annual 48 Hours of Madness Best Fest America Film Festival. Each of the films dealt with kitchen appliances turning on by themselves.
The teams were given 48 hours, a script with important parts missing, and no ending and were told to come up with a cohesive film. The Canyon Crest Academy students formed their own production company, Righteous Cowboy Lightning, and holed up at one of the team member’s homes in Cardiff. The team members were Catie Ellwood, 12th grade; Olivia Klatch, 10th grade; Jacob Morrison, 11th grade; Jesse Ostroff, 11th grade; and Sam Sarokin, 10th grade. The team was sponsored by their Canyon Crest Academy Film Conservatory teacher, Mark Raines.
The team re-wrote the screenplay, staged all the shots, auditioned actors, set up lighting, sound, scoring, special effects, and edited the final product all in a grueling 48 hour marathon. “We really put our film skills to the test,” claimed Jesse Ostroff, who acted as team leader of the project.
“It was really a challenge,” remarked Olivia Klatch, “The hardest part was agreeing on how the story should finish; but we really enjoyed working together.”
Three awards were presented. Canyon Crest High School won Honorable Mention High School Division. Poway High School won First Place, High School Division, and Southwestern College won First Place, College Division. Best Fest America is a nonprofit Visual Arts Foundation Event based in La Jolla.
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