"Only in West County" showcases Analy filmmakers
Students starred in their own short films shown at the Rialto
Ten five-minute films made by Analy students were shown for the first time on the big screen at Rialto Cinemas last Thursday afternoon.
“We wanted to build a better project for students to learn and we thought it would be an interesting way to have them engage in filmmaking,” said Randy Hall in his introduction. Hall, a Digital Media teacher, and Seth Gleckman, an English teacher, worked with the students to produce the films. “It is struggle and takes a force of will to produce a film,” Hall said, congratulating the students on their effort. Gleckman added: “It is special that you completed a film and get to see it on the big screen here at the Rialto.”
About one quarter of the scenes in the student films were shot at school; another were outdoors in the rain, sometimes in the dark but usually in the forest; yet others were shot in kitchens at home — one memorable scene was a Bigfoot inexplicably in an apron cooking bananas on the stove in “Sasquatch.” Some scenes were shot around town like the skateboard park downtown or in the parking lot of the Rialto where a student was dealing Yerba Mate as contraband from his car in “22 Main Street.”
“Life of an Apple” was about what happens to apples and boasted the only CGI effect — a person’s face superimposed on the apple, which screamed because it was being cut up for a pie. A film like “Paranormal Racktivities” seemed inspired by the Blair Witch Project with an unexplained presence off-camera in the woods. “Food Service” had a twice-repeated “body-bag” dream sequence intimating something about where cafeteria food comes from.
Although I am not a film critic, I had my favorites among the ten short films. My two favorites featured student-actors that you cared about as they made small changes in their lives.
“Indigo” was an insightful, gentle film about a student wanting to change her girl name as well as her mother’s understanding of who she is. Genevieve Griffin was excellent in the lead role.
“August” was about a male student who sleepwalks through class but wakes up to play video games at home in the dark. On a walk with his mother, he rediscovers the curiosity for nature he once had as a child, and that stirs him to re-engage in school. Jason Ramirez did a good job as August. The film’s end credits were creatively hand-drawn with crayons on slightly wrinkled, ruled paper.
You can see these films and others at the Analy Student Film Festival on Friday April 21st in the Analy Theater; tickets are $10.
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