Video Productions held its annual Halloween Film Fest on Wednesday, Oct. 28, to raise money for Access Housing, a nonprofit organization that supports homeless families and present students’ original horror films.
Once all films were shown, students voted for their favorite film. Votes were based off of how loud the students cheered for each film. Junior Austin Garner directed the winning film, “Spooky Movie!!!” which went for a comical twist on the horror genre.
“I thought it was cool to have people applaud for my film because I had watched it so many times that I had started to think the jokes were dumb or not funny or scary at all,” Garner said. “After seeing everybody else’s reaction, it was kind of cool seeing what everyone thought of it.”
As a part of the audience, junior Jack Campbell went to film fest to have a good time and support Video Productions.
“It was just fun, that was the vibe I got,” Campbell said. “Everybody was in there having a good time. Everybody enjoyed the films and it’s definitely something that should continue.”
In order to put on the film fest, Video Productions students had to use in-class — and, sometimes, out-of-class — time to complete their films. Producing the movies includes writing the script, acting, filming, directing and editing.
Coming up with original ideas and post-production work was the most difficult part of the process for senior Dani Stompoly, who worked on the movie “The Promise.”
“The script is difficult because you have to think of fresh ideas for spooky things, or try to make them spooky, because we’re high schoolers. We don’t have all of the stuff that major motion pictures have,” Stompoly said. “Filming is a lot of fun, we put in a lot of time during school and after school, and editing took a long time. I think I spent four hours editing one night, so that was super fun.”
Despite the amount of time and effort required to finish the film, Stompoly’s passion for video production remains.
“My favorite part was editing. I just love post-production work,” Stompoly said. “It’s like putting the pieces of a puzzle together.”
Garner also agrees that watching the movie come together was exciting for him.
“My favorite part was getting the last few scenes. After we watched all of it, we saw what we were missing,” Garner said. “Once we filmed those last few scenes and watched them again, it was nice seeing the puzzle come together.”
Overall, the opportunity the film fest gives to aspiring filmmakers is important to Garner.
“It gives us a chance to make films if we’re interested in it and see if we’d want to pursue that in future,” Garner said.
The film fest, according to Stompoly, also gives Video Productions students a chance to get critiques from the student body.
“[The film fest] gets our videos out there and gives [Video Productions] exposure. We can get criticism from people our age,” Stompoly said. “We can look at a film all day, look at it all the time that we want and nitpick little things, but having an objective perspective from an audience and just seeing what works and doesn’t work is really good to get.”
However, the film fest was meant to support a bigger cause than just Video Productions. Half of all the proceeds made in ticket sales will go to Access Housing in order to help support homeless families.
“Access housing helps homeless families gain independence and help get them back on their feet,” Garner said. “It’s just a good cause to get behind.”