Students create films for UIL competition



Students film on location in Mineola

Isabelle Phillips and Sydney Smith

Recently, two groups of young actors from the advanced theater classes and  technicians from the advanced audio-visual classes spent two days filming narrative movies at on-site locations in Lindale and Mineola.

“We are very proud of the work the students have put into making these films,” audio-visual instructor Neda Morrow said.  “Mr. Jarman, Mrs. McKenzie,  and I paired up our classes for a cross-curricular project in order to facilitate the filmmaking process.”

Chloe Land  and Sydney Smith were the directors for the two films. They were in charge of all the directing on site, telling the actors what to do, where to stand, and how to perform.  They also facilitated the scriptwriting process within the theater classes.

“When you’re writing it, you picture it, [for example]  in the antique store  and this is how we want it, but when you’re at the antique store, the film just comes to life,” student director Chloe Land said. “We went to the Wisdom House to film the house scenes and you start to think ‘oh, this is kinda creepy because it feels real.’ ”

Sydney Smith and Caleb Smithee were the tech directors for both films.  They handled the sound, video, technology, and how each scene would be shot, the lighting of each shot and how the viewers would hear it. There were crew members who went with them, some of whom were also actors.  They managed the boom mics, camera work, and all technology decisions. 

“It was really cool to be so important in this process,” Smithee said. “Getting to be in charge of the equipment and making decisions about the film really opened my eyes to how the whole process works in a real studio.”

UIL has three events for film: narrative, documentary and animation. The students worked together to write the script, block it, figure out how to shoot it, set up the shots, figure out the tech–all the things required to create a film.  Additionally, the actors for the film had to learn lines and take direction from the student directors.  Mr. Innerarity of the Lindale Theater Boosters was a special actor in one of the films, portraying the shopkeeper.

“We had a lot of kids as actors come in and work as techies yesterday and lug equipment all day long and then jump in and act in scenes and then move on and do something else,” theater director Taylor Jarman said. 

The audio-visual team is now using Adobe Premiere to edit the films in post production and submit them  in early January for UIL competition. 

“The students have worked very hard on these films,” Morrow said.  “We can’t wait to be able to show them to the public.”