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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

Letter to the Editor

Competition showcases sophomore’s cinematic talent

A filmmaker’s dream is to see their production in a darkened theater on the big screen in front of an appreciative audience. They envision walking the red carpet with a band playing and fans screaming. Most importantly, they dream of giving an eloquent speech after their film is named an award-winner.

Sophomore Jesse Todd’s dream became reality at the Fox Theater in Visalia, May 17. Todd was named the 2008 Slick Rock Student Film Festival winner in the Music Video category for his submission, Inspiring the Innovative: This Jack is not Dull (currently featured on the front page.)

“Inspiring the Innovative is a film that uses the collaborative sounds of school supplies to build a rhythm,” Todd explains. “I found inspiration from Lasse Gjertzen’s films, and wanted to put my own twist on it.”

The Slick Rock Student Film Festival receives entries from Merced to Bakersfield. The High School division had over 225 entries this year coming from 39 different schools in 7 different categories.

The event is put on by the Visalia Unified School District, with extensive support from the Tulare County and the Fresno County Office of Education. The event is sponsored by many large companies, most notably Apple and Wal-Mart, and is presented by Comcast, the festival’s chief sponsor.

After being narrowed down to 50 films named “First Cuts”, the finalists were shown at a viewing Saturday afternoon. Later the finalists and winners were announced at Saturday’s red carpet awards show.

After six entrants from Fresno Christian made the First Cut, three were named finalists. Sophomore Clay Alcorn’s Foreign Language film, Erinnelung an einen luftangriff en Duetschland, and two versions of Todd’s video, Inspiring the Innovative, were named finalists, in the music video and advertisement category, respectively.

“It was very rewarding, since it was my first time entering Slick Rock,” Alcorn said. “I plan on entering in the future, and spend more time, since I now know what to expect.”

The event included a limo ride for the First Cut directors, along with a jazz band greeting their arrival at the theater. The award show will be broadcast on Comcast cable in June.

“The whole event was top notch,” junior Mitchell Callisch, who had two films included in the First Cut, said. “From the limo ride to the emcee, to being put on television by Comcast, the night came together to deliver an awesome experience.”

Not only did every First Cut director attend, but every student in a video class was also required to attend the award show, and most found the event well worth the hour drive to Visalia.

“I felt like I was at an actual professional awards show,” junior John Dinsdale said. “It made me want to make videos, and it certainly was a legitimate, high-end show.”

Sophomore Paige Powell savors Todd’s victory in spite of her loss and anticipates entering the competition next year.

“Although my film did not win this year, I was thrilled when Jesse Todd won,” Powell said. “It’s a great feeling to be from such a small school and win against other big schools. Slick Rock gets better every year, so I can’t wait to compete again in the future.”

Despite the overall impressiveness of the event, the show was stolen by Todd’s victory, which received a stirring round of applause from the crowd.

“The place went nuts when they showed Jesse’s video,” video advisor C.J. Haydock said. “People were really captivated by it, and that’s why Jesse won; because of his ability to capture your full attention.”

For his efforts, Todd was awarded a copy of Final Cut Studio 2, a high end video production suite utilized by professionals, a copy of Logic Pro 8, a professional music recording software, and other assorted software programs. The total awards package has a value of over $2,000.

“It was really awesome to be named a winner,” Todd said. “It was a great experience with great rewards, which really makes me look forward to participating next year. The software I received improves my capability and will help me refine my skill.”

The film festival judges were impressed with Todd’s originality.

“I love Jesse’s film,” Jon Corripo, Fresno County Office of Education, said. “It was very original, and very deserving.”

Haydock credits Todd’s natural ability coupled with his pursuit of excellence.

“It was a very special night for Jesse and our video department,” Haydock continued. “Jesse received the praise and attention that his hard work, creativity, and attention to detail deserve. I could not be any prouder of Jesse’s accomplishment.”

The award is just one of many to come from room 624 this year. The room serves as a combination video/computer lab and shares space with the newspaper staff. The prestigious Slick Rock award is in addition to the most recent publication awards, including the The Feather Online’s national Pacemaker designation and the print edition’s First Place award as the San Joaquin Valley Scholastic Press Association’s grand champion at Fresno State, March 1.

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    Andrew EvansApr 21, 2010 at 6:57 am

    This kid is the beast on the field.