On Friday April 6, 2019 the Easton High School Interactive Media Production Career and Technology pathway hosted its fifth annual “Film-in” challenge. 15 students on three different teams competed to storyboard, film, and edit a one to four minute narrative sequence, all within the span of eight hours (from 12-8 pm). The genre of each team’s film, as well as a box of props, an event, theme, film title, and sound effect that had to be incorporated, were not revealed to students until the start of the event. Students were restricted to public spaces in the town of Easton to shoot the entirety of their film. In addition, the Avalon Theatre, MCTV studio, and The Academy of Art, Easton sponsored the event and students were granted access to film at those locations. Members of the Interactive Media Production advisory board were present at the event to support and assist students through the process.
Advisory board members Nick Richards, MCTV manager, and Nancy Tabor, Vice President of the Chesapeake Film Festival worked with students and acted as the event’s judges at the end of the evening. Past Easton High School Interactive Media Production Career and Technology pathway completers returned as support for the teams. Present were Katelyn Verley and Nat Trice (class of 2018), McKenzie Bugg and Joseph Mueller (class of 2017) and Jonny Small (class of 2016).
At 3:00 pm, all filming ceased and students returned to Easton High School begin the task of editing and creating special effects for their films. It was also revealed at this time that in addition to editing, teams would need to design two posters for their film that focused on communicating the genre and the surprise constraints of their film. During this time, students created a bloopers reel AND wrote their own press release—the winning team’s press release can be seen below.
The teams rose to the challenge and produced diverse and engaging narratives. Team Equinox shot a crime flick in which a bobble head statue is stolen from the Academy of Art, Easton. Team Influenza filmed a musical with an original soundtrack written by Sophomore Galen Marquess and Juniors Neil Siegman and Seth Wagner. Team Sweaty Boyz sequenced a prank show parody with an epic scene that combines a leaf blower and a bowl of salsa and chips. Students applied industry-standard Adobe Premiere and Adobe After Effects to edit their films.
At 8:00 pm students showcased their films and were assessed by the judges with a rigorous list of criteria including sequencing, application of effects, and incorporation of their surprise props and genre.
Chosen as the top film for the evening was “The Usual Suspects,” created by team “Equinox,” which included Easton High School senior Thomas Lee, Junior Henry Hills, and freshmen Gary Magill, David Gardner, and Britney Lee. The students’ completed films will air on MCTV along with an interview about the Film-Inn event. Easton resident Heather Grant and local businesses KilnBorn Creations, Eastcor Engineering and The Tidewater Inn sponsored the event by donating prizes for the winning teams.
Mrs. Garnette Hines, the Interactive Media Production teacher at Easton High, organized the event to challenge students and give them an opportunity to work with professionals in the film industry. Each year she has tried to grow the event to make it better than the last year. This year, all teams were challenged to use an actual film title—“The Usual Suspects,” and reinterpret it in their own way. At the end of the evening Hines announced “The winning film is…The Usual Suspects.”