LINDEN — Northridge Middle School is going to the movies on Sunday. Two classes of mass media students from the middle school will travel to Lafayette’s Long Center for the Performing Arts to see their own short films on the big screen at the 15 Movie Festival sponsored by The Film and Video Studio at Purdue University. They will also be competing against other schools for Best Picture.
This is the first year Purdue has offered the contest and over 70 schools participated. Northridge was chosen as a top-15 finalist, not once but for four movies produced by students.
Northridge Mass Media Instructor Kevin Brooks said after seeing his students make their short films, he thought one or two of the school’s entries might advance. When the results came, Brooks was surprised and pleased to see four of his students’ short films advancing.
“It was exciting to see the students reaction when I handed them the results,” Brooks said. “I thought we had two pretty good entries, but to get 25 percent of the 16 finalist is pretty outstanding.”
The students had to create every aspect of their short films. They wrote, acted, filmed and edited their creations. They also composed original music and had to make the special effects in each short film.
According to the rules, the short films could be no longer than 10 minutes. The Northridge films were all from one to 5 minutes.
Sixth-grade student Allison Guard, who had multiple parts in her class’ short film titled “Nightmare”, said to go to the finals is exciting and will encourage her to participate in the contest again.
“I was so excited to find out our film was selected for the finals,” Guard said. “Making the film was a lot of fun and I definitely will do it again.”
Guard said the movie she helped produce is about a student having a nightmare experience in the halls of her school.
Another sixth-grade short film titled “Valentines Talk” is about students talking about what nice things they wanted to do for their special valentine.
The eighth grade short films are “Showdown at North Ridge” and “Little Wing Man”.
The first film has a western theme with a twist ending involving the town’s sheriff played by Adam Coon.
“My character is like both a good and bad guy,” Coon said. “The film’s ending we find the sheriff kind of changing who he is. It was a fun part to play.”
Coon and classmate Ben Lovold also star in “Little Wing Man”. Lovold plays the part of Coon’s conscience as he is sitting and whispering into Coons’ ear trying to convince him what to do. The students had to use special affects to shrink the 5-foot 9-inch Lovold to four inches.
Lovold also takes credit for coming up with one of the main props in the western short film — bananas. It was Lovold who thought of the idea to use bananas as guns in the film since no type of gun is allowed in the
All the actors and actresses say they learned making a film is not easy and it takes a lot of time and work to create a final product.
Keifer Carmean, who is a card dealer in the western, said he enjoyed the fact that the students had the final say in every thing about the movies.
“I like the flexibility we had in making our movies,” Carmean said. “We got to do everything that we wanted to do in our own movies.”
Whether it was writing, filming, acting or editing, each student is excited to get to see their films on a big screen along with all 16 finalists. The students are taking advantage of their first-ever world premier as they stroll along a red carpet.
“We are going together to Lafayette on Sunday and we are going to play it up,” Coon said. “All the guys are even going to wear bow ties.”
The following is a list of all the students who produced the four short films: Adam Coon, Ben Lovold, Mikala Voorhees, Allison Guard, Kortney Powers, Catharine Campbell, Kade Kobel, Brent Barfel, Keifer Carmean, Jack Thompson, Audry Blazys and Joel Waddell.
The festival is for film makers who are 15 years old or younger. The Northridge sixth grade students involved are part of the S.M.A.R.T Class and the eighth grade students are enrolled in the school’s mass media class. Both classes are taught by Brooks.