Kaylee MacDonald (left) and Rahneisha French of Nerd Herd Productions created a film highlighting some of Fort St. James' landmarks.

Kaylee MacDonald (left) and Rahneisha French of Nerd Herd Productions created a film highlighting some of Fort St. James' landmarks.

Silver screen creations near completion

Teacher Andy Sundahl’s Visual Media Arts and Tech students are nearing the day of their big premier.

Teacher Andy Sundahl’s Visual Media Arts and Tech students are nearing the day of their big premier.

The Fort St. James Secondary School students have been working on short films exploring the general theme of “My Fort St. James” and on May 25, they will be showing their work at a gala premier at the high school.

Eleven different production groups are putting the final edits and finishing touches on their films, some struggling to cut down all the lengthy footage they had gathered in the previous weeks.

The film projects were initiated through discussions on tourism awareness ideas for the community.

Consultant Joanne Malo has been helping Sundahl to guide the class through the process, with her extensive background in both film and television, and many of the students are now not far away from the final product.

The Courier previewed two of the student films last week, and will continue to preview the films next week, leading up to the premier on Friday, May 25 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m..

Here are this week’s previews:

Our Fort St. James (working title)

By Josh den Engelsen, Randal Stark, and Dakota Johnny

Inspired by YouTube reaction videos, specifically the popular program “Kids React” in which young people are filmed giving their honest reactions to viral videos they see online, this film showcases the reactions of people in the high school.

But instead of reacting to viral videos, each interviewee reacts to specific questions the filmmakers asked them. From “do you enjoy living in Fort St. James” to “If you could be the mayor for one week in Fort St. James, what would you change” the questions could provide some interesting insight into what members of the high school community think about life in the Fort. The filmmakers also showed interviewees photographs of some political figures and tested if they could identify them. They said it was interesting to see, and some did not recognize Prime Minister Stephen Harper and many were stumped by Christie Clark.

The group interviewed 15 different people for their piece, and according to Sundahl, they were doing some breakthrough work with the new wireless microphones, light setups and camera equipment.

Casey Memories

By Celina Rahko and Paige Vezina

Instead of creating new footage for a film about the life of Casey Rahko, who passed away last year, this film used a combination of old photos and some home video.

The film was an idea the two girls came up with because to them, Casey was such an important part of what they saw as “My Fort St. James.”

Paige described them as the “Three Musketeers.”

The film is a bit of a photographic tour of Casey’s life, from baby photos, it gives a bit of a timeline of Casey’s young life, including home video clips, and prom photos.

While there were times the girls thought they might have to scrap the idea, they ended up completing the project and still have a film nearly seven minutes in length.

Fort St. James Midget Stars 2011/12 (title in progress)

By Mathew Deveau and Justin Sanghera

The pair of hockey enthusiasts created an action-packed film showing some of their last season of hockey.

The pair were two members of the Midget Stars hockey team, which this past season, made it all the to the provincial championship game in Nakusup.

Complete with all the hockey glory of bad hair and pickup trucks, bad language and close-ups from ice level, the film is a brief insight into the world of midget-level hockey.

My Fort St. James (working title)

By Rahneisha French and Kaylee MacDonald of Nerd Herd Productions

The most “tourism-oriented” of the student films so far, this short was inspired by another film Sundahl had shown the class in which a man was singing about a town in Ontario, with shots from throughout the town.

The pair then took the idea and filmed shots of Fort St. James, some of the landmark buildings and their favourite spots in the community.

Lil’ Jimmies and Suspenders both are featured as two of the girls’ favourites, and there are some shots driving through the community.

The pair wanted to convey the community they see as full of “nice people” and a place where “everyone knows you,” said Rahneisha. They wanted to get across the idea of the community as a big neighbourhood, where everywhere you go you know people.

While they were disappointed they couldn’t promote the beauty of the area in the summer, they still managed to find enough material to create a short film, just under four minutes in length.