Devon Kipper created a short animated film for his version of My Fort St. James. The film is a whimsical family trip to Fort St. James for the annual Stuart Lake Fishing Derby.

Devon Kipper created a short animated film for his version of My Fort St. James. The film is a whimsical family trip to Fort St. James for the annual Stuart Lake Fishing Derby.

Fort St. James hits the silver screen

Eleven groups of media arts students will soon have their 15 minutes of fame in Fort St. James.

Eleven groups of media arts students will soon have their 15 minutes of fame in the Fort.

The students are all in Andy Sundahl’s Visual Media Arts and Tech classes at Fort St. James Secondary and will be premiering their short films at a gala event on May 25 at the school.

Students were given the opportunity thanks to a collaborative effort between the District of Fort St. James and Sundahl.

The idea came about through discussions on the lack of tourism-related video materials for the area, a suggestion brought forward by Kevin Gedling, Product Development Officer for the Fort St. James National Historic Site. The idea was then to partner with the high school to try and generate some interesting material for the community.

Economic Development Officer for the local district, Emily Colombo arranged for the purchase of the necessary equipment to support the project and hired a consultant who has been helping the students with the process.

The consultant, Joanne Malo, has over 25 years of experience in television and film.

“I grew up in it,” she said. Malo has been impressed with the work the students have put into their projects and she’s impressed with the range of ideas.

“Every single one of them have had these major, major creative moments.”

The students were provided with new video cameras, lights, a boom mic, and wireless microphones.

The students also got to have a Skype conference call from professional CBC cameraman Mike Varga to give them some tips and advice.

The students have since brainstormed their ideas, based on the broad theme of “My Fort St. James,” story-boarded the short films and filmed much of the footage for their projects.

“It’s a big project,” said Malo. “I’ve been their guide as to what they do next – taking them through the steps.”

Some students already have nearly complete short films, with the final films expected to be around three minutes in length.

The Courier will be previewing some of the projects each week leading up to the gala showcase on May 25.

All In – The Bakers go to Fort St. James

By Devon Kipper

Kipper has created a four-minute animated piece, all of which was drawn by Kipper himself.

A fan of the Simpson’s and Family Guy, an animated piece seemed like a natural fit.

Using the program Paint, Kipper drew the story of a family’s trip to Fort St. James for the annual Stuart Lake Fishing Derby.

The family hops in the car and heads to Fort St. James for a day on the lake to catch the big fish.

My Fort St. James (no set title)

By Kaitlyn Goodwin and Sarah King

King and Goodwin decided their Fort St. James included a day doing their favourite thing to do in Fort St. James in the winter, ski and snowboard.

The pair’s film will depict a day at Murray Ridge, which they start right from home and then head up to the hill for some turns.

The filming took place on their last day of the season at the hill, enjoying some turns in the sunshine. While the snow wasn’t the perfect powder day, they still enjoyed the sunshine, snow and their favourite ski hill food – poutine.

Fort from a different angle (no set title)

By Leiha Constantine and Logan Erickson

Thanks to Constantine’s grandfather, John Helweg, these filmmakers had an opportunity to see the Fort from a different perspective.

Helweg, who has a recreational pilot’s licence, flew them over the area in his Cessna airplane.

They flew south towards Vanderhoof and filmed each other and the view from the air.

The film will take the viewer on the day’s journey, from getting ready for the trip to the take-off, flight and landing.

All of the students’ short films will be shown at the gala awards event on May 25 and the top award-winning group will be given the opportunity to complete an internship for the District of Fort St. James to produce a film for the district.