Each year Sony Studios sponsors a premier for Culver City High School’s AVPA Young Filmmakers’ annual film projects. This year, under the supervision of CCHS AVPA Creative Director Alexis Butler, Film Production and Screenwriting Teacher Josh Blake, and Cinematographer and Film Editor Duncan Ballantine, Culver’s AVPA film students got the chance to strengthen their knowledge of the art through the use of career intensive training, specialized practice, direct guidance, and side-by-side movie-making. AVPA Young Filmmakers are proud of the resulting diverse mix of independent films, which will be shown on the big screen at Sony Studios.
AVPA Film draws on many speakers and experts in the film field, which this year included the Front and Center Theater Collabortive, which includes Sony Pictures, and the Young Storytellers Foundation. These organizations inspired and shared their knowledge with the students as only those working in the film industry directly can. This year the Young Storytellers Foundation taught the AVPA students workshops in acting and improvisation, casting, combat, music videos, and editing. Ultimately, the making of the 2014 films was possible through the hard work and dedication of the students, their parents and their teachers who generously offered creative input, time, muscle, and space to make these film projects successful.
In student films as well as professional films, the final product is tailored to meet the vision of the director. This year’s talented directors have imprinted their films with their unique styles. Senior Kat Hall wrote and directed “Flux,” a story about a writer’s comic book characters who possess the ability to come to life. Sophomore Dean Alvarez wrote and directed “Artificial Silence” about a boy with pink hair and an interest in a mute girl named Silence. And finally, Junior Rene Giron wrote and directed “House of Eve,” which features a haunted house that takes the form of a seductive girl named Eve who lures lustful teenage boys through her doors.
Everyone in APVA Film participated in this year’s films. Each crew of approximately 12 students had representatives from all grades and experience levels. The casts for the three films were made up of actors from both AVPA Theatre and non-AVPA students, as well as several professional actors who agreed to take part in their free time. The films were shot in the school and around Culver City, or the “Heart of Screenland” as it is known. The film department owes thanks to the other AVPA departments who collaborated with us: Theater students took on many of the lead parts; Music students composed the film scores, and Art students designed the posters.
Alexis Butler, Creative Director of the AVPA Film Department, credits her students with the success of this year’s program. “These students came into the program with exceptional drive and talent. They devoted much of their fall and spring semesters to the countless hours it takes to create film. I am most proud of the three directors who took risks in their efforts to be inventive and original.” Special, special thanks go to Josh Blake, who taught the film development and production class and Duncan Ballantine who taught cinematography and editing through the after school AVPA film program. We hope they return to teach for many years to come.
The premier is free and open to the AVPA community, but seating is limited and available by invitation only. For more information about the Academy and all of their amazing and awesome activities go to www.avpa.org or contact Tony Spano at 310-842-4200 x6094 or Kristine Hatanaka at 310-842-4200 x6001.