“Short films are the business card of the film industry.” This is true according to studio and video production teacher Adam Farrell. “You can use short films as a way to get your name out there, and possibly gain funding and expand them,” said Farrell. Short films can be a very time consuming task, but a few BHS students are passionate about film-making and utilizing their creative skills.
Brianna Brann is a senior who has been taking Farrell’s studio production, digital media and video production classes since ninth grade. Brann is a senior intern for Jim Gilbert, the media director of channel 22 and B2BTV, and is also a teaching assistant for one of Farrell’s digital media classes. Brann worked on a couple short films last year while taking studio production. One of these short films is called “Portal” which Brann said was sort of a science fiction spin on “The Breakfast Club.” She also created another film for a 10-day film challenge called “Surveillance” which is about a student who is locked in a haunted computer lab.
In order to prepare for creating a short film, Brann said, “I like to put on some music to get in my zone and watch some other films on YouTube to get some inspiration.” Equipment available to film-making students like Brann include cameras, such as her go-to Canon 80D. Also, the B2BTV studio has around four or five types of Canon cameras and numerous audio devices for students to use in and outside of the classroom. Brann is currently working on a short film about 12 minutes long called “Sketch” which will be entered into a contest called the “Student Emmy Awards.”
Senior Ellie Brown took Farrell’s digital media class her sophomore year and has now moved onto taking his video production class. Students are required to take digital media before moving onto studio and video production classes so that they can fully understand the basics and fundamentals of filming and editing.
Brown said her favorite part about film production is “the freedom within topics and assignments Farrell gives us; there’s lots of room for your own creativity.” When asked what she does to start the film-making process Brown said, “We all pace around the room brainstorming, make a very broad script, write up a good storyboard, and just kind of wing it.” So far this year Brown has worked on a silent film called “7:21,” which tells a story about a girl who just wanted to make it to school on time while stopping for Dunkin’ but unfortunately didn’t get there until one minute after the bell rang. She has also worked with Brann on a film called “Ghosthunters” which appeared in the most recent episode of BHN News.
The star of “7:21” happens to be another film production student, senior Shae Kullas. Kullas is taking both studio and video production this year and took digital media last year. “I love seeing what the finished project turns out to be, and I love seeing people’s different reactions to it,” Kullas said when asked what her favorite part of production was. Kullas’ pre-production routine consists of “pacing around the room, asking to use the bathroom, but actually just pacing around the school thinking of different things to film.”
Some of Kullas’ projects have included a satirical news report on a reckless driver named Sofia Hailu, a care.com commercial where Kullas dressed up as a baby, and a lanyard trailer which was a “dramatic twist on the school’s lanyard policy.”
Short films created by students are featured in the monthly school news program, BHN News, and can be found on the B2BTV YouTube page. Students are allowed to enter these films in many different film festivals and contests. Every video production class is required to enter into the 10-day film challenge and take a field trip to Foxboro to view and critique several other schools’ short films.