Video for Art’s Sake

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     My wife spotted an article in our local paper last Thursday and sent me off to a student video festival in a neighboring suburb on Friday night. Apparently, a high school freshman (a lifelong movie buff) wrote the Village of Schaumburg last year and suggested that they were just the kind of town to host such an event. They agreed!
     I was delighted to find almost two hundred film fans, friends, and family in the Prairie Center theater, complete with popcorn, for the first annual Screen Test Student Fest. We were treated to almost two hours of student films and directors’ commentary from high school comedies, animation, and experimental film to a 5th grade musical documentary on properly caring for a paint brush.
     The videography was impressive and the writing was exceptional!
     One video was a love story with no dialogue. The couple connected and communicated through a “lost” still camera. And the director had a solid enough plan and poise to convince a local Starbucks to be the main setting for his story.
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      Another story involved dozens of classmates in a rush to sign up for a popular  P.E. class. If you ever thought you’d never be able to get from one side of your high school to the other in time, this video is for you.
     A third was so cleverly and comedically delivered that it reminded me of a Saturday Night Live skit. In a movie about making a movie, a team of film makers tries to sell their project about turning any romance novel with a “Fabio” on the cover into a bankable feature. Great jokes, great videography, and great acting!
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     But the surprise ending of the night went to a group of 5th grade art students who took festival honors with their musical documentary “Young Sloppy Brush.” Through interviews and reenactment, a group of artists’ paint brushes with google eyes and clay mouths remember and sing their way through the rise and fall of a great young brush’s life.
     How many students have a story to share but no stage to share it on?

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