Student films get spotlight

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At 8:15 a.m. Monday, aspiring teams of filmmakers at Steamboat Springs High School were given their instructions. They had 66 hours, until 8:15 a.m. today, to complete a film. They could have no more than four people on their production crew, and the completed films could be no longer than 3 minutes, including credits.

The theme for every movie was freedom, and two props had to be used in every movie -- a $1 bill and a shampoo bottle.

For the rest of the week, teams of students were out in force with cameras and, later, hunched over keyboards in the high school's video production classroom.

The results of the 66-Hour Film Contest will be played tonight as part of the Steamboat Springs High School Film Festival.

The Film Festival is the sen-ior project of Ryan Matte. It will feature an hour and a half of student-shot and -produced films varying in length from 3 minutes to 15 minutes.

Films will include "Phone Number" and "Crazy as Sane" by Trevor Elliott; "Cheese" by Chase Coal, Randy Rule and Davis Johnson; a snowboard film called "Tribe 5" by Chase Coal; "Lost Souls," "Peanut Butter and Jelly" and an animation piece called "Pirates of the Caribbean" by Jenna Hammerslag; and a World War II interview by Colin McCaulley with his grandfather.

"I've always been interested in entertainment and movies," Matte said.

Earlier in the school year, Matte took a series of career tests that pointed him to a job in the entertainment industry, namely production.

For his senior project, Matte partnered with Blake Worsley on a 15-minute film about teen depression and suicide called "Jeremy." Matte took over production duties while Worsley did the filming, editing and directing. Matte also took on the idea of a film festival to round out the experience.

Comcast video producer Kelly Anzalone mentored Worsley and Matte.

"I think the biggest thing Ryan learned out of this was how much work it is to put out a movie and how much work it is to advertise a film festival," Anzalone said.

After the experience, Matte said he remains interested in film production and is applying to several film programs.

A similar film festival, the Rocky Mountain Student Filmfest, will be held Friday and Saturday in Glenwood Springs. The film festival begins at 7:30 p.m. both days in the Glenwood Springs High School auditorium. Admission is $5 at the door.

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