The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

A Look Behind Scenes at Film Festival

Every year, the school hosts the film festival where seniors in the Film Analysis have a chance to showcase their creativity. While the community had the chance to see these final products on Tuesday, April 23, the process and inspiration behind each of the films was largely unknown. Here are the stories behind a few of the films.

Shelby Pefley: “Short Circuit”

Senior Shelby Pefley nabbed the Best Technical Achievement award for all the hard work that went into the 13 minute film based upon the tricky idea of fate.

“What are the chances that you will cross paths with someone with whom you want to spend a significant chunk of your life?” Shelby said. “There’s a reason why so many people thank fate for finding their significant other.”

The film follows the story of a teenage boy named Jason, played by senior Noah Schramm, who travels through time to save the girl he loves, played by junior Emma Orner, combining coincidental relationships and time travel.

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“I’ve always found the idea of time travel fascinating,” Shelby said. “Despite the overwhelming evidence against it, we haven’t been able to disprove its existence entirely.”

When Jason travels back in time, the plot thickens when he meets another girl, Tessa, played by senior Alice Carli. Their automatic connection was meant to convey the idea that so many relationships are based upon chance and pure coincidence, even what some may call fate.

“Jason is going about his life, completely parallel to Tessa, who could potentially be the love of his life,” Shelby said. “I found the idea interesting … I grew up listening to the story of how my parents met. So many things could have gone differently and then I never would have existed.”

For Shelby, the death scene was especially entertaining to film.

“I made a concoction of honey, syrup and assorted food dyes for the fake blood,” Shelby said.

The filming process also showed Shelby that she wanted to keep writing later on even though she didn’t know if she would have the chance to create another film.

“I like telling stories, even if I’m the only one who ever hears them,” Shelby said.

Lorraine Watkins: “A Walk Through Childhood”

Senior Lorraine Watkins took audiences on a trip back down memory lane with childhood cartoons such as “Tom and Jerry” and “Calvin and Hobbes.”

“I just wanted to create a light-hearted, fun film that would remind me and others of the characters we used to love as kids,” Lorraine said.

Using stop-motion animation, Lorraine drew frames of these characters having limited interaction but passing by each other to create continuity.

“One can recognize ‘Tom and Jerry’ chasing each other, but they were in the kitchen of ‘If You Give A Mouse A Cookie’ with the mouse who wanted milk to go with his cookie,” Lorraine said.

The process of creating the film was especially difficult because with stop-motion animation, each frame is drawn by hand then photographed to string together as a film.

“I really underestimated how much time that it needed for just a couple minutes of film,” Lorraine said. “Though I understood the work involved, sometimes it was hard to keep working at it.”

There wasn’t enough time to finish drawing the last of the frames; Lorraine ended up cutting out the ending, ultimately finishing with only a few of the characters on screen instead of all of them as she originally planned.

“I wasn’t always entirely sure I was doing it the ‘right’ way, but the images flowed relatively well in the end,” Lorraine said. “I was satisfied with the end product.”

Paul Bergevin, Jack Schonher and Tyler Polen: “Broughnuts”

The makers of “Broughnuts” were not trying to win any awards with their movie.

“We just tried to make the funnest movie for high schoolers to watch,” senior Jack Schonher said. “A lot of the humor was modeled after the ‘Harold and Kumar’ movies.”

With the goal of making “Broughnuts” the funniest movie possible, most scenes of the movie were thought of well after the original screenplay was finalized.

“The humor was original, most of the jokes weren’t written before we started shooting,” senior Tyler Polen said.

One example of this was the scene in which the two main characters were picked up by a “throwback boy band,” which became another source of improvised comedy.

“We really just pulled that out of nowhere,” Tyler said.

Jack and senior Paul Bergevin, originally wanted “Broughnuts” to be about two guys going to get food after a night of partying. But as the story developed, a larger plot began to grow.

“We realized that the audience can actually have a relationship with these characters and it can still be that laid back kind of movie,” Jack said.

As the movie began to take shape, Jack and Paul had to find the appropriate actors for the roles.

“We really wanted people that most students knew, then we could just really exaggerate their personalities and make them a little ridiculous,” Jack said.

Tyler was in charge of the technical aspects of shooting the movie. The most difficult parts for Tyler in shooting the movie were the car scenes because of the constantly changing lighting and the difficulty in getting good angles.

“I had to hang out of car doors and hang on the back of cars,” Tyler said. “But it was a chance to do something new. It was fun.”

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