Film making class creates frightful flicks


An image from senior Ty. H's horror film titled "Celine 2." Watch Ty's video and other student videos below the story.

Allegra H.

Recently as you settled into your eighth period class, you may have heard blood-curdling screams followed by laughter reverberating through the hallways. This cacophony wasn’t created by an out of control class, but rather by productive film making students.

Film making is a semester long course that focuses on the history of movie making, camera basics, editing procedures, and the creation of your own motion pictures. The class gives students the opportunity to make their own videos that coincide with various film genres.

For the past few weeks, film making students have been recording and acting to create their own horror movies. However, before filming the frightful flicks, students had to plan the plotline of their movies.

“Before the actual film making, students have to go through the screen writing and storyboarding process, which is mainly brainstorming a story and pre-production phase of what they want their talent to do and say in their movie,” film making teacher Jarod Ockander said.

At this point, the film making class has only completed two types of films: central focus, which features one main object or person that drives the plot, and horror movies. So far, senior Ty H. has derived his ideas from other scary movies he has seen and has carried on a frightening theme in both of his movies, focusing on a fellow classmate, senior Celine F.

“I watch a lot of horror movies, but I’ve tried to make them so they’re not cliché and about vampires. So, I basically made mine about this ghost girl who comes back to life and kills people,” Ty said.

Speaking from the acting point of view, Celine said she appreciated Ty’s creativeness when it came to planning the movie and Ockander’s opinions to improve the film. For Celine, the most memorable part of making horror movies came while filming.

“I think the reaction people had when I was walking down the hallways was my favorite because people didn’t realize we were filming a movie,” Celine said. “I was just wearing some crazy old dress and looking like I was dead and going to kill someone.”

While some students use books and movies they’ve seen for inspiration, others feature their own fears. By focusing on an object she found eerie, junior Melea B. quickly came up with the idea for her horror movie “Angel.”

“I really hate dolls. My mom sets a doll out for Christmas every year, and it sits out at night in the hallway,” Melea said. “It’s the creepiest thing ever, so I was like, ‘I’m going to do a horror movie over that.’”

Once the filming process is complete, students use a movie editing software called Adobe Premiere Elements 12 to piece clips of their movie together and create a seamless final product.

“If I ever wanted to create a video to promote something, I could because I know how to use the software,” Celine said. “Editing together your movie on Adobe makes it simpler because before I tried to use Nero and it was really hard.”

Beyond actually making their own scary movies, students also had the opportunity to learn about the background and techniques of past famous horror films.

“I would say the class is way more informational than people would think. We take notes and do worksheets; it’s not all about making films,” Ty said. “It was definitely fun learning about the history of horror films because you talk about original Frankenstein and Dracula, and it’s really interesting.”

Although horror movies were generally effective, some ended up causing more smiles than screams among their audience members.

“We try to creatively think of a scary concept that would strike fear into the hearts of people,” Ockander said. “Too often, our intentions of being scary end up being a bit more comedic than our original intent, but having students use a variety of camera angles and then edit the movie seamlessly can still help us master our educational objective.”

Check out the horror films made by the film making students below. After watching the flicks, vote for your favorite on our poll.

Video by junior Autumn G.
Video by senior Ty H.
Video by junior Melea B.
Video by junior Sabra M.