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Reichhold Teen Filmmaking Program Debuts Movie Saturday

Aug. 6, 2007 — It's not "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." It's not even "Captain Ron." But for a group of teen filmmakers, the premiere of "Torn" Saturday evening culminates months of toil behind and in front of the camera.
A dozen students ages 13 to 17 dedicated their summer to learning the art of filmmaking through the Reichhold Center for the Arts’ Youth Moviemaking Workshop. Produced, written and directed by the teens, "Torn" debuts at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Reichhold theater. Admission is free.
"Having the students participate in the Youth Moviemaking Workshop is always one of the highlights of Reichhold’s summer," said Denise Humphrey, co-director of the Reichhold Center. "The students come in wanting to learn how to operate state-of-the-art equipment. They learn much more. They learn discipline and teamwork.”
"Torn" delves into the life of a young boy, Jose (Brandon Wadsworth), from the Dominican Republic who travels to St. Thomas with his baseball team. While on island, Jose befriends a young woman, Cheyenne (Damara Donovan). Through their friendship, they discover they share a disturbing past.
Directed by students Calis Cuthbertson and Larise Joasil, "Torn" also stars Damali Donovan, Anastasia Lindquist-Jean-Baptiste, Mia Carty, Jeronn Simmonds and Richard Norman. The editors are Jasmine Lindquist-Jean Baptiste, Ernest Phillips and Monae Clarke.
Many of the students do double duty. Phillip and Carty are sound engineers, while Simmonds and Norman are the lighting gurus. Clarke, Anastasia and Damali pick out costumes and props.
Freelance filmmaker Anula Shetty of Philadelphia, Penn., and Michael Kuetemeyer, professor in the Film and Media Arts program at Temple University, taught the students all about the movie-making business. YWM veterans Kheryn Callender and Gregg Farrington, both 17, assisted with the productions.
The students spent the first half of the workshop learning how to use the industry-standard moviemaking software, Final Cut Pro. They immersed themselves in hands-on technical and editing skills, including videography, photography, animation, scriptwriting and the visual language of storytelling through storyboards.
Each new skill helped the students complete a one-minute personal video. Creativity was key as the students translated a written poem into a visual element; added music, inserted still photos, texts and transitions into their videos. The YMW participants uploaded their projects onto the website.
"It took one day to put one minute of video together," said Phillips, 14. "Imagine how long it takes to put together a full-length movie."
While mastering the one-minute video, the students moved on to the larger project, "Torn." The short film came to fruition after intensive brainstorming, where each student came up with an idea and the best one was voted on.
The budding filmmakers shot the movie in two weeks, spending days on location at the Island Beachcomber Hotel. The final week of the project is spent editing the film.
For the movie's lead actor, Wadsworth, being in YMW has been fun. But now he "sees how hard actors, editors, directors and producers have to work to put together a movie," he said.
The Youth Moviemaking Workshop is made possible through support from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Artists and Communities program, the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands, Innovative Cable TV and the Prosser ICC Foundation.

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