Aug. 13, 2007 – After seven weeks of learning the basics of making movies, young moviemakers were full of emotion on Saturday for the premiere of their film Torn at UVIs Reichhold Center for the Arts.
The students of the Youth Moviemaking Workshop (YMW) produced the movie from beginning to end: creating the script concept, writing the script, directing and starring in the movie. They covered the technical aspects too - shooting the movie, gathering sound and editing the movie. There were also the practical aspects - like props and costume design - that the students had to work on also.
All 12 students, who range in age from 13 to 17 years, had a role in the production. The end product was a movie, about 20 minutes long, that delved into issues of stereotypes, cultural differences and family secrets.
The films director, Calis R. Cuthbertson, and assistant director Larise A. Joasil were all smiles and giggles when they took to the podium to introduce the movie.
In the movie Jose, played by Brandon Wadsworth, and his baseball team from the Dominican Republic come to St. Thomas for a tournament. His teammates are confident of their win because they think people from St. Thomas are lazy and dont work together. At the Island Beachcomber Hotel where the team stays, Jose meets Cheyenne , played by Jasmine Lindquist-Jean Baptiste. Cheyenne is a teenager who helps her mother, a housekeeper at the hotel. Jose and Cheyenne have an instant connection, but Cheyennes mother forbids the friendship
As the story unfolds, the characters begin to realize the consequences of lies, stereotypes and family secrets.
Torn also starred Damali Donovan, Anastasia Lindquist-Jean-Baptiste, Jeronn Simmonds and Richard Norman. Jasmine Lindquist-Jean Baptiste, Ernest Phillips and Monae Clarke were the editors. Phillips and Carty were also the sound engineers, while Simmonds and Norman were the lighting technicians. Clarke, Lindquist-Jean-Baptiste and Donovan selected costumes and props.
Torn came complete with a trailer and a behind-the-scenes documentary. It began with each of the students giving their definition of the word stereotype.
The movie was filmed at various locations on the western end of St. Thomas, including the Reichhold Center, Brewers Bay, the Island Beachcomber Hotel and the entrance of the Cyril E. King Airport . It was produced in three weeks two weeks shooting and one week editing.
While the evening was dedicated to the premiere of Torn, all of the students other video projects were also screened. The projects ranged from silent shorts, to animations to short stories — there was even a how to feature on making animations. In the short story Half of Me Phillips examined his Virgin Islands and Pilipino heritage. The animation When Toys Come To Lyfe, looked at what happens when a toddler leaves his toys on the living room floor. The short subject Calypso expressed Simmonds passion for the music.
All summer long, all we heard was this song, the YMW Director Denise R. Humphrey said of Simmonds project.
The giggles of the students faded and a hush fell on the 70 or so people who attended the event during the screening of Stories of Survival, a documentary on local cancer survivors, also produced by the students. Humphrey explained that the project was a collaboration with the Charlotte Kimmelman Cancer Center .
Humphrey said the documentary will also be used by Termite TV Collective, the video collective that is co-directed Michael Kuetemeyer and Anula Shetty, the visiting instructors of the YMW.
The YMW was established by the Reichhold Center to increase the film/video literacy of the young people in the Virgin Islands. Its mission is to encourage young people to develop their creative potential through effective use of media technology for education, information, recreation and career opportunities.
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