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Zombies take over film camp (video)

By KBell
July 21, 2012 at 2:21 a.m.
Updated July 22, 2012 at 2:22 a.m.


FILM EXCHANGE

Film ExChange is a nonprofit that connects film festivals from cities in Texas and in New Orleans, Germany and Brooklyn.

To learn more and watch movie trailers, visit to FilmExchange.org

To learn more about the Victoria Independent Film Festival, visit to vtxiff.com

In the middle of casual conversation, one student approached another to place a shard of glass in the giant gash on her forehead.

"Put two pieces in," Taylor Swor, 11, said from the makeup chair.

The glass was a cut-up piece of plastic, and the gash - though realistic-looking - was nothing more than theatrical makeup. The students from Trinity Episcopal were prepping for a video shoot the following day as part of Film ExChange's Young Filmmakers Institute.

"They never do this in Victoria, so it's pretty cool to learn something I wouldn't be able to learn otherwise," Luke Bubela, 12, said as he doctored Taylor's zombie face.

Anthony Pedone, director of Victoria-based Film ExChange, said he wanted to host a film camp for kids to keep up momentum from Victoria's first independent film festival in March. Thanks to a few sponsorships, Pedone was able to give kids a free camp that brought in experts from the movie-making business - like a special effects makeup artist - and allowed them the chance to explore their creativity in front of and behind the camera.

"I love watching the kids ... You just see their little lights come on. I was blown away," Pedone said. "I wish I'd had something like this when I was a kid."

Throughout the six-day camp, students learned shooting techniques, editing software and makeup and they were even given a chance to be on set for the scene of Pedone's movie, "Roundball." Students edited the scene, which will appear in the actual movie - with their names in the credits to boot.

"I've learned a lot about special effects. I thought it was more complicated," Luke said. "I learned that most of the time, things aren't what you'd think."

They learned appearances could be deceiving after just a few days in the makeup chair. That's where they perfected creating scars, scrapes, bruises and all-out gore.

Taylor said she went out for ice cream after camp one day, and the makeup had people fooled.

"Nobody really talked to me at Marble Slab," she said, laughing. "I explained before he kicked me out."

On Friday, the week-long crash course in cinema came to a head. Students shot a film that had zombies overtaking the Trinity school, newscasters reporting on the invasion and superheroes that stopped the undead with - what else? - yo-yos.

In the end, the kids went home with a DVD of their creation, and, if Pedone has his way, a newfound creativity.

"It's really important that kids understand there's not limitations," he said.

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