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Victoria students take cues from film professionals

By Carolina Astrain
June 16, 2014 at 1:16 a.m.

Ethan Hartman, 10, of Victoria, right, watches as makeup artist April Downs, 31,  demonstrates how to make a fake cut on the hand of Katarina Tyll, 15, of San Antonio, at the Young Filmmakers Institute at Trinity Episcopal School.

Tres Eberle listened as freelance media professional Anthony Ferreri demonstrated how to insert a memory card into a digital sound recorder.

"Don't fight it," said Ferreri, a Los Angeles resident. "If it doesn't go in immediately, it's better not to force it, or the memory card might break."

A large boomstick microphone hovered over the students, who are attending the third annual Young Filmmaker's Institute hosted by the Victoria TX Independent Film Festival, on Monday at Trinity Episcopal School.

Tres, who is entering the seventh grade in the fall, said he became interested in the camp after his mother recommended checking it out.

"I like watching movies," Tres, 12, said. "It's been cool learning how to set stuff up and how to use the equipment."

Eighteen students in second through eighth grades focused primarily on developing audio, makeup and video skills.

Ethan and Ryan Hartman, twin 10-year-old brothers who were part of the film camp last year, said they returned this year because they enjoyed the training.

"The makeup is my favorite part," Ethan said.

Ryan agreed.

A bright red and bloody fake scar rested on Ethan's arm.

"I'm thinking about becoming either a professional makeup artist or a dog trainer," Ryan said.

Jake Ramirez, a festival volunteer and professional photographer, said he's enjoyed seeing the students progress throughout the camp.

"I like teaching," Ramirez said. "The most challenging part has been getting them to focus."

At the camp, some of the students are making a documentary on the Vine School to raise awareness of the school's work with children with autism, Ramirez said.

"These kids are going to be doing everything themselves: the writing, the shooting, the editing - everything," Ramirez said. "We're in support of the school's mission."

In the meantime, April Downs, a professional makeup artist and stylist from Austin, kept busy showing students how to create ghoulish looks.

Downs did the makeup for "Where the Red Fox Lies," an independent film screened at the Victoria TX Independent Film Festival in April.

"So far, so good," Downs, 31, said. "They're really enjoying it and doing well."



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