Goliad High has its first-ever film festival (Video)

Feb. 23, 2013 at midnight
Updated Feb. 23, 2013 at 8:24 p.m.

Experimenting with his camera techniques, Goliad student filmmaker John von Dohlen tapes between classes.

Experimenting with his camera techniques, Goliad student filmmaker John von Dohlen tapes between classes.   Frank Tilley for The Victoria Advocate

For two Goliad High School juniors, inspiration began with a few eerie heartbeats.

As part of their school's first-ever film festival, Ryder Billo, 17, and John von Dohlen, 16, plan to recreate their own version of Edgar Allen Poe's chilling short story "The Tell-Tale Heart."

But while this may be their school's first official film festival, this won't be their first production.

"We've made about 15 short films together," said Ryder. "They've been mostly for school assignments."

The students said the incorporation of video editing into their daily assignments has helped maintain their interest in their day-to-day studies.

"It's been a lot of fun," John said. "This will give us something to look back on when we're older."

Between shooting scenes in the woods and down the high school's hallways, the directing duo said they hope the story ends up lending itself to a simply constructed script.

Horror was a popular theme for the filmmaking students.

Another group made plans for a romantic drama centered around a Western and immigration theme.

One student was planning a Lifetime movie-esque plot with touches of Tim Burton in its art direction.

Zombie fans Dylan Boniface, 15; Dempsey Duprie, 18; and Logan Shows, 15, said they have invested between $300 to $400 in their production.

"If the school invested more money into a filmmaking program, I think a lot of students would enjoy it," Dempsey said. "It's a great way to express yourself through stories."

Journalism, communications, theatre and English teacher Kristin Billo, mother of Ryder, said the film festival this year was funded in part by a grant from the Goliad school district's Education Foundation.

The competition is open to all students in the Crossroads, Billo said.

"My secret hope is that our school will find interest in creating a full-fledged video department," Billo said. "We have lots of kids who really enjoy doing this."



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