By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — Anticipation filled the air as Dearborn High School video program students awaited backstage to premiere their short films for friends and family.
On the bill this year were five short films including “The Clown Next Door,” “Lack of Color,” “Man’s Best Friend,” “Unexplainable Mysteries” and “No Strings Attached.”
The award winning films were unveiled to the public at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center May 25 and 26.
This year students involved in the program won three Emmy Awards and were nominated for five others in the long form, public service, animation and graphics, directing, editing, and cinematography categories.
“I really don’t have a favorite film this year,” DHS Video Instructor Kurt Doelle said. “I’m equally happy and proud of all the films.”
“The Clown Next Door,” is about what happens when Dexter Neal sees one of his biggest fears come to life after a clown moves in next-door.
The film is an Emmy Award winning short and also won Best of Show at the Digital Arts and Television Awards.
“Man’s Best Friend” features an employed man in his early 20s who considers taking his own life before a surprise comes to his door helping save his life.
“Lack of Color” tells the story of 17-year-old outsider who relies on pills to aid her life. She creates an imaginary world with a character named Jason who helps her through her day, but has to face life’s obstacles after the pills run out.
Students auditioned to fill the roles of actor, director, sound technician, producer, camera operator, editor, lighting and set design.
Over 100 students were involved in the process.
For filming, students scout locations and work with local businesses and the community to coordinate dates and times.
“My favorite part of the process is seeing my final work play on the big screen,” DHS junior and “The Clown Next Door” Director Madison Murdoch, 17, said.
For DHS senior Same Layman, 16, who served as sound technician on the film “No Strings Attached” he enjoyed meeting and working with Doelle.
DHS senior and third-year program member Aya Zeid directed “Lack of Color” and credits the program for building relationships.
“I love this program not just because of the film elements we learn about, but because of the friends I have made,” she said.
Filming began in October after the students narrowed down ideas from 20 to four to put into production.
In 2015, the video program ended its creation of feature films and made the switch to more compact films.
“We are continuing to try different film stories and styles,” Doelle said. “All the films are shorter, commercially viable and under an hour this year.”
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected].)