Teen film fest sparks creativity

first_img“You learn through trial and error and after a while get better,” he said. “It used to be after one take I was done. For `Masquerade’ we shot in the classroom for eight hours. … I’ve had more than 20 takes for one scene.” In “Masquerade,” Moore used classmates, parents and even teacher Larry Jones, whose Moorpark High teams have won two National Academic Decathlon championships. The film showed how pressure for academic and financial success at home and at school can stifle a teenage girl’s artistic inclinations. Moore said he plans to enter the teen video festival again this year and to go on to film school after he graduates from high school. “Entering the film festival encourages you to constantly be doing more,” he said. “You can’t really grow if you haven’t learned what works and what doesn’t work.” J.J. Linsalata, the chairman and co-producer of the festival, an assistant director of films and television shows and a former teacher at New York University’s film school, said the only way to learn filmmaking is through experience. “Trying, failing and trying again is essential to learning any art form, and film encompasses many forms,” Linsalata said. “If they keep trying, they grow.” Blum is a perfect example of that. He started out with a documentary about a trip to a fire station with his father and kept entering each year until he won best overall video last year for a documentary called “Operation Footprint: The Steps to a New Life.” To make that film, Blum accompanied a group of doctors on a trip to Honduras, where they did surgery on children with club feet. Linsalata said documentaries don’t often win best overall film honors, so for Blum to win in the teen competition was unusual. It would be like Al Gore’s global-warming documentary winning the Best Picture Oscar at this year’s Academy Awards, he said. “To keep trying is the best thing you can really do. You’re learning something each time about putting a film together,” said Blum, who plans to enter the film festival for the sixth time this year with a short in honor of his grandfather, Jules Turbin, who died last year at 73. When he graduates from Thousand Oaks High School, Blum plans to attend California State University, Northridge, where he hopes his experience in the teen video festival will help him get into the competitive film program. Nancy Schroeder, a former CNN reporter who has been teaching mass media at Thousand Oaks High for 11 years, said he is one of her star students, although any one of them could be the next Spielberg. “When you deal with creativity, it’s just fun every day,” she said, adding that the Internet has given teens today a whole new outlet for their work. “This generation has taken creativity beyond any other.” [email protected] (805) 583-7602 Information The ninth annual Conejo Teen Video Festival is accepting entries through June 1. Entry forms and details are available at the festival’s Web site, www.conejoteenvideofestival.org. For more information, call Time Warner Community Cable at (818) 879-5993, Ext. 220, or Pete Martinez at (805) 381-2793.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! THOUSAND OAKS – Kellen Moore and Aaron Blum are still teenagers, but they are veteran moviemakers with years of experiences that have taught them to try over and over again – whether they win awards or not. Moore first entered the Conejo Teen Video Festival when he was 15. Blum’s first attempt came at age 12. Neither won awards at first, but last year both were among the top winners in the competition that has attracted more than 1,000 entries over the past eight years from throughout Ventura and Los Angeles counties. “I don’t think anyone can honestly think the first time they try something they can be perfect at it,” said Moore, 18, a Moorpark High School senior who won the best cinematography award last year for his film “Masquerade” and best technical achievement for a music video called “One Word.” last_img