Meet the artists: Youth filmmakers from around the region participate in the upcoming U19 Film Fest
As the rest of the youth filmmakers at Rossland’s Miners’ Hall on Tuesday worked away at the screenings, trouble-shooting technical difficulties and discussing the various films’ merits, I stole a few moments with a trio from J.L. Crowe who have submitted two films to the U19 Film Fest, and a familiar pair from Rossland who have teamed up for a new entry.
Tim Baldwin and Chris Tremblay are friends from Fruitvale who have combined forces with Jordan Strobel of Warfield to produce two films. All three attended the RCAC-KAST workshop in Trail last fall and said they had picked up useful new skills, particularly “camera angles and filming techniques,” said Strobel, whose film “Zombie Apocalypse” was shown at the Reel Youth Festival.
“Over the last year we really got into [making films]. Before that we just did it for fun,” Baldwin said. Strobel got hooked when one of his friends “really got into it,” and Strobel ended up making short movies with him.
For the gala, Baldwin made a film with Tremblay in which Tremblay is kidnapped by a “mysterious kidnapper.” Baldwin flashes back to childhood memories until he is inspired to go to Tremblay’s rescue, and saves him. The 3.5 minute film is “kind of like a drama,” Baldwin said.
Tremblay said they were surprised at how much work the films required. Baldwin reported that the drama took two days to film and eight hours to edit.
Strobel teamed up with them to make a “ski edit” of footage he mostly took up at Red Mountain’s terrain park filming other skiers moves. His film, unfortunately, hadn’t worked properly on the system at the Miners’ Hall, proving the importance of a preview before the big night.
All three wanted to continue making films, perhaps even after they leave school. Baldwin was keen on “anything” to do with film and Strobel was interested to find work making sports films.
Rossland’s own James Klemmensen and Liam Barnes have teamed up for a submission in the “environment” category. Klemmensen and Barnes both had films screened at the Reel Youth Festival in November—Barnes’ urban acrobatics flick, “Surge Freerun: Year One,” that he produced with Justin Zimmer, and Klemmensen’s jazz fest documentary, “More Than Just Music.”
At least “subconsciously” influenced by the recent film, “All I Can,” Klemmensen said their wordless one-minute film creatively flows ski footage, mostly of Xander Sterpin slaying pow on Mt Roberts, to tell the story: “Snow is precious. It’s important that we don’t let it go, that we don’t let it get to that point that we don’t have any.”
When pressed for the dangers snow faces, he laughed (as if to say, what planet are you from?) and did not hesitate: “Global warming.”
“It’s not too deep, I guess,” Barnes said (in a double-entendre that left me wondering whether he meant the snow or the film.) “It’s a little different than the other environmental ones. We didn’t want to do one that was just facts and still shots. Instead we made one that was basically ski-oriented. We made a nice looking video, without facts, to express how important snow is to skiers, and how if we don’t help the environment we’re going to lose it.
The pair mostly had their filming tricks tucked away by the time Barnes attended the workshop last fall, but he still found it useful in terms of working in groups. “It was great to see younger folks out,” Barnes said, “and I was inspired by Andre Nutini when he came to speak for sure.”
Klemmensen made his first films in Grade 4, when he was into “generic films,” like Star Wars. “I started making adventure films with my friends, and progressed, I don’t want to say artistic…more into cinematography.”
He is gung-ho about a career in film. “For sure,” he said. The focus on sports, however, is just for the moment. “Everyone loves the sports films at the festivals,” he said. On his website, Klemmensen writes, “videos and my passions are much more important to me then school could ever be.”
Barnes added his opinion that the upcoming gala “is going to be even better than the Reel Youth festival because there will be way more sports films.”
But like Klemmensen, Barnes is not tied down to sports alone. “The reason I like sports films here,” he said, “is because, first of all sports photography is really fascinating, and tough to get a good handle on, but there are also so many sports available in this town—why wouldn’t you practice with sports?”
He sees a future in it: “If not for a career, of course I’ll be doing it when I’m an adult, regardless of what job I have. Sure, I’d like to be a director of photography. I think feature length films would be cool.”
And to those fans who have been chomping on the bit for “Surge: Year Two,” for the last year-and-a-half, Barnes said, “it’s going to be much, much better. We start filming as soon as the snow melts…”