GCTV holds film competition: Lights! Camera! Greenfield!

  • A scene with Elliott Lee Friesen from “Frightful Flight” by the group “Bird,” which won honorable mention in GCTV’s “Lights! Camera! Greenfield!” film competition. It was written and directed by Sofia Taylor. COURTESY Image/GCTV

  • A still from “In the Dream Time” by the group “33 Unicorns,” the first-place winner in GCTV’s “Lights! Camera! Greenfield!” film competition. COURTESY Image/GCTV

  • A scene from “Masked” by the group “Your Feature Presentation,” which received honorable mention in the “Lights! Camera! Greenfield!” film competition by GCTV. It stars Josh Smith, shown, and was directed by Malachi Abbott. COURTESY Image/GCTV

  • GCTV Programming Coordinator Ian Hamilton, left, presents the concept to participants at the “Lights! Camera! Greenfield!” film competition ​​​​​​kickoff meeting. COURTESY Image/GCTV

Staff Writer
Published: 11/12/2019 11:27:34 PM

GREENFIELD — Participants in the first “Lights! Camera! Greenfield!” film competition got to see their names and movies on the big screen at the Greenfield Garden Cinemas.

Ian Hamilton, programming coordinator with Greenfield Community Television, which organized the film competition, said he brought the idea for the event to GCTV to focus on creativity.

The competition drew seven groups of filmmakers, ranging from people who have never done anything remotely like filmmaking before to people who have degrees in film. About 60 people attended last week’s viewing.

Participants received a DVD with each of the films, and the first-place winner and honorable mentions received gift cards to Garden Cinemas.

The first-place winners were “33 Unicorns,” a team made up of Andrea Moriarty, Edmond Leclerc and Mark Pinard.

“Everyone had their own take on the film competition,” Hamilton said. “It was designed to push people to shoot outside of their comfort zone.”

No two storylines were the same. Films ranged from a dream about a baseball-playing dinosaur, to a girl searching for her father who went hunting one day, to a music video-style film about a man who got picked up by a bird and turned into one.

Sofia Taylor, of Deerfield, worked on a music video “Frightful Flight.” She said she has been working with GCTV since January and was glad to continue doing so through the competition.

“It was fun to get into a narrative and work on a deadline that is doable,” Taylor said. “You have to quickly go for it and see how it comes out.”

The idea for the video came from a song from her collaborator, Elliot Lee Friesen.

“We were trying to collaborate for a while and I asked what song might lend itself to a visual narrative, and we chose that song,” Taylor said. “It was a fun project, and a challenge to do.”

She said she’s grateful not only to the location where they filmed the video (the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum), but to GCTV for hosting the event.

“With GCTV creating this competition, it was all about small communities saying ‘yes’ to supporting local artists,” Taylor said.

The two-week-long film scavenger hunt-style competition welcomed people of all ages and experience levels.

“I was not disappointed. It was great to see such strong work,” Hamilton said. “This year also served as a way of figuring out what worked and what didn’t for us as judges.”

The staff of GCTV served as judges for the event and teams were graded based on use of prompts.

Each team started by selecting randomized prompts that needed to be incorporated into their five-minutes-or-less movies. The prompts were based on Greenfield landmarks, street art and historical markers/sites as encouragement for filmmakers to explore Greenfield. Props included a banjo, microphone, hammer, flamingo, radio, cactus, space, pasta, swing set, reptile, headphones and lollipop.

Each team could film a movie in any genre — including nonfiction — or style. But, movies had to be family-friendly because the event was open to all ages, Hamilton said.

Each film was required to incorporate the word “first” into the film somehow, seeing how it was GCTV’s first film competition. The video could be filmed on a camera or on a cellphone, with the winners using a cellphone to shoot.

Some locations that were picked included the ice skating rink, Murphy Park, the old Gazette-Courier building, Greenfield Community Television, the clock tower, the Veterans Mall, the “Brookie” fish sculpture and the Greenfield Common.

Once all of the movies were submitted on Oct. 31, judging began. GCTV staff members were also available to train and provide guidance for anyone seeking production support, as well as provide equipment on a first-come, first-served basis.

Reach Melina Bourdeau at 413-772-0261, ext. 263 or mbourdeau@recorder.com.


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