News Column

Redlands High School Digital Dogz win top filmmaking prize

November 30, 2013

YellowBrix

Nov. 30--redlands -- A film competition has honored a few good Terriers for their film "Cali."

The 5-minute original short film, written and produced by members of the Redlands High School Digital Dogz,was recognized with the top prize in the 2013 Project Access Hollywood Fest in its "Filmmaker Challenge" category.

The annual competition selects a theme for its entries, with some surprises and rules thrown into the mix.

This year's theme was "California Pride."

"There's a list of special things that have to happen. For example, say in 45 seconds you have to have high shots, but a minute and 20 seconds in you have to have a moving shot. Really kooky rules," said Kevin Bibo, RHS multimedia teacher and adviser for the Digital Dogz. Bibo's sons, Johan and Sam, also participated in the project.

The Filmmakers Challenge is open to high-school students with the hope they create visual storytelling in an universal language particularly for young people, said competition organizers.

"Cali" was shot, produced, scored and edited in a week, starting on Halloween. Digital Dogz members started brainstorming days with Bibo serving as the group's "voice of reason."

"We knew the theme a week before we got the rules. So we got together and brainstormed ideas, wrote notes down and outlined what we wanted to do," Bibo said. "When we got the rules, we applied that. We started that Friday night, and by the weekend we shot it. And put it up Thursday. It was kind of crazy."

Four Digital Dogz -- seniors Alix Zelener, John Lenertz, Christina Farrar and Jonah Bibo, all 17 -- served as officers while other students served as cast or crew members.

The film score was written, produced and performed by 2011 RHS graduate Sam Bibo.

Once complete and uploaded to the competition site, the film was screened along with other entries at the Linwood Dunn Theatre at the Pickford Center for Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, an official Motion Picture Arts and Sciences screening location, said Kevin Bibo.

"The screening was hosted by festival creator Christopher Coppola of the Coppola filmmaking family.

Festival winners were announced during a live web stream from the August Coppola Theatre at the San Francisco Art Institute.

"We were kind of maybe a little surprised," said Digital Dog Jonah Bibo. "But... the four officers had done a four-film festival earlier in the school year. So the four of us went in having a little bit of experience with the tight schedule. (But) this was nothing we've ever done before."

The RHS Digital Dogz program has been around for several years, Kevin Bibo said.

The festival was one of the few the group has entered, he said.

"Over the years an expectation has been building up.... and weaved its way into the culture of the class. The kids who come in have an expectation and they are motivated on their own."

"Cali" can be viewed on the Terriers official website at rhs.redlandsusd.net.

To learn more about festival, visit pahfest.org.

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(c)2013 the Redlands Daily Facts (Redlands, Calif.)

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