Budding young filmakers win award

Oxford Middle School students Keegan Upham, Charlie Fracker and Zach Cabanillas wrote, directed and produced a short film that received an award at Orion Neighborhood Television’s 2017 Wildwood Film Festival. Photo provided.
Oxford Middle School students Keegan Upham, Charlie Fracker and Zach Cabanillas wrote, directed and produced a short film that received an award at Orion Neighborhood Television’s 2017 Wildwood Film Festival. Photo provided.

Fracker shot the video on a Canon Rebel digital camera and edited it using Adobe Premiere, both of which he had previously purchased for his past film projects.

“He saved his birthday and Christmas money up for two years to get those,” said his mother, Julie Fracker, with a chuckle.

He also wrote the script and directed while Cabanillas and Upham starred in the film.

“It felt great getting first (place). I did not think that I was going to get anywhere near that when I started but, when I did, I was very surprised. My friends and I were really excited,” Fracker said.

Participants had four days to film and edit their entries for the competition.

For their film, the boys were required to include scenes filmed at Canterbury Village in Orion Township, which posed a bit of a challenge for the team, according to Fracker.

“It was really difficult because the weather wasn’t cooperating with us. It was raining all weekend. We had two days to shoot it and then I had to edit it the rest of those days. It was pretty difficult, but it was fun, too,” he explained.

Although Fracker has been filming and producing short films regularly for his YouTube channel over the last few years, he said the competition helped him improve his ability to work within tight time constraints.

“It was my first time filming something for a competition and I learned a lot about how film festivals work and (about) having a time limit for things. It gave me a taste of how difficult it can be for big movie producers to make films like this,” he added.

The script was written by Fracker and the film took him more than six hours to edit.

The Wildwood Challenge and Festival is an annual filmmaking competition which is coordinated by ONTV in Lake Orion.

“The goal is to get people into the studio and get them excited about local media centers like ONTV and (Oxford Community Television) in Oxford,” explained ONTV Executive Director Ian Locke. “It allows kids and families to come in and get a taste of what it’s like to produce their own film or being exposed to creating their own media.”

There were 16 entries overall in the 2017 Wildwood competition, with 11 in the youth division, according to Locke.

Fracker hopes to continue making films in the future and eventually, study filmmaking at New York University.

Entry fees for the competition were donated to Lake Orion High School’s suicide prevention program, which received nearly $300. Through these competitions, ONTV has thus far, raised more than $1,000 for the program.

“About Last Knight” can be viewed on Fracker’s YouTube channel, Literally Nothing TV.

 

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