For one Crossett High School student, the red carpet isn’t just a dream.
Neel Childress, a CHS senior, assisted in producing a film that premiered at a red carpet event on Nov.13.
In April, Childress attended Inclusion Film Camp, a program for high school juniors and seniors who are interested in pursuing a film career. The camp was in Bentonville at the Northwest Arkansas Community College. During the weeklong camp, Childress learned about filmmaking and worked with a team to produce an original film. His role in the group was to use the clapperboard to mark the start and end of each scene and take during the filming. The title of the work his group produced is “Time Tapes.”
The film tells the story of a woman, Tia Tempus, and her friends. Tia must soon prove her innocence in a court trial. As she is moving into a new house, two of her friends discover an old camera. The tape inside of the camera shows the outcome of the court case, with Tia being convicted for the crime. Also on the camera are the winning lottery numbers for the following day. The time comes for Tia’s court case, and she is declared innocent. Her friends buy a lottery ticket for her, and she is later arrested for lottery fraud. The friends discover another tape on the camera from a scientist in an unknown location. He says that he must have created a wormhole in the space-time continuum. The film ends on a cliffhanger, with the scientist screaming after he hears a loud noise emanating from the wall.
Childress said enjoyed the camp very much.
“I made new friends, and it felt good to be a part of the movie. I really liked working the clapperboard,” he said. He said he is very interested in films and dreams to work in a movie studio after completing school.
“Time Tapes” premiered at Ron Robinson Theater in Little Rock, along with the other short films groups at the camp produced. Childress said he was excited about his team’s film being shown to other people.
“I think it’s pretty cool,” he said.
The program began at 7 p.m. with an introduction of Joey Travolta, Inclusion Camps director. He provided a brief description of what happened during the 2019 film camp. Travolta said that he was appreciative of all the students for their effort.
“I’m proud of all the campers because they jumped in and did the work, and it’s going to show tonight,” he said.
The three short films were featured in a production titled “30 Minutes Tonight.” This concept is a combination of the television news shows 60 Minutes and Entertainment Tonight. The show featured interviews with the film directors and commercials created by students that advertised the ACT test. At the beginning of the premiere, there was a segment that introduced the campers and the camp theme. Fifty students attended the camp, and they were separated into small groups to create their own short films. The theme of this year’s event was “One prop, one premise.” Each group was required to base their film upon one prop that was given to them: an old video camera. Recordings were shown of group members presenting their ideas to Travolta for approval.
“Time Tapes” was the final film to be presented at the red carpet event. After all the films had been shown, plaques were awarded to each of the students in attendance who had participated in the film camp.