Student Film Company Makes an Impact
The Ace Film Production Company’s latest release, Juden raus!, a hard-hitting tale of Nazi persecution circa 1938, has appeared on cable TV and been lauded at film festival screenings. What makes the 20-minute film particularly noteworthy is that it was entirely written, performed, produced and directed by students at the Elizabeth Blackwell Middle School in Ozone Park (Queens), New York.
The documentary depicts, in stark reality, the efforts of two sisters as they try to flee Nazi persecution in Germany. Extensive student research and on-location filming, including use of a recently desecrated Jewish cemetery add to the film’s realism.
Juden raus! was shot on a JVC GY-X3 (1995 MSRP $5,500) 3-CCD, S-VHS camcorder. The students edited the project on a Dell Pentium III 500MHz with 128MB RAM, stacked with three hard drives: 20GB, 35GB and 45GB. The class used a Pinnacle CD30 Pro Package video capture card and Adobe Premiere 5.1C editing software to edit the film. A Panasonic AG-1980 S-VHS editing deck completed the system.
The Ace Film Production Company, students from the eighth-grade ACE gifted program, is now in its fourth year. It has produced five broadcast-quality films.
The middle school’s program began in 1997, conceived by social studies teacher Karl Heidenreich and language arts teacher Ted Feimer. Heidenreich, who has his eyes on a Mini DV camcorder for the next production, said creating Juden raus! required extensive research and thorough knowledge of issues and events surrounding the Holocaust.
"The kids know more about the subject matter than most teachers who teach it," Heidenreich said.
He would like more educators to follow his students’ example, using video as an effective teaching tool.
"I want to encourage other teachers to do something like this," he said. "We did this (film) with three teachers and about 15 students. And it wasn’t too hard to set up the equipment. It’s not as scary as it may seem. Just dive in; try it out."
YesVideo Jumps on PictureStage Web Site
The YesVideo conversion service, founded in 1999, is now featured on the Panasonic-sponsored PictureStage Web site. Want to switch your home videos from tape to disc? Have YesVideo convert them to DVD. The service welcomes all videotape formats VHS, VHS-C, Mini DV, 8mm and Hi8. The service provides an answer to tape degradation and offers the ease of enjoying DVD technology, including not having to rewind or fast-forward. DVDs come with scene-detection-created thumbnails for easy navigation. The DVD-conversion service is $49.95, and $29.95 for additional copies from the same tape.
The PictureStage Web site, aside from offering the new YesVideo service, lets users archive, organize and share digital still photos in personal photo albums, making it easy to exchange photos with family and friends. For more information, visit www.picturestage.com.
The Fairfax (Va.) Film and Video Festival, designed to showcase quality short films and provide a forum for amateur film and video producers, is accepting submissions. The festival will present "films and videos that inspire, inform, educate, entertain and help further the ideal embodied in our nation’s first amendment." Amateur VHS-NTSC tapes, not to exceed 15 minutes, must be received by Nov. 1, 2001. The festival culminates with a gala award ceremony in early December. For more information, call (703) 573-1900 or visit www.fairfaxfilmfestival.org.
The Kansas City Filmmakers Jubilee has announced a call for entries for the short film division of Jubilee 2002. Submissions must be 30 minutes or under, and may originate in any film, video or digital medium. General categories are Underground, Open and 8mm. The Jubilee welcomes films that "challenge, entertain and provoke." An early deadline of Dec. 1, 2001 has been set. The Jubilee will announce winners by Feb 28, 2002. For more information, call (913) 649-0244 or e-mail KCJub@kcjubilee.org.
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Media Cost per Minute Table
Mini DV tape
CD-R (burned as VCD)
CD-RW (burned as VCD)
30GB, 7,200RPM U100
hard drive, medium quality