Pulaski’s creative crew of kids premiere short-films
PULASKI — Cars lined both sides of West Main Street in Pulaski as a crowd gathered in the lobby of the Pulaski Theatre on Wednesday night, eagerly waiting to be seated.
But it wasn’t the latest blockbuster hit the crowd was there to see.
Two short films were being shown, along with several classic, black-and-white cartoon films. Movie-goers grabbed their popcorn and drinks minutes before the program began and hurried inside.
Moments later, the short films’ stars, a group of home-schooled students, took to the stage to walk the red carpet.
The night was envisioned about a year ago when The Creativity Project began a new unit project that centered on the entire video production process from beginning to end.
A group of about 20 home-schooled students ages 3-16 comprise The Creativity Project, which is led by co-leaders Susan Parkhurst and Ginger Ratcliffe, among other home-schooling parents.
Parkhurst and Ratcliffe wanted to find a group of home-schooled children so their own children could participate in group activities. However, that was hard to find, and the two quickly became frustrated.
“When we realized there wasn’t that many options, we thought other people were probably having the same problem,” Parkhurst said. “We originally started a 4-H group, but that quickly evolved into this.”
Parkhurst said The Creativity Project was born several years ago because they wanted something outside-of-the-box, creative and imaginative.
Now, the group is doing just that.
Students worked numerous hours in two groups over the past year to create the films, which premiered Wednesday night to a crowd of about 50.
The first film was called “The Wizard of Odd” and parodied “The Wizard of Oz.” In this film, students imagined the original characters as the complete opposite character, which created quite the comical dilemma for many of those characters.
The second group created a suspenseful zombie thriller called “Zombie Xing,” in which zombies invade the town of Pulaski and several residents and townspeople are featured.
For both films, the group gained experience in brainstorming, coming up with an original script, storyboarding and putting it all together to create their final products.
Parkhurst said students working on “Zombie Xing” also visited a movie producer in Botetourt County who worked on “War of the Worlds” to learn more about the movie production process.
Wednesday night’s movies were well-received by the audience, and the group of students were welcomed on-stage with a standing ovation and even mini-Oscar awards.
“It was amazing being on the big screen,” sixth-grader Charlie Martin Collins said.
“How often do you get to do that?”
Seventh-grader Jesi Moore said she enjoyed the project because she was able to learn more about filmmaking and acting, but she also learned how to remember things more easily after memorizing the script.
Canned-food items were collected as admission to the movie premieres to benefit Feeding America.
In the past, The Creativity Project has worked on projects about Shakespeare, photography and dendrology, or the study of wooded plants.
Students will work on a project in the coming weeks where they will study Nobel Peace Prize winners and their contributions to the world.
For more information about The Creativity Project, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/groups/135673469862956.
The Roanoke Times | 381-8627