Teen Film Crew Premieres Short Film Finding Sporky

*This post was written by the videographer/unit publicist of Specific Ocean Studios, the Summer 2017 Teen Moviecraft production crew*

Videographer/Unit Publicist Stephanie Bradshaw

My name is Stephanie Bradshaw, and I am the videographer and unit publicist for this summer’s Teen Moviecraft Program. Our team joined together this summer to create a film production crew dubbed Specific Ocean Studios, and together we have worked for seven weeks to create our short film, Finding Sporky. Finding Sporky was written by Carolynn Bradshaw and John Goodner and directed by Leah Khanu and Natalie Knowles. Our film is about a boy named John who throws a party when his little brother Jimmy swallows a spork, and his parents have to take him to the hospital. During the party things go horribly wrong when Steve the Spoon attacks with his army of household items like the Gangster Knives! This film has been a lot of fun to make, and it’s been great getting to see everyone work in their different jobs including set designer, special FX, costume and makeup designer and more.

Capturing the magic!

In between filming behind-the-scenes clips and taking pictures, I had the chance to talk to the co-directors about our film.

What is your expectation for the film?

Directors: Even though we know there may be some bumps in the road, we hope that everything goes smoothly and that our film turns out to be great. We hope that it turns out to be something that we can all be proud of.

I also interviewed the screenwriters of our film, Carolynn Bradshaw and John Goodner.

Joel Hileman, Carolynn Bradshaw, and Sophia Edmonson filming a scene

How did you come up with the story?

Writers: At first we just had a logline (a one-sentence summary of the story), and that gave us a feel of what we were doing. We knew we had this character, John, and he would be attacked by the spoon. Then we collaborated with the team to add other household items attacking people at a party. Once that idea was fleshed out, we had Natalie and Leah bring all of these ideas together into a single vision.

Did you enjoy writing this film?

It was fun! We got together at the writer’s table with the directors, and we wrote this amazing script. We ended up laughing so much that we could barely get anything down at first. It was an experience that we’ll never forget!

How did you come up with the characters?

Grant Bliss, Gia Alicea, Kristen Bradshaw, and Kyle Duggan at the “doctor’s office!”

It just happened. I (Carolynn Bradshaw) always love coming up with characters that have personalities as crazy and different as you can imagine. These kinds of characters really fit in with our hilarious storyline.

With this film being half animated, it took a bit more time and patience to do the stop motion and puppetry. With only two hours a week for seven weeks, we at Specific Ocean Studios definitely had a lot to do, but it was so worth it to finally have our film come together. I can’t wait for you to see Finding Sporky at our Red Carpet Premiere this Friday, July 28 at 6:30PM. All community members are welcome to come watch our film, snack on some popcorn, and talk with us about our project. I hope to see you there!

Specific Ocean Studios Logo designed by our awesome graphic artists Chloe Brown, Kaia Briggs, and Kaleb Trujillo!

The Magic of Movie Making

The library’s Moviecraft program started with a simple idea. Besides a degree in English, I have a degree in film production and screenwriting and a degree in social work. I knew how to film, and I knew how to work with young people. One of our staff members recommended that I could lead some kind of filming workshop with the teens if I wanted to. From that tiny suggestion, the fire was ignited and lightning struck. Moviecraft was born.

I’ve been hosting the Moviecraft program since the summer of 2014 with this season’s Diamond Starlight Productions project marking the sixth time we’ve dived into the impossible, and Moviecraft, on the surface, seems impossible. We bring 30 teens (6th-12th grade) or tweens (3rd – 8th grade) together, and in seven weeks, twelve weeks, 14 hours, or 24 hours, we produce from the very beginning, a short film.

We start with what our team name should be. We’ve had so many incredible (and incredibly crazy) production teams; Sock Studios, Imagination Pictures, Golden Pancake Productions, Fingerprint Films, and our most recent, Diamond Starlight Productions. The name is their first act of compromise, of collaboration, and Moviecraft, at it’s core, is all about collaboration. From writing the script to working in their specific jobs that mirror a Hollywood crew, our community’s young people learn how to talk to each other, how to work through big challenges, and how to tell a good story.

Diamond Starlight Productions was one of our most challenging sessions. With a demanding script, a grueling schedule, and a lot of energetic kids, we had so much to overcome, but oh how they did. They shared their work, dared to step out of their comfort zone, and when the sound on the audio cut out or set pieces fell a part, they tried and tried again. It’s remarkable to see our teens and tweens in action and even more remarkable to see the proud faces of their friends and family at the Red Carpet Premiere. We’ve seen that it’s not the awesome explosions or cool visual effects that make our movies magical. It’s our team, our young people, who are the real magic makers.

We’ve got so much in store for Moviecraft this summer and another huge challenge ahead of us; animation! If you or someone you know is going into 6th grade or higher next year, we’d love to have them join us on this magical ride that is movie making. Registration opens up on May 30th at 9AM!

Interview with Local Teen Author

 

Kristen Bradshaw wears a lot of superhero shirts. Though in the two years I’ve known her, I’ve seen her don the occasional skirt with leggings or laced blouse, Ms. Bradshaw’s uniform of choice is usually a Deadpool or Captain America shirt to pair with her streaks of electric blue hair. The attire is fitting for a superhero such as herself who wields a power so strong that it has built monuments and changed history. Kristen Bradshaw is a writer.

Kristen has been writing consistently for four years, but was born a reader. The nineteen year old devours stories, soaking up their richness and seeking out new works to consume. Upon a suggestion from her older brother, Kristen tried telling a story of her own. It was a decision that led to a life-changing addiction. She now presents the self-publication of her first novel, The Guardians of the Cross, bound by The Book Patch. I took some time to talk with this young author about her writing process, the themes of the book, and her upcoming meet and greet at the library.

 

Where did you get the idea for The Guardians of the Cross?

My high school graduation was superhero themed, and I was interested in telling a story about a group of kids who discovered these special powers. I wanted to tell a story with a lot of characters and a lot of action.

 What was it like writing this novel? You are a self-taught writer, correct?

Yeah, I’ve never had any training or anything. I just started. It was rocky at first, but after working at it for a while, it got a lot easier. It still took about two and half years to finish the book.

What is your writing process like? Do you write every day or only when inspiration strikes? Do you have a certain ritual when writing?

I try to write every day, usually in afternoon. I like to work on a computer and have music playing. It’s usually Disney songs or some other random music that I’m into at the time. My sister, Carolynn, sometimes hovers over my shoulder trying to read what I’m working on.

Is that okay with you or do you prefer to keep your work private until it’s finished?  

It’s a bit of both. If I’m stuck on something, I’ll have her [sister, Carolynn] read it and help me out, but most of the time I like to get it all done first. I usually have my Dad read through it after I’m done to give me feedback, and my sisters have helped me with how the characters sound and talk.

 Were there any books or stories that inspired The Guardians of the Cross?

I love the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan and borrowed a few names from his books. I love the action sequences and the relationships between the characters. One of my author role models is Christopher Paolini. He wrote the Inheritance Trilogy when he was young, and I relate a lot to his reasons for writing and his style.

Which characters do you relate to the most? Are any of your characters inspired by people in your life?

I relate a lot to Jinx because he’s so crazy and fun.  I also relate to Brad and Phoebe. It was really fun to write Brad and Echo’s characters because they kind of took on a life of their own. They blossomed into the characters that they are and I was just kind of pulled along. Ella Grace is based off of my sister, Carolynn, and Jason is a bit of my brother, Jamey.

The Guardians of the Cross tends to blend between the Young Adult, Christian Fiction, and Science Fiction genres. Was that intentional?

I relate to young adult fiction since I’m still in that age group, and I love stories with a supernatural or magical twist. I want to write stories that show that being a Christian isn’t boring and reading the Bible isn’t boring. I wanted to write a story with Christian ideas that was interesting and exciting.

What are you working on now?

I’m finishing up the sequel to The Guardians of the Cross. It will be a trilogy so I’ll start the third book next. I also have eight other ideas that I’ve been playing around with so who knows what I’ll write after that!

Your meet and greet at the library is coming up. Is there anything you would like your readers to know?

Thank you so much for reading my book, and I hope you like it!

To find out more about The Guardians of the Cross, take a look at its Goodreads profile and add it to your to-read list!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34372562-guardians-of-the-cross

Community members can meet Kristen Bradshaw at her Author Meet-Up on Saturday, March 18 at 10AM in the library. Her novel, The Guardians of the Cross, is available for check out in our library collection.