STEPHENVILLE (February 28, 2017) – Stephenville High School continues to shine in a variety of competitions as the spring semester gets underway. SHS tech theatre students Emily Moore and Caleb Gibbons advanced to the state UIL Young Filmmakers Festival competition with their documentary of Stephenville’s Heart of Gold tradition. Tomorrow the two Stephenville High School seniors will travel to Austin to find out results.
“This is the first time we’ve had anyone go to state,” Stephenville High School theatre teacher Mindy Pope said. “Last year was the first year we entered [this competition], and we had several films go to semi-finals. Only six films in each category go to state, so we are guaranteed to place at least sixth.”
The state finals will be held in Austin at the historic Paramount Theatre. All films from each category and division will be played on the big screen for competitors to watch.
“It’s about 48 films,” Moore said. “[The screening] will be about five hours, so it’s a really long event. Then, after that at around midnight, they will announce the winners of each category. It’s an honor to be able to go, and the venue is so beautiful. It’s going to be a formal, fancy event. That’s what I’m most excited for.”
Gibbons, besides getting out of class, is excited to see go and see their film on a professional screen. He said that making this film had “a lot of challenges,” including interviewing and editing throughout the process.
“We had I would say almost 200 videos,” Gibbons said. “Emily went off on Christmas vacation, and her phone messed up and lost half of our videos. I say just the fact that we made [the video] when we had to come back after Christmas break and do reshoots and find everybody again [is exciting].”
But, the two consider the finished video worth all of the effort that they have put in since last October. Moore and Gibbons interviewed teachers, substitutes, the Nelson family, community members and even Cody Davis from the L.A. Rams.
“The reason I think the film has been so successful is because the film is not one story but two,” Gibbons said. “It tells of a community and a tradition coming together. Then the second half of the film is really going into this year and giving an inside look of what it is actually like and letting people see this year how it was for the Nelson family.”
For Moore, the best part of this experience was “having the state recognize this tradition.” Hearing the judges say that all towns should have a tradition like the Heart of Gold football game made her proud to be from Stephenville.
“[Moore] and Caleb did a beautiful job,” Pope said. “It’s very well done. I just love it, because it shows what our community is about. It just shows how wonderful and how loving and caring our community is, and I think it’s a great testament to Stephenville.”