KOOSKIA – Chaos and tension punctuate each video cut as two young men search and run through forests, something red spatters across a tree, and a shocking moment of discovery is made. Could it be the legendary Bigfoot, the Sasquatch?
Or is it just someone’s little brother again?
Seniors at Clearwater Valley High School, Josh Kearney and Logan Wells, the pair will debut their 40-minute mocumentary film, Sasquatch Search 2, at a student film festival this month. The Feb. 15 event comprises their senior project required for graduation, and it will showcase a series of CV student films to demonstrate the skills they’ve learned this year and the creativity in their cinematic creations.
“Mostly, this is to show how we worked with the technology, and what we accomplished with it,” Wells, 18, said.
“And, what we learned in the classroom,” continued Kearney, 17, “and what they wanted to do creatively.”
The CVHS Student Film Festival will be held at the high school Friday, Feb. 15, starting at 7 p.m. Admission is $2 with funds raised from this and DVD sales of their film to benefit school projects, which include the multimedia class.
“This is a yearlong class that predominantly operates in the Adobe package, and these guys started last year,” said teacher Vincent Martinez. “Josh took the class with me last year first semester and Logan came in second semester.”
“Logan and I did a small project together, it was decent,” Kearney said of that first year. “On the second project I saw what he was doing was impressive. I thought it would be good to work together. We started throwing ideas together, and then it was, ‘What if we do a Bigfoot parody?’”
“I’ve always been interested in the forest,” Wells said, “and working for the Forest Service I heard a lot about Bigfoot around here, people claiming to have seen it. And we made the idea about making a joke of Bigfoot out there.”
“And a few actual connections that it could be real,” Kearney continued, “but in the end it didn’t become that. It became a fun, silly video.”
Last year, the pair created an eight-minute film that involved making Bigfoot prints and also Wells’ little brother running around in a caveman costume. This year, the pair became more ambitious in an extended film, adding a crew for support and stunts, and using two Bigfoot costumes: one borrowed from Miller Light’s Auto Shop and the second more realistic one made by Wells’ mother.
“The most challenging part is scheduling,” Kearney said, “when we do the filming, where we do the filming and getting to the site.”
“I wanted the second one to be more where we make it in the woods, and not just behind the school,” Wells smiled, with Martinez continuing, “They started in our school nature area,” and Kearney finishing, “You really have to work the angles out there to keep the buildings out of the shots.”
These students pushing themselves on this film resulted in the idea to make it their senior project, according to Martinez, a place to encourage students to show their work in front of the public.
“When you provide an opportunity for students to let them have their individual creativity and not dictate what they should work on, good things happen,” Martinez said. “I didn’t assign, I gave them ideas up front. Once they figured things out through the productive struggle, they pushed themselves to the point where, at times, they were teaching me.”
Upon graduation, Wells is interested in a movie career; directing or voice acting. His uncle is involved in the drama business in California and has offered him a job.
“I’ve always been inspired by the many different movies, the actors and directors,” Wells said. “I found the film industry always brought an interesting look at stories, and I always wanted to be a part of that; creating stories.”
“I like the editing aspect, putting on the screen the thoughts you see in your head,” Kearney said. “It would be cool working behind the scenes in film, helping to create it.”
Martinez hopes to build the film festival event into his curriculum, to encourage students to come out of their shells, and that “they can do good things if they want to.”
For students, Kearney and Wells have these encouragements to step out and showcase their films.
“Put your work out there,” Kearney said. “The more it’s seen out there, the more feedback.”
“And do what you are good at,” Wells said, “and build from there.”