Belmont students create emotional award-winning film

Online vote scored top 10 placing for two Belmont school film groups

Film students Gabrielle Semail



Four Belmont film students earned a tidy sum of money for themselves and the school with a first-place movie on the dangers of distracted driving.

The film topped the national Allstate Just Drive Canada video contest, defeating 146 other entries. The filmmakers, Matt Girard, Gabrielle Semail, and Stephanie Clarke, all in Grade 11, were awarded $1,500 while $1,000 was awarded to Belmont’s drama, film and television class. The film will be screened at the Belmont Film Festival in June.

The contest challenged film students to create a public service announcement on the dangers of distracted driving.

The students came up with the concept of a young girl getting ready for a party. As she primps a narrator reveals that this is the last time she will be doing such things as having a meal, putting on makeup and saying goodbye to her parents.

As the teen drives to the party she checks a text on her cell phone and is hit head on by another vehicle.

“One second ago, her heart beat for the last time,” says the narrator as the video comes to a close.

“It makes my mom cry every time,” said Nik Neral, Grade 11, who narrated the film.

The most challenging aspect of filming for the students was using a “green screen” to superimpose the outside of the car during the driving scene. A “green screen,” or chroma keying, allows filmmakers to add in backgrounds or other elements in post-production.

“It was an amazing feeling to actually win,” Clarke said. “We worked really hard on it and thought it turned out really good. It was fun making it too.”

Girard hopes to go to film school after her graduates and has aspirations to be a director. Semail is most interested in the acting side of things, but hasn’t decided yet if she wants to pursue it professionally. Acting is a passion for Neral also, but is unsure if he’ll take his interest beyond high school.

“It’s really creative,” Semail said of filmmaking. “You can really just do whatever you want and experiment with new angles. It’s so much fun.”

“It’s a way to express yourself that’s unlike any other,” Girard added.

The Last Time” went through two levels of competition. The first was a voting round, where anyone could go online and vote for their favourite entries. The young filmmakers in Lori Haddon’s drama film and television class canvassed classmates, teachers, family and friends to go vote for their videos. Ultimately all five of the videos produced in the class collected enough votes to make it into the top 10.

From there the videos were judged on originality, clarity of message, style and quality of acting.

Haddon found out about the results during a class and had the pleasure of announcing “The Last Time” had tied for first.

 

“I’m so proud. Proud that they’re reaching an audience with an important message too,” Haddon said. “It does have an affect.”

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Helping others, especially those struggling with mental health issues, keeps MOD Pizza owner Jim Hayden cooking. (RIck Stiebel/News Staff)
A 1900s writing box found in Greater Victoria contained ink, photos and a letter addressed to Clara McCaubry dated October 14, 1898. (Photo courtesy Suzanne Hervieux)
Mysterious 1900s writing box finds a home among Saanich Archives

Wooden chest owned by early Saanich resident Clara Isabelle McCaubry

(Black Press Media file photo)
Spooky online class cooks up funds for Greater Victoria Imagination Library

United Way Greater Victoria offers how-to for witch cookies, tasty coffin as fundraiser

Murray Rankin has announced he will seek the nomination for the Oak Bay Gordon Head riding in the 2021 provincial election (which could happen in the fall of 2020). The former Minister of Parliament for the Victoria riding from 2012 to 2019.
(MurrayRankin.com)
New Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Murray Rankin says he will use his federal connections

Rankin said being part of NDP majority government gives him a strong voice

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Oct. 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read