The REEL deal

December 05, 2006|by KELSEY LIDZ

Show your stuff.

That was the challenge facing students in Nerissa Young's documentary film class at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, W.Va.

Today, Young's students will have the opportunity to show their filmmaking abilities at the Reel Time Film Festival at the Shepherdstown Opera House, on German Street. The festival starts at 6:30 p.m. and is free.

Students were given a topic about which they had to produce a 15-minute documentary, according to Tucker Riggleman, 19, one of Young's students. The university provided cameras and computers for editing. Everything else was up to the students.

"First, we had to come up with a proposal, and once it was approved we wrote a script," Riggleman said. "Our budget was zero, but because it was a small film, shot locally, it didn't really cost us anything."


His group decided to portray the significance of the Wall in Shepherdstown, a popular hangout location in downtown Shepherdstown where many people come to sit, talk to others, work on homework, etc. Riggleman and his crew wanted to find out what the Wall meant to the people who hung out there.

Their film was made up primarily of interviews with people sitting on the Wall; they also spoke with historians and sociologists. Shepherdstown council members talked about the possibility that sitting on the Wall may become illegal.

Once they had enough footage, they began the editing process. Riggleman explained that this was the most difficult, because they had to use their artistic ability and creativity to make the clips of interviews and people on the wall into an actual story.

In the end, the students hope to create a movie that will entertain their audience as well as convey the importance of the Wall.

This documentary, as well as four others, will be screened tonight at the Shepherdstown Opera House. Admission is free; concessions are available.

If you go ...

WHAT: Reel Time Film Festival

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. today

WHERE: Shepherdstown Opera House, 131 W. German St., Shepherdstown, W.Va.


MORE: Call the opera house at 304-876-3704

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