The class has produced two seven-minute films – “Hall Monitors” and “The Monkey’s Paw” – and both are among seven state finalists in the Division 1 narrative category at the UIL Young Filmmakers Festival state contest Wednesday in Austin.
Both films will be shown at Austin’s Paramount Theater. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the films will be viewed from 7 to 10:30 p.m.
The comedy “Hall Monitors” was a collaborative writing effort among Kirkland Eggemeyer, Matthew Baca, Union Brooks, Jason Harvey and Dempsey Duprie.
“It was a combination of all of us working really hard together,” Brooks said. “It started off as a side project, but when Mrs. Zillig found out about the film festival, we stopped all production of the main stuff and started working on ‘Hall Monitors.’ ”
Ryder Billo portrays an overzealous hall monitor who aggressively seeks violators and stragglers and helps make a bust of a guitar case filled with candy.
“I watch a lot of ‘The Office’ and ‘Reno 9-1-1,’ ” Harvey said. “I thought we could apply that to a high school setting.”
Baca was in charge of much of the editing of the film.
“There is actually an extended version on YouTube,” Baca said. “We had to cut out so much because there was a seven-minute time limit.”
Most of “Hall Monitors” was shot in one day, but the film took six weeks to complete the editing and production process.
Adapted from W.W. Jacobs’ 1902 horror short story, “The Monkey’s Paw” took four days to complete.
“We had a lot of bickering because we were in such a time crunch,” said John Von Dohlen, who along with Billo directed and acted in the film. “We’ve made tons of short films over the years since middle school. We usually improvise a lot of things and get camera angles by what we think will look good.”
“The film is awesome,” Zillig said. “They took a lot of trouble to make sure they shot from the right angles.”
Von Dohlen said the original script would have been 17 minutes long and he had to spend long hours editing it down to the maximum seven minutes.
“It was due on a Monday and I was editing into the night the Sunday before,” Von Dohlen said.
“The story itself is 10 pages long, so trying to condense it to seven minutes was pretty tough,” Billo said.
Goliad is the only Division 1 school (Classes 1-3A) in the state that will have two films competing at the festival in the same category. Almost 500 films were submitted by high schools across the state for the competition and just 37 made it to the festival.
The high schools Goliad’s films will be competing against will be Canyon Lake, Early, Eustace, Maypearl and Princeton.
The rest of the cast in “Hall Monitors” is teacher Kristin Billo (principal) and students Gabrial Deleon (hall monitor), Chris Gutierrez (bully), Von Dohlen (runner), Harvey (camera man), Baca (boom man), Jake Schneider (hall monitor), Brooks (boyfriend), Kendra England (girlfriend), Anthony Maldonado (hall monitor), Quentin Alkek (sagger), Eggemeyer (hall monitor), Duprie (hall monitor) and Matthew Bruns (candy dealer).
“Hall Monitors” can be viewed at youtube.com/watch?v=JyGXimOiP5o.
Billo plays Mr. White in “The Monkey’s Paw.” Other actors are Harvey (Sgt. Morris), Von Dohlen (Herbert White) and John Dorsett (John White).
“The Monkey’s Paw” can be seen at youtube.com/watch?v=pkhaipw40Ik.
Anyone who would like to attend the festival must contact Zillig to reserve a seat.
“I think we both have a good shot of at least getting something,” Von Dohlen said.