Students with special abilities from the Tauraroa area school shoot a short film around the world
Grade 11 students Christian Wickens, Charles Fryer, Tom Frost and Max Thompson-Bailey from the Tauraroa area school star in their own production of shorts Lady Penelope’s Heirlooms. Photo / Provided
Four students from Northland showed off their special ability with a melodramatic short film that was voted finalist in an international film competition.
Grade 11 students Tom Frost, Charles Fryer, Max Thompson-Bailey and Christian Wickens from the Tauraroa area school have spent the last term writing, rehearsing and producing their short film Lady Penelope’s Heirlooms which is now being viewed at the internationally as part of the Focus on Ability film festival.
Lady Penelope’s Heirlooms is a melodrama about a damsel in distress – played by Tom – who is put in mortal danger by a villain, played by Christian.
Just as Lady Penelope is about to be hit by a train, played by Max in her wheelchair, the hero Charles enters the scene and saves the lady.
Tom said the plot was a group idea and they had to practice a lot to get the scenes right in front of the camera.
The four-person film crew, with the help of their drama teacher Debi Walters Brown, worked on the project for at least six weeks.
Brown ensured that the students’ roles were played according to their abilities.
Christian said filmmaking taught him to be the best he can be and that it was worth it despite the blood, sweat and tears.
Max, Tom, Charles and Christian are all proud of themselves and have been congratulated by their classmates as well as by the principal after a film screening at a school assembly.
In July, Lady Penelope’s Heirlooms took part in the Focus on Ability short film festival, which highlights the skills and talent of people with disabilities.
According to drama professor Brown, the film was seen by over 45,000 people in the competition.
Students from the Tauraroa area school were among hundreds of entrants from 18 countries competing for prizes worth $100,000 in cash.
The school is now eagerly awaiting the results which will be announced at a ‘red carpet’ event in Sydney on October 16.
“Although the Tauraroa area school will not be there in person, we will certainly be there in spirit, eagerly awaiting the results,” Brown said.