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IB Film students create “Crush,”a short film with meaningful message

Madeline Halgren, Staff Writer

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Every February people switch on their TVs to tune into the Oscars. Most people are excited to find out who won Best Actress, Actor, or Picture, but many disregard the smaller categories. For instance, short films. Even with the shorter length and less publicity, short films can make impacts equivalent to bigger than full length movies.

Just like real life filmmakers, IB Film students are taking on the challenge of creating a short film in hopes to portray a meaningful story that can leave an impact. The students were given the project in February with three weeks to create their movie. They were able to use their own creative ideas with the only restriction of it needing to be school appropriate.

“My favorite thing about the film project is that it is really empowering and a good chance for students to create something original. I feel like sometimes students don’t get many opportunities like this at school and it’s really cool,” Mr. McCauley said.

The film, “Crush,” created by seniors Alexis Chizek, Alec Schmitz, Justice Jones and Emma Clausen, shines a light on acceptance of oneself regardless of the situation.

“As a group we decided we wanted to make a film that would break stereotypes and put across a message that shines a light on a subject that usually is left in the dark,” Chizek said.

The plot centers around a boy living in a small town who develops a crush on one of his classmates, which leads him to realize things he never knew about himself.

“I think we chose this subject mainly because a few of us can relate personally to the character and we thought it would be an influential story to tell,” said Schmitz.

While the work people see will be the final product, there are many aspects behind the scenes that have help these students make their film come to life. The team faced some challenges in not being able to cast actors for all of the characters. With that, they had to rewrite the script in order to continue the film. Though they faced obstacles in their progress they were able to create the end result.

In a film every aspect is technical besides acting, including writing the script, shooting the movie and editing. Schmitz worked as the director, Chizek as the cinematographer, Clausen as the writer, and Jones as the editor. With all these roles set in place, they began work on the film.

“You have to make a lot of calls on what to leave and leave out, since in a short film you only have a certain amount of time. You can’t tell the entire backstory so you need to leave the most important aspects in,” Schmitz said.

Though an elective class, Chizek and Schmitz want to take on the film industry in real life. The experience of creating the film has allowed them to gain new skills and outlooks on creating their own ideas.

“Just practicing film in general is a learning experience, but specifically with this film I have learned how to communicate well with a team of people in order to get a purpose across to an audience,”Chizek said.

With this project the students were able to work on something they were passionate about and continue to enjoy.

“It has given me a sense of what it is like to direct a film and has strengthened my desire to study film in college,” Schmitz said..

After weeks and weeks of working, coordinating schedules and filming, they were able to complete their short film, “Crush,” with the vision to inspire and leave people with a message of hope.

“There is a sense of pride that comes with completing a film. Whether it’s Oscar-worthy or not, there is a lot of work that goes into any film and there is not a more satisfying feeling than finishing a film and sitting back and watching it proudly,” Chizek said.

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