Story Board hosts a contest for future filmmakers

Kaia Preus

Words scrawled on frosted glass lined the spiral staircase that aspiring high school writers and filmmakers climbed on their way to The Loft in Minneapolis. Not knowing exactly what to expect, students from many different high schools gathered on Saturday September 27 for a workshop on “The Art of Adaptation” through the non-profit organization Story Board.

Story Board works exclusively with high school students, mentoring them in the art of film making and helping them develop their talent. This year, the organization has joined forces with the Minnesota Opera and together they are leading workshops that will culminate in a student film festival with a $500 prize. “Pinocchio–Story, Stage, and Screen,” is the theme of the workshops and the film festival and is inspired by The Minnesota Opera’s American premiere of The Adventures of Pinocchio, opening this winter.

Bix Skahill, a Hollywood writer who has written Chain of Fools starring Selma Hayak and Life Without Dixie starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Harry Conick Jr., lead the workshop and gave insight to the students on the work that goes into creating a screenplay. Funny and conversational, Skahill brought the language of Hollywood writing to student filmmakers and helped brainstorm ideas for ways to create an original script based on the classic tale of Pinocchio for the film contest.

Around 30 students attended the workshop and many have plans to continue with the series and enter in the contest. “I’m interested in filmmaking,” said Tim Blodgett, a junior at Minnehaha Academy, “I want to gain a good broad sense of script writing from this workshop. There’s not really a lot of opportunities for film at my school.”

Upcoming workshops include opportunities to work with Sundance Director of Photography Greg Winter on the challenges of shooting a film, a look into production design at the Minnesota Opera, and other workshops on producing and editing. Anyone can attend the workshops, regardless of plans to enter the film contest in February or not. BSM students can talk to Mr. Backen or junior Ian Hamilton about questions or other opportunities through Story Board.