By Luis Horacio Pineda, Contributing Writer
Hollywood is known to be the capital of cinema. In Los Angeles, California there is a film festival every weekend of the year. A well recognized photographer told me this once. At first I didn’t really believe it. Then I verified the info and guess what? It’s true. In fact, there’s more than one every weekend, but today let’s talk about the Screamfest Horror Film Festival 2018, www.screamfestla.com. Why? Because it’s October and because it was a Sui generis film event where close to 800 students, ranging from elementary to high school, not only watched films, but also attended several film workshops.
Rachel Belofsky, founder and director of the Screamfest Horror Film Festival, the largest and longest running horror film festival in the United States, aka the “Sundance of Horror,” partnered with Creating Creators to bring this once in a lifetime opportunity for the students. Jessica Just, Co-Founder CEO, and Polo Muñoz, Co-Founder of Creating Creators, www.creatingcreators.net, have been working with students since 2005. Creating Creators supports and aligns the lessons in the classroom with the entrepreneurial, creative, and collaborative rigor of film production. Polo Munoz, explained that “the goal of the partnership is to create opportunities for memorable experiences for the students so that they can experiment with possible career opportunities they may not know are available in the entertainment industry.” It also allows the students and the teachers to meet and collaborate with professional filmmakers that can help guide them in their school projects and develop a much needed network for the education professionals.
The Screamfest Horror Film Festival 2018 took place Oct. 9-18th at the TLC Chinese 6 Theaters. They offered audiences 10 days of horror films and X workshops for the Creating Creators students. The Acting workshop , led by guest acting coach Marilyn McIntyre, took a special degree of care to give an authentic scare or to receive one! Marilyn McIntyre: the Directing workshop was held by @theleewithnoname and @samboxleitner and explored everything from shot lists to working with actors; the Sound workshop lead by composer and sound engineer @bluepoliceboxmusic worked with the students to create new sound effects recorded by the students themselves; and the Makeup workshop was held by special FX makeup artist Hillary Hall. Layering toilet paper and makeup like paper mache, the students were guided through a DIY cuts and wounds FX experience! Finally, the Screenwriting workshop lead by Jessica Galasso offered a symposium where students dissected story structure, workshopped their stories, and discussed their ideas.
Creating Creators and The Screamfest Horror Film Festival 2018 was an extraordinary festival experience for the audience and the students. Thanks to these alliances future young filmmakers have the opportunity to develop their personal, school, and professional skills using film as the perfect excuse.