AVPA Film Winter Showcase: Sparking Connectivity Through Sharing Art In-Person


Fiona Tieche, Staff Writer

Culver City High School’s AVPA Film students recently held a winter showcase to feature many of the films that they created during the past semester. It included 11 short films and 2 longer format films that explored various concepts including color, time, and identity. The films also spanned different genres, such as documentaries, music videos, and narrative films.

AVPA Film Director, Holly Gable, shared her thoughts regarding the return of in-person activities after a year of virtual screenings and fear regarding the omicron variant.

“We are so excited to finally be able to do something in person,” said Gable. “This is our first in-person event in over two years! We had to postpone our original date in January due to the surge in Covid cases, but instead of doing the show virtually, we decided to hedge our bets and postpone until Feb 11.”

These were the AVPA film program’s first films of the year. They were shorter projects that will make way for larger ones later on.

“The majority of the films showing in the showcase are very short-term ‘film challenges’ and take only a few weeks to make,” said Gable.

As a precursor to the showcase, Everett Grahn shared a table read of the script for their short film, Fishy Come Home.

Many of the films are centered around music: Holy Calamity, Individual Discovery, Most Unwanted Music, Blue, Dear Future Husband, and Red all share this theme. Several focused on color to accompany the music while others explored satirical elements.

Chick Magnet and Supernaturally Skeptic were the longer format films. Supernaturally Skeptic is a humorous take on a ghost-hunting reality television show, using horror-comedy very effectively. Chick Magnet is a coming-of-age style film that discussed three band members’ experiences with identity and social expectations throughout a troublesome experience. Melody Caudill, the director, effectively uses color and lighting to convey mood throughout the film and the progression of relationships between characters. 

Caudill describes that it was great experience to film and how “the theme of the script came true in real life on set because we all ended up bonding and making true, life-long friends.”

Tawadi Kecken’s 47-22-18 practice shows a behind-the-scenes look into Caleb Green’s Tinsel Project, with Dane Pearson as the photographer. The documentary film pulls the viewer into a typical photoshoot and gives an insight into the team’s modeling and photography techniques. It evokes a feeling of comfort within the audience, as if you are simply spending time with friends. It expertly displays a glimpse into Green and Pearson’s lives. 

“I am so very proud of my film students who continue to roll with the punches, to show up, to create, and to stay involved with the program,” said Gable. “I feel very proud to be their teacher.” 

More is to come for the AVPA Film students, with this only being the beginning of their projects for the year.

“We are about to gear up for our bigger films, averaging around 10 minutes long, which will screen on the lot at Sony towards the end of the school year,” said Gable. “These films are far more challenging and take a few months to complete.”

The reopening of schools allowed students the opportunity to once again share art in-person, sparking dialogue about the films and connections among both audience members and creators. We are excited to see a plethora of new events, such as AVPA Theatre’s Little Shop of Horrors, reemerge after a long hiatus of the arts, as well as the progression of these filmmakers’ storytelling techniques when the next showcase occurs.