Films on a Shoestring


Arjay Wiatrowski

The audience watching one of the videos

Arjay Wiatrowski

On May 3, 2019 an annual event took place once again. “Films on a Shoestring”, better known as FOASS, is Fossil Ridge High School’s student film festival. This event usually takes place at Fossil itself but this year it took place at Colorado State University. This event holds a special place for all the students who participate. The TV teacher, Brendan Gallagher explained that students have been building up to this day since the beginning of the school year. They create binders to experiment with what the final product will be. Students put in a lot of work as well as have a lot of fun with their projects. Ridge TV students also put on short segments for Advisory to show—everyone has to watch these so they have to be appropriate for school. With the films that these students produce, they have way more freedom to do whatever they want; these films consist of substance abuse, domestic violence, anxiety and depression, teenagers’ real lives, and most of the films had some explicit language and sexual content. Students can work more outside of what they usually do.

The festival started with nine music videos that centered around what actually can go on in a teenager’s life. Some of these music videos made the audience laugh hysterically and others made the audience shed a few tears. These films showed real life situations that many are blind to.

After the music videos were two documentaries: Loam Hoam, which was about Caleb Neel, who is building a home out of a bus, and Roll of the Dice, which was about Dungeons and Dragons and the family it can create within a friend group.

Lastly were the films. There were ten short films, each under twelve minutes long depending on the film. These students are allowed to include content up to a PG-13 rating. They have a lot more freedom, so their films are more creative.

The films:

Confidence is Key: A job interview goes better than expected.

Cream Soda: Two people go on a blind date; both order creme soda and fall in love.

A Visit to Doc: Mr. Grizzly visits a doctor who knows nothing about his problems and things take a very unexpected turn.

One True Date: A young man asks a couple girls to prom but they all say no thanks. He then finds the perfect girl of his dreams: his anime pillow.

Lemonade Stand: Two friends decide to stop challenging one another, instead coming together to make something better.

Lucky: A girl heals herself by doing things she enjoys.

Breathe: This is an animated film about the feeling of anxiety which compares it to drowning.

Jack: The new year arrived and Jack faces a lot of unexpected sharp turns.

Widescreen: A worker at a movie theater sneaks his girlfriend into the theater after it closes and she disappears.

Madwomen: A girl seeks out the truth.

When the films were over, four judges, Taylor Ault, Keenan O’Reilly, Mark Saunders, Aaron Slavick, awarded several trophies for different topics. Best supporting actress and actor were Jackson Holland in Jack and Orla McGrath in Madwomen. Best sound and best editing went to Lemonade Stand. Best art/production, cinematography, sound track, and best picture went to Madwomen. Best actor and actress in a leading role were Austin Hand in Jack and Amelia Overholt in Madwomen. People’s choice for best documentary went to Loam Home. People’s choice for best music video went to Thin. People’s choice for best picture was One True Date. Best film was Jack. The judges’ choice for best documentary was Roll of the Dice. Judges’ choice for best music video was Thin. Judges’ choice for best picture was Madwomen.

All through the night there were lots of laughs and even some tears that were shed. The night held a lot of emotions and it meant a lot to the students in TV because they got to show their talent. This is an event that will continue for a long time because it allows students to express themselves in many different ways.