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New Tech students’ film to be shown at festival - Odessa American: ECISD

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New Tech students’ film to be shown at festival

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Posted: Monday, November 11, 2019 4:07 pm

The opening gala is set for 6 p.m. Nov. 21 at the Ellen Noel Art Museum. The rest of the event will be held at the Jack Rodgers Fine Arts Building at Odessa College. The student film, created by Brock Bizzell, Isela Botelo and Avery Vega, will be shown Nov. 22 on Education Day.

Bizzell and Vega are seniors at NTO and Botelo is a senior at Permian High School. All three are 17. The movie, “Doughboy,” was made as a class project last year.

Bizzell said the plot centers on a private detective hired by a pizzeria after the secret sauce is stolen. The detective is hired to find out who stole it.

“It’s kind of like a parody of old noir films,” Bizzell said.

He said they were in a group and they each came up with their own idea for a movie. They voted on who had the best one, which Bizzell said was Vega’s. The movie lasts about 10 minutes and has a cast of six.

“I’m a big fan of noir films and classic detective films, so I just wanted to do something with a really silly premise that we could incorporate all those noir elements that we could have layers of jokes that came from the amount of clichés that we put into the film. But because the premise was so silly, it would make it so that there’s a stark contrast between what you’re seeing on screen and what’s actually going on,” Vega said.

The three have class with Courtnee Hembree, audio/video teacher for Ector County ISD.

Bizzell said the students get dual credit from Odessa College and their professor, Harlan Whatley, who is director of the film festival and an assistant professor of mass communication at OC, said they should submit “Doughboy.”

Bizzell said they were unsure whether it was good enough, but Whatley assured them it was. They sent it in, the judges reviewed it and it was accepted.

“I think it’s kind of exciting to have something that we worked for be displayed in front of other film students,” Botelo said.

She added that they also will offer a presentation at the festival.

Bizzell said they have attended the festival for several years and have met some of the people who will provide workshops and present.

“It will be very fun to see each other again and also present our own works to them. … It’s a better environment to show our work in since we’re known there already,” he said.  

Anyone can submit a film whether

I think you can submit films we actually got to submit it for free since we’re students so if you’re not a student you have pay like $15 but anyone can submit at any time.

Although people may think of football when they think of Odessa, Bizzell said there is a pretty big arts community here.

“We have theater. We have music, as well, and I think that the film festival kind of puts the extra cherry on top. The film festival it definitely adds to the culture here and it’s not very well known, but hopefully it picks up and will continue to grow,” Bizzell said.  

Vega noted that it’s grown every year.

“The first year we went, it was tiny. Then the next year there were so many more presenters,” he said.

Whatley said the growing event is encouraging.

“It helps bring more people together in the Basin that are interested in film because our film culture is small but it’s growing, so if we capture people at the student level then hopefully they can meet people like Billy Pon …,” he said. “It’s just part of building the community. Hopefully, some of these kids will go on to a school like UT or maybe even Abilene Christian where Courtnee went and study film or TV and take it to the next level.”

Whatley said he has partnered with Hembree for several years and gets her students sometimes at OC.

“They’re usually the best students for video production because they know the software (and) camera basics. I really don’t have to teach them a whole lot they. They just kind of make the projects. They can help the other students,” he said.

Hembree teaches NTO and Odessa and Permian high school students.

“Actually my kids have won a lot of different awards for the state and even nationally, but this is the first one that’s been entered in a film festival while they’re still in high school so it’s exciting. I’m proud of them,” she said.

She said she has seen the movie. All her students will attend the film festival Nov. 22.

“It was a class project last year and I worked with them the entire time they were working on it and the three of them were just a really good grouping. Brock has a passion for filmmaking. Isela has a passion for music. Avery’s a great writer. You put the three of those together and it makes a fun film,” Hembree said.

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