Thought you would like to have a copy…Here is our movie. Just click on the link to watch.
By G. P. Avants
I have the privilege of being part of a great film program called Teen Vision. For the past eight years I have seen them create some pretty powerful productions aimed at teens and their daily struggles and issues. It has always been the team’s goal to create five minute piece that tell a story with all the elements that make a great full length movie. I believe that this year’s film has accomplished that goal.
Every year Teen Vision from Val Verde High School in Perris, CA creates a short five minute student feature. Their topics cover many issues that teens face daily: depression, environmental issues, pregnancy, gang life, etc. The twist is that Teen Vision always puts their own unique twist and flavor to often controversial issues. For the past eighteen years Robert DelCampo has worked with numerous students to create original and memorable shorts that always pack a punch. The program was initiated through a grant program called KWN through Panasonic. This helps schools jump start and maintain their video production programs. As part of the grant each school has to produce a short movie and enter them in a nation-wide competition.
This year’s feature, “Stitched Love,” really shows the level that this hard-working team has been shooting for during their career. We meet Elijah, a teen who painfully shares his past rejections and loss, with his therapist. Rejected by both parent at an early age, Elijah has nothing but a childhood toy that shows him what being loved is all about. Through his eyes we learn that our past can rattle and shake our present or can be an opportunity to express something for earth shaking: forgiveness.
To me a great film has many layers. One of them is the economy of words. One well-placed word can speak volumes into the lives of those who need it the most. When sharing a delicate message in such a short time, there are no words to spare. You have to pick them carefully. When the adult Elijah shares his story with us, we learn that he didn’t let his past hurts define him. Instead of rejecting a second chance with his estranged dad, he chose to forge a new relationship with him. When told that his father wanted to have lunch with him, Elijah used a simple word that said it all, “Absolutely!” To me that spoke volumes about how far the angry Elijah came from his past of feeling unlovable. He now lives a new life, stitched together from the remains of a childhood that was torn apart.
Working with many teens from broken homes this movie really spoke to them. Here are a few of their responses.
“The whole time he spoke about his past and why you can’t live there anymore.”
“You gotta love yourself.”
“I can really relate to Elijah’s story.”
The folllowing paragraph was written by Zyan Duran who played the main character in the movie. I asked him if he would share a little about his experience while being part of this Teen Vision Production.
” My experience with this years Teen Vision film was a great one for me. Coming into the Movie Crew, I wasn’t expecting to be the lead actor. My job at first was the Producer’s Assistant and Camera Man. Nothing else came into my mind besides the fact that those were my main jobs. Then one day during a meeting with the crew we decided that i was gonna be the lead actor. My first thoughts were “okay this is something new. It shouldn’t be that hard, it’s just talking in front of camera” but that’s not what it was.The whole film was being lead on me and I had a big job to do ahead of me. The first day I got the complete script was the day that I told myself that I was gonna do this. I went straight home and talked to my uncle and studied the script over and over. I read my lines in the mirror to myself, hoping that I will look like I fit the part.”
“The crew and I had a meeting after school one day and we went over the script. I wasn’t reading my lines the way I was supposed to, so me and my uncle took a walk into the studio. My uncle told me “sometimes it’s good to scream to let out the emotion you want for your part Zy” and he started screaming. I told my uncle and everyone that I can’t scream. They told me that I can do it, I just can’t hold back. That was my problem right there. I was holding back. I was scared to embarrass myself but something told me to just let it out and do it. So i screamed at the bottom of my lungs 2-4 times. I felt relieved by the fact that I just did that. I was proud of myself. We went back to the table to script read again and I was doing a whole lot better.. After that day I felt like I can do anything.”
“The first days of filming were the longest. We spent hours just doing takes back to back to back, trying to get the shots we need. We would have a few minutes where we can get a break and just relax and chat, but once that was over we got right back to working.The last days were the shortest. We filmed at our next location and get my last few shots done. The last shot that we did, I ended up spraining my middle and ring finger on my left hand. I was the only injured person on the set, but luckily I was finished right after!
In all, my experience with these years movie was the highlight of my senior year. I made some really close friends out of the crew that I can call family. “
I heartily agree that this film does speak to a topic that touches us all. Everyone wants to be loved.
Here is the film, Stitched Love. Enjoy.
Thank you, Mr. DelCampo and the Teen Vision team for creating this wonderful story. I am not the only one who knows that this film marks a new direction for the future of your stories. I am excited to share the hard work you all have done over the years with the world. If you want to see the entire series of short films you can find them on You Tube at: https://www.youtube.com/user/TEENVISIONvvusd