Stanstead teens be­hind the cam­era

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Vic­to­ria Vanier, Stanstead

A hand­ful of Stanstead teenagers are well on the way to mak­ing what’s sure to be an in­ter­est­ing and in­for­ma­tive movie about life in a ru­ral com­mu­nity, a project that’s now be­ing sup­ported by the Na­tional Film Board. Sev­eral of th­ese young film­mak­ers

took some time out from their Satur­day af­ter­noon film­ing ses­sion with project man­ager Da­mon Cox for an in­ter­view with the Stanstead Jour­nal.

Dy­lan Sisco, a grade six Sun­ny­side stu­dent who has lived in Stanstead all his life, has been with the project since the be­gin­ning, hav­ing been “re­cruited” at last sum­mer’s BorderFest. “My mom said ‘Dy­lan, you’re go­ing to do this’. I’d never worked a video cam­era be­fore,” said Dy­lan who seemed quite com­fort­able han­dling one of the pro­fes­sional, high def­i­ni­tion cam­eras be­ing used for the project.

“I’ve seen a huge sense of dis­ci­pline in Dy­lan when he’s han­dling the equip­ment and he took to it fairly quickly. He’s at a level now that I can tell him to go set up the cam­era and I don’t have to watch him,” com­mented Mr. Cox. Be­sides know­ing how to op­er­ate the cam­era, Da­mon’s learnt about cen­ter­ing and fram­ing shots and “to be quiet while I’m film­ing,” said the talk­a­tive youth.

“I heard some of my rel­a­tives talk­ing about this movie and I thought it sounded like a good idea so I asked my sis­ter to do it with me,” ex­plained Sean War­ren, a level one Galt stu­dent who moved to Stanstead three years ago with his fam­ily. He and his sis­ter, level three Galt stu­dent Stephanie War­ren, joined the film crew which also in­cludes Daniel Dumont, Eve-Marie Fortier and Natasha Sisco Warner, about one month ago. “We started by just tak­ing still pic­tures and then Da­mon showed us how to use the big cam­era,” he con­tin­ued. “I’ve learnt how to zoom in and zoom out, how to get a closer view of a sub­ject,” added Stephanie.

Although Stephanie and Sean find liv­ing in Stanstead a big change from Sher­brooke, they like their new home­town, an at­ti­tude not al­ways shared by their con­tem­po­raries. “It’s a small place but it’s still a beau­ti­ful place and your friends are not so far away,” they agreed. “There’s a di­chotomy of at­ti­tudes here in Stanstead. Some of their peers think poorly of the town, but they don’t,” men­tioned Da­mon.

The 52 minute doc­u­men­tary movie will have as the main con­tent in­ter­views with young peo­ple about their ex­pe­ri­ence grow­ing up in a some­what iso­lated, ru­ral com­mu­nity. “We are look­ing at ed­u­ca­tion, com­mu­nity mo­rale and the so­cio-eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion here and how those three main things have im­pacted their lives.”

Work­ing with in­ex­pe­ri­enced teenagers, although es­sen­tial to the project, has been chal­leng­ing. “Each one of them is an in­di­vid­ual with their own per­son­al­ity; some are strong-headed so it’s know­ing how to reign that in. I’m en­joy­ing get­ting to know th­ese guys – they’re all in­tel­li­gent and the fact that they even tried to do this is im­pres­sive. Now I’m try­ing to push them to ask ques­tions, in gen­eral, and not to be afraid to ask the ques­tions that make some­one un­com­fort­able; that can lead to an op­por­tu­nity,” com­mented Mr. Cox who con­tin­ued: “I’m pleased that the young peo­ple I’m work­ing with are peo­ple in this com­mu­nity who could make pos­i­tive changes.”

Ev­ery­one work­ing on the project is hop­ing that there will be a good turnout for the pre­miere of the movie in Stanstead this sum­mer. “When we first started work­ing on the movie some­one asked ‘Why would any­one want to watch a film about Stanstead?’ But it’s not about this town but about how liv­ing in a small town im­pacts the peo­ple there and how what they do im­pacts the com­mu­nity. The goal is for th­ese kids to get ac­tive and do some­thing that can be shared with oth­ers.”

Pho­tos Vic­to­ria Vanier

Sean War­ren (left) sets up the tri­pod while Dy­lan Sisco read­ies the video cam­era for more film­ing, last Satur­day, at the Stanstead Arts Cen­tre.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.