A look into the fu­ture of film … Brought to you by young 4-H film­mak­ers

Rappahannock News - - COUNTRYSID­E - From con­trib­uted re­ports

The pa­tience of an an­gel and pre­ci­sion of a minia­tur­ist are needed to make stop-mo­tion videos. Ni­cholas Plaksin, 11, used both to pro­duce short videos that will screen dur­ing the 4-H Youth Hour — along with the work of other Rap­pa­han­nock young­sters — at the Film Festival at Lit­tle Wash­ing­ton on Sun­day, April 10 at 3 p.m.

“When I started, most of my films had about 100 shots, but the more re­cent ones I've made have about 400 or more,” said Plaksin, who learned film­mak­ing at the age of seven and is a mem­ber of Rap­pa­han­nock’s 4-H Film Club.

“I don’t usu­ally write a script. I play it by ear so the sound and con­ver­sa­tion is re­al­is­tic and spon­ta­neous. I have to try again and again to get it the way I want it,” said Plaksin, who fin­ished edit­ing his en­try de­spite a bro­ken arm.

“Today’s youth will all learn to make videos as nat­u­rally as our par­ents wrote letters,” said Jenny Kapsa, 4-H Co­or­di­na­tor for Rap­pa­han­nock County. “Video pro­duc­tion is an in­valu­able skill for our youth and that’s why we’re host­ing this video youth hour.“

The 4-H Youth Hour in­cludes short videos of all kinds: stop mo­tion, news re­ports, school pro­duc­tions, vis­ual po­ems, com­edy skits and even a film with video game char­ac­ters.

Max Martin, also 11, pro­duced a video in real time sit­ting in his liv­ing room in Sper­ryville while record­ing a friend play­ing the same video game in Front Royal.

“My ex­pe­ri­ence of film­mak­ing is you don’t have to have fifty peo­ple with you, you don’t even need two, you can do it as a sin­gle per­son and it can still be re­ally great,” said Martin.

Sev­eral Rap­pa­han­nock busi­nesses are fea­tured in the shorts. Andrea Payette, 13, grand­daugh­ter of the own­ers of Gray Ghost Win­ery pro­duced a film about the Vir­ginia Chut­ney Com­pany in Flint Hill.

“I loved learn­ing about the chut­ney-mak­ing process, it re­minded me of my grand­par­ents mak­ing wine,” said Payette. “I was im­pressed by the clean­li­ness of their fa­cil­ity. I thought I was in a doc­tor's of­fice, it was so clean.”

Payette also pro­duced a hu­mor­ous video about the tri­als of be­ing a teen. “Putting to­gether this video for the 4-H Youth Hour has been an awe­some op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore my tal­ents in the world of the arts. I’ve thor­oughly en­joyed writ­ing, act­ing and edit­ing this video,” said Payette.

Stu­dents from Belle Meade and Hearth­stone schools pro­duced videos about the phi­los­o­phy of learn­ing that un­der­pins their ed­u­ca­tion. Bev­erly Eborn in­ter­viewed in­ter­na­tional stu­dents at Wake­field Coun­try Day School about their as­tute and hi­lar­i­ous im­pres­sions of the U. S. And Hearth­stone’s high school­ers made a short about their mas­cot—you’ll learn more about a ham­ster than you could imag­ine!

The 4-H Youth Hour is ex­ec­u­tive pro­duced by Stephanie Slewka, a Woodville film­maker, who also heads the 4-H film club. The youth hour is free to all who at­tend.


Bud­ding pro­ducer Ni­cholas Plaksin, 11, right, with his brother Isaac. 4-H Film Club mem­ber Ni­cholas has been learn­ing film­mak­ing since age 7.

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