High school students offer hot take on movie production

HILLSBORO—From thrillers to news-style interviews, TSA students competition in on demand video and digital video production are scripting, filming, editing and producing it all.

A trio of seniors, Kyla Isaac, Charlie Major and Paul Glanzer, are all taking part in the video competition. Major and Glanzer are working on digital video production, while Isaac is focusing on on demand.

Major and Glanzer’s film’s prompt is “An interview with your future self,” which will feature Major on camera while Glanzer works behind the scenes.

I had the idea of making it look like a Jimmy Fallon talk show. The present self is interviewing the future self as the interviewee 10 to 20 years down the road,” Glanzer said.

Major said the process of making a professional-quality movie involves storyboarding, script writing, filming and editing.

Precision is a major component of success, with precise camera angles needed for the split frame editing that is essential to the success of the piece.

He’ll go through all his lines from one person’s point of view and all the other from the other point of view. We’ll use the editing software to split the frame in half and make it line up,” Glanzer said.

It will look like there are two of me on screen” Major added.

Their video is limited to just three minutes but will have hours of footage to comb through, several takes and even more hours of editing.

For even one minute of video we made in on demand, it was 30 minutes to an hour of shooting time, for just one minute and multiple takes,” Glanzer said.

An additional challenge has been finding an area large enough to accommodate the set, as well as the lights and cameras to film their late show style interview.

Isaac, who will be working with Major and Glanzer in on demand, said the film will be limited to just one minute.

The team will be given just 24 hours to create their video with minimal direction.

It’s an intense amount of time. There’s a lot of stress to get it done and feel confident,” Isaac said.

Glanzer said the team begins filming and then works into the early hours of the morning while at the TSA conference to have a finished product. The team took second place at state competition their sophomore year; last year was cancelled due to the pandemic, and this year the team is working hard to ensure they can participate their final year.

The prompt was a thriller. We had to write and include a line about our phone battery, ‘My phone is at 6%,’ show a necklace, a pencil and a watch,” Isaac said.

With only five actors, limited hours, little time and a rubric from the judges, the team produced a one-minute video.

Major, who was recently accepted into the Emerging Media Arts program at the Johnny Carson Center at the University of Nebraska, plans to make a career in film.

I want to be a movie editor. That program will help me learn what I need to do for the post production,” he said.

Glanzer’s father owns a business specializing in sound and video production.

My sophomore year, when I turned 16, I got to run a camera for ESPN 3, which was a really cool experience, and that excited my interest. My sophomore year, I took on on demand video,” he said.

Isaac has no connection to the industry and no plans to pursue it as a career. However, her interest in writing, particularly script writing, kept her engaged with on demand production.

I like the creative process and writing for different characters,” she said.

What started as a lark, Glanzer said, suddenly became serious as the group saw success.

At first it was almost a joke—see what we can do with it. And then I got a little passionate about it, and now I’m kind of hooked on it,” Glanzer said.

Paul’s always telling me about new cameras he’s looking at,” Major said.

All three said taking part in the on demand and digital video production has changed the way they see films and television shows, even while watching on their couch at home.

I’m watching with a lot more appreciation now,” Isaac said.