NY festival accepts film from SKS campers

Contributed photo Members of the Storm King film program work on “Take a Hike,” which has earned a spot in the New York Short Film Festival on Nov. 4.

Contributed photo
Members of the Storm King film program work on “Take a Hike,” which has earned a spot in the New York Short Film Festival on Nov. 4.

Could you call the Storm King Summer Film School a tradition? The program with Zhenya Kiperman debuted in June. Campers signed up for one to three weeks and produced a short feature entitled “Take a Hike.”

That doesn’t sound like a tradition. But “Take a Hike” has been accepted into the New York Short Film Festival and will have its premiere on Nov. 4 at 8 p.m. in Manhattan’s Cinema Village Theatre at 22 East 12th Street.

Storm King School hosted the program for 13 to 19-year-olds from June 26 to July 15.  It attracted campers from New York City as well as Orange County. Some stayed for the entire three weeks; others chose the portion of film-making they found most interesting — script writing, filming or editing.

At the end of the camp, we learned about the process at a cast and crew gathering.

At the outset, the teens talked about possible plots, and decided on a true story told by Bobby Speckenbach, a Cornwall 12th-grader. He and two friends had wandered off a trail on Storm King Mountain. Realizing they were lost and concerned about the imminent loss of daylight, they started to argue among themselves.

Finally, they resolved to walk down hill, assuming that sooner or later they would reach the bottom of the mountain. They followed that plan, and before very long someone showed up to lead them out of the woods.

The screenwriters took a few liberties with the story by adding a girlfriend to the plot. She hears the hikers making plans over the telephone, and resents being left out.

After that the audience doesn’t see the girlfriend until the lost guys trudge downhill and are startled by the glaring lights of an automobile. As if having the last laugh, she’s sitting next to the car and waiting for them. A steady drizzle doesn’t faze her.

The boyfriend takes one look at the person who’ll be driving him and the others home. “You even look good in the rain,” he says.

So the Storm King Summer Film School is off to a good start and Mr. Kiperman (an award-winning producer) reports that enrollment is open for 2018 — which sounds like the school is becoming a tradition.

For prices and information, visit sks.org/film-school.

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Editorial Staff