The Trail Dance Film Festival located in Duncan, OK took place on Friday, Jan. 29 and Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. Ten films produced by Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center Digital Media students were shown over the weekend.

“Trail Dance is exclusively an Oklahoma film festival,” EOC Tech Digital Media Instructor Ben Hlavaty said. “Students from across the state submit their films and a panel of judges decides which films are accepted into the festival.”

The 8 Digital Media students selected for Trail Dance Festival were: Jessica Hibdon, Anna Brown, Logan Bacon, Tanner Terry, Gabrielle Harris, Dakotah Easley, Kraig Combs and Darin Chapin.
Each of the students’ films accepted into Trail Dance has also been accepted into the Austin Film Festival, in addition to 6 other films made by Digital Media students. The Austin Film Festival takes place on Feb. 27, 2016 at St. Michael’s Catholic Academy Theater in Austin, TX.

Students gained inspiration for their films in a variety of ways.

“For some of the films, we based the idea off of past assignments we’ve had in class,” full-time EOC Tech student Jessica Hibdon, said. “But one of my films ‘The Office Life,’ was based off of a comic and I just made it a little more extreme in my film.”

The Trail Dance Film Festival was not only an opportunity for students to showcase their work, but also a chance to practice what they learn in class.

“It always starts with an idea,” Hibdon said. “Then you have to write the script for it and once you get done with the script you make a Story Board to figure out what shots you want. You then have to recruit your crew and make sure everyone has the wardrobe they need and you have all your equipment.”

Once students are finished filming, the editing process begins.

“Editing consists of perfecting the sound and aftereffects and things like that. Our classmates tend to help each other out during that process,” Hibdon said. “We’ll also star in each other’s films. We usually set aside one or two weeks to complete it.”

Daren Shapen, an EOC Tech Digital Media student and a junior from Choctaw High School produced two films for the festival and said he has been making films on his own since he was in the 7th grade.

“I would just make videos with my friends and try to get better and better,” Shapen said. “Then I learned about this class and decided to begin making it my career.”

Through the Digital Media program, students are able to build connections with fellow filmmakers as well as employers. Students will have another opportunity to showcase their films at EOC Tech’s Clean Shorts Film Festival on Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2, 2016 on the campus of Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center.

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