Anaheim Achieves student looks toward filmmaking future

By ANGELA RATZLAFF / Orange County Register

As 12-year-old Rachel Opyrchal’s name fades from the screen, Price Elementary’s editing room appears with students using new technology to create films.

Rachel’s short movie, “Picking up STEAM,” illustrates the use of modern technology in the classroom. The tech-savvy topic and professional execution landed Rachel an honorable mention in the 2014 White House Student Film Festival, which had more than 2,500 entries.
In the Price Elementary Film Club, which is part of the Anaheim Achieves after-school program, students collaborate in groups to create films. Using programs such as Adobe After Effects, Rachel and her group are able to create forest settings and nighttime environments for their characters.
With the help of the creator of the school’s film club, Joe Baker, Rachel’s group made a film that fit the festival’s requirements.
“It’s a huge process that takes a ton of people,” Baker said. “Working with children, they are extremely creative. I teach them all the ins and outs, and I’m constantly throwing more and more just to challenge them.”
For Rachel, creating movies in her after-school program is just a projection of a possible filmmaking career.
Q. How did you feel when you got honorable mention?
A. It was really exciting, because I’ve never really done something so big before. I didn’t know that I was going to get recognition.
Q. How did you come up with the idea for your movie?
A. There were two main topics you could chose from or combine. One was how technology is used today and how technology will be like in the future. So we focused on today in our film club. We all discussed, and it kind of just flowed after that.
Q. What was the hardest part when you were making the movie? What do you like most about making movies?
A. I would say editing and the audio and everything. It’s hard to do because you have to overlay this and edit that, and postproduction and all that. It’s just a lot that I like about it. I actually do like editing a little bit, and also I like setting up.
Q. When did you start making movies?
A. I started making movies two or three years ago in my after-school program. I started helping with our first movie, “Taken Over.” After we made that, we decided to make another movie that I starred in called “The Final Ingredient.” This school year we made another prequel to the movie called “The First Ingredient.”
Q. What do you like most about the Anaheim Achieves after-school program?
A. It’s been really helpful because it gives a place for where we can do our homework, and it’s fun to interact with other kids and all the camps that they have to offer.
Watch Rachel’s Film Here

Picking up STEAM from Price Productions on Vimeo.
Click here to view the article on the Orange County Register’s website

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