Representatives of the DPHS Broadcast Journalism Team who accepted the Best Horror/Sci-fi/Fantasy Film award included, from left, Carlos Nevarez, Destiny Hernandez, and Alan Garcia.
Congratulations to the members of the Deer Park High School Broadcast Journalism Team, whose short film, Phenomena, won “Best Horror/Sci-fi/Fantasy Film” at the All American High School Film Festival in New York.
Phenomena was one of over 2,000 submissions at the AAHSFF representing all 50 states as well as other high schools from around the world. The AAHSFF is the world's largest high school and middle school film, photography and media arts festival.
Team members Alan Garcia, Carlos Nevarez, and Destiny Hernandez were on hand to accept the award with teacher Jared Creel. Alan and Carlos are 2018 DPHS graduates, and Destiny is a senior this year.
“I think the students were definitely surprised,” Creel said. “They didn’t even know they had been nominated until they were read just moments before! But seeing the excitement on their faces was definitely the highlight of the trip.”
Creel said the team began working on the film in July 2017 for the University Interscholastic League Young Filmmakers Festival. “I selected three students who had shown interest in filmmaking and demonstrated quality work and work ethic to write and produce,” he explained. “They developed and wrote the film during the fall of 2017, completed production over the winter break, and submitted it in mid-January.”
Phenomena earned a third place award at the UIL Young Filmmakers Festival state competition, but, with encouragement from DPISD Chief Technology Officer Kari Murphy, the team submitted the film for inclusion in the AAHSFF competition.
“My first thoughts upon learning Phenomena had won an award at the film festival was joy and excitement for our students—especially Carlos, Alan, and Destiny,” Creel said. “So many students donated their time and talent to make this project possible, but those three had seen it through from the very beginning. After the disappointment of finishing third at the state UIL festival, I think it made this award that much sweeter. Being recognized at this level certainly lends validation to all their hard work, and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Creel said he hopes the program’s success can inspire students to work harder to make their dreams possible.
“I know several students who dream of one day becoming a director or cinematographer, but for whatever reason, believe it’s unreasonable,” he said. “Perhaps through opportunities like this, they’ll see that it’s not impossible. Does it take a lot of time and hard work? Absolutely! But if it’s something they’re truly interested in, the only way to get better is to do it!
Phenomena is available for viewing here:
The team includes:
Director - Alan Garcia (DPHS Class of 2018)
Writers - Carlos Nevarez (DPHS Class of 2018), Alan Garcia, Destiny Hernandez (12thgrade)
Director of photography and music - Carlos Nevarez
Cast - Lanie Gullett (12th grade), Nick Trevino (12th grade), Gavin Connor (11th grade), June Aston (Dabbs Elementary fourth-grader)
Boom Operator – Brandon Stafford (DPHS Class of 2018)
Photographer – Regina Garza (DPHS Class of 2018)
Videographer – Christian Glass (DPHS Class of 2018)