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Tuesday, November 20 , 2018, 8:47 am | Fog/Mist 51º


Laguna Blanca’s Miles Crist Named a Finalist in SBIFF’s Student Filmmaking Competition

Freshman says vacation footage captured in Europe turned into 'one of my better films'

Laguna Blanca freshman Miles Crist is among five high school filmmaking finalists in this year’s Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s 10-10-10 Student Filmmaking Competition.

All films were evaluated purely on the merit of the filmmaking sample, as judges had no access to any defining traits of the directors.

Crist’s journey to the competition began on his summer vacation in Europe last year. Titled In Motion, his film includes dozens of clips from the passenger window of an Audi A1, capturing footage through tunnels, cities and other parts of France, Italy, Switzerland and Denmark. Some clips were shot from a moving elevator, and others were shot from a boat on the Mediterranean Sea.

Set only to the song “Run Fay Run” by Isaac Hayes, the film is five minutes in length and initially served as just a creative way for Crist to document his family’s summer vacation.

“I had no intentions of submitting my vacation footage to anyone until I completed editing and thought it was one of my better films,” he said.

Crist started making films on a flip camera at age 9 and has since moved to a Canon 7D, a still camera commonly used for video because of the interchangeable lenses.

Crist received the exciting news about being a finalist in the competition on New Year’s Eve. This is not his first filmmaking accomplishment either. He had previously won a Best Film Award for a Spanish music video he created at his former school, The Waverly School in Pasadena. New not only to Laguna Blanca and Santa Barbara this year, Crist is also new to the film festival contest. In fact, this is the first film festival he has ever entered.

When asked about what inspired his love of filmmaking, he didn’t hesitate: “Alfred Hitchcock is a director who has really inspired me. My favorite Hitchcock film is North by Northwest.” His favorite subjects to shoot? “I love shooting chase scenes,” Crist said.

As a finalist in the competition, Crist received the screenplay from the Film Festival officials on Jan. 24 — “The first day of final exams,” Crist notes — and will begin work on directing the film, which is due this week.

Click here to view the film sample that earned Crist his finalist standing in the 10-10-10 Student Filmmaking Competition.

— Tara Broucqsault is the director of communications for Laguna Blanca School.

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