Elizabeth Barrett is a student at L.V. Rogers High School in Nelson who was part of the recent film Project Turquoise Snowflake, that was changed to The Change Agents.
The film, which already previewed to a pack house in the fall of this year, is going to be shown again in the New Year.
Elizabeth explains the role she played in Project Turquoise Snowflake and many other happenings surrounding the film.
About a year and a half ago I joined a theatre production class, which met, outside of school.
The teacher of the class was Mrs. Robyn Sheppard and she had an ambitious, crazy, wonderful plan.
She wanted to make a script she had written titled “Project Turquoise Snowflake” into a feature length motion picture.
Mrs. Sheppard wanted her students and members of the community to come together to create a movie.
I thought and still do think it a brilliant idea. The production class was split up into departments depending on their interests.
My department was called “The Art Department”, and it was our job to go to shooting locations and decorate them or rebuild them so that they would look almost exactly (or close enough to) how Robyn described them in the script.
Each department had an adult mentor who had experience in the field. The mentors where incredible, and soon our production class turned into a quirky family ready to make a movie.
We held auditions in the winter and where able to cast the movie using incredible local talent, both from the students body and the greater community. I had always been intrigued by film acting but had never tried it, so I nervously went to the auditions.
I was cast as Ava Richards, who is the best friend of Carly Dutoff the protagonist. I learned so much about how a film is made in those long months of shooting.
I quickly realized that making a movie is not the glamorous picnic I thought it to be.
I did not lounge around all day drinking margaritas and making congenial conversation with Tom Cruise.
Hollywood leads us slightly astray when it comes to filmmaking. Making a film in no small feat. Filmmaking is like any other art form it takes patience, determination, imagination and faith in your own creativity as well as others.
The long shooting days taught me so much about myself as well as working with others.
The production team bonded and magical things happened. Even though at times the days could be just a little too long, there was an underlying sense of excitement, which often comes from close proximity to raw creativity.
The mentors, professionals, students and alumni it took to produce the film constantly inspired me.
Getting a chance to try film acting is the most valuable experience I have ever had.
I learned (it took more than a few takes) that the camera picks up every small facial expression. I learned that subtly is key when it comes to film acting. To learn this in grade nine was incredible for me.
The movie has a very powerful message, which made every single day I worked on the film meaningful. The film deals with the issue of climate change and the challenges that all of us face living in an era of environmental degradation.
The community involvement as well as the student involvement was revolutionary.
Finally after months and months we had our last shooting day, it was very emotional for me and I’m sure for others, we had actually come together and made a film using the students of L.V. Rogers as well as the greater community.
The film opened at Nelson's Capitol Theatre in November to a sellout crowd.
After two years of hard work Project Turquoise Snowflake now called The Change Agents was finished.
We did it.
To this day I am still awed by the commitment and time that everyone put in. It was the most educational, amazing experience I have ever had in school.
I look back fondly on those days of shooting and acting and will never forget the time an incredible teacher began an incredible project.