By Jenna Dennison
Each year, regional aspiring filmmakers are invited to compete at the annual Guerilla Film Project in Bellingham. Blaine High School students Aaron Freeman and Jaiden Hudson, along with their friend Romell Sessoms, were among the competitors at this year’s event.
The Guerilla Film Project, now in its 12th year, is hosted by the Pickford Film Center and is open to high school students throughout Washington. Participants must create a three-minute video within the 65-hour time period of the competition.
A panel of professional filmmakers critique the films. This year’s competition was held February 11–14.
“This gave us a chance to practice our skills and get constructive criticism from peers and actual professionals,” said Freeman, a senior at Blaine High School.
For Freeman and Hudson, filmmaking is a passion. Freeman, who started in photography, became interested in filmmaking a year ago when Blaine alumnus Gage Allen introduced him to video production. Freeman began to take video production classes at Blaine High School and started to create films with other students.
For entry in the Guerilla Film Project, Freeman recruited Hudson and Sessoms as team members. Hudson, who previously had no experience making films, learned how to film by working with Freeman.
The team submitted “Move the Rug,” a short film the filmmakers describe as a “tragedy turned comedy.”
“It’s about a guy who is explaining to his friends this dream he had, and the things he’s doing in the morning remind him of the dream,” said Hudson, who wrote the screenplay for the film. “It’s all building up to this great big conclusion where you don’t know what’s going to happen.”
All three filmmakers were also actors in the short. “Move the Rug” was shot entirely around the Blaine area on Canon 70D and T5I cameras, with a majority of the film taking place on the Semiahmoo waterfront.
“I wanted to carry on this tradition at Blaine High School,” said Freeman, who had previously competed with another team from Blaine High School in 2015. “It’s been a lot of fun.”
Ultimately, “Move the Rug” did not place in the competition, but the filmmakers earned valuable experience. The students are interested in offering photography and videography services to community members, and hope to build their filmmaking group, DSLRming Films, into a small business.
“Move the Rug,” along with the team’s other work, can be found at youtube.com/watch?v=ibBqbvBKxTw.