Kim Sandford has been teaching video production software to students at Early HIgh School for three years. Apparently, she's been doing it right. 

In the first year of Video Production as a UIL competition, the Early team has advanced to the State finals, placing second of the top seven, in the Division 1 Narrative category. The Early students competed against others from 1A, 2A, and 3A schools. Sandford said over 400 film entries were submitted.

The six students are James Clubb, Jared Crouch, Nike Garcia, Justin Hicks, Kristy Joyner, and Gerrit Zondag. Along with help from Sandford, the students are very appreciative of assistance from Chris Taylor, the Early Elementary campus technical specialist.

Clubb plays the lead role in the film, as a school teacher and aspiring writer. Garcia, Sandford, and Taylor also have acting roles. 

The film is titled "Chapter 1" and is an idea Garcia created from a story Clubb had written for another class, which Sandford and the team estimate took from eight to ten hours of filming and editing to produce the four minute twenty second short. The team originally had two weeks to make the film, but were happy to have received an additional two days for editing, because of a UIL delay. 

Garcia and Clubb said their first day of filming lasted from the time school let out until 11 p.m., with Taylor's assistance. 

Sandford said the editing was completed with an older version of Adobe Premiere Pro, which the students had already been using for other video projects.

The Early team will travel to Austin on April 16 for the final competition, when their film will appear on the big screen at the historic Paramount Theater, on Congress Ave. The students will also tour the studios of KVUE Television and the Radio, Television, and Film department of the University of Texas.

The judges for the films included professional filmmakers and professors of film and they each had glowing reviews of the Early students' work. Some of the comments included,

"Impressive use of angles and light"

"Nicely done . . . Awesome job overall"

"Several beautiful shots . . . Really nice work, thank you!"

"Very creative concept!"

"Fine detailing with the technical and editing work."

"Very technically well constructed and executed film . . . really terrific camera angles."

"The cinematography in this film was exceptional."

Of course, there were critiques as well, which is all part of the learning process.

"Chapter 1," the EHS team's film, is available at