PLHS students teach San Diegans to Waste No Water
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 06/12/15 - 06:27 AM | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Austin Correia, Zachary Correia and Trevor Sykes on the red carpet.
Austin Correia, Zachary Correia and Trevor Sykes on the red carpet.
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Point Loma High School freshmen Austin Correia and Trevor Sykes will not only be going “to” movies this summer. Their own 30-second film, “Water Cops,” which won the grand prize in the seventh annual San Diegans Waste No Water Film Contest, will be playing “in” theaters.

The Point Loma pair outcompeted 51 other 30-second film entries about saving water. Although the only high school finalists were from Point Loma High School, it was not the only high school to participate. There were entries from three high schools, as well as entries from four colleges.

The Point Loma High boys’ film, which they wrote, shot with a Canon video camera, acted in and directed, will play in AMC Mission Valley, AMC Bonita and Edwards Mira Mesa Cinema all summer long before each movie.

Honorable mention also goes to PLHS freshman Tyler Pasela, who came in third place for his film "Cat Possible.”

The City of San Diego's 2015 Waste No Water Student Film Contest challenges eligible high school and college students to create 30-second public service announcements that emphasize the importance of responsible water use.

The youths’ cinematic success was a big surprise — especially to them.

“I didn’t know if I wanted to enter or not: I didn’t think it (film) was good enough,” confided Correia, adding, “In the end we said, ‘We worked on it. Let’s just enter it.’ Two weeks later we found out we were in the top 10. Two weeks after that, we found out that we’d won.”

The cinematic freshman students’ PLHS cinematic arts advisor, Anthony Palmiotto, enthused about their underdog achievement.

“PLHS' Cinematic Arts program kicked ‘Common Core butt’ as two student projects won first and third place, and Point Loma was the ‘only’ high school from San Diego represented in the contest,” Palmiotto said. "It was so awesome to see my young guys beat teams of 22-year-olds.”

The PLHS instructor thanked the City of San Diego for staging the water-conservation film contest noting, “It is so awesome to be able to incorporate practical, real-world topics like the importance of water conservation with my curriculum.  Things like the annual San Diegans Waste No Water Film Festival make learning fun and make San Diego a great place to live, learn and teach."

The budding film directors discussed their water-conservation film and what went into it.

“I had the idea of doing something with cops arresting somebody for wasting water,” said Correia, adding he had a little brother and cousin who were recruited to play police officers in the film. They pull up in their mini-police cruiser and cite a water waster.

“Trevor (Sykes) was in a lawn chair sleeping with a hose running wasting water,” said Corriea. “Then these two little kids pull up in a cop car and go over and write him a ticket. As they walk toward him they step on the hose and the water stops.”

Then in the film, Sykes reads the citation, which says, “Waste No Water.”

“Then the cop steps off the hose and it sprays the person wasting water straight in the face,” Correia said.

The film’s concept, Correia noted, was to “show people you can get in trouble for wasting water. Nowadays, you can be fined for wasting water.”

Correia pointed out that, for he and Sykes, it was an almost daunting task to pack an entire message into such a short span of time, 10 seconds of which was reserved for the title and credits.

“It was a real challenge to put a whole story into 20 seconds,” said Sykes.

“We took a good three or four hours of video,” said Correia. “It took us three days to edit it down, pick and choose which clips we liked. At the end, we had to have the footage cut down into 20 seconds.”

All 10 student finalist water-conservation films can be viewed from the San Diegans Waste No Water Facebook page and on YouTube.

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