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'Les Milkerables' Takes Award in 2016 Serling Film Festival

Evan Pritchard is a Senior in Niskayuna High School in Niskayuna, NY and his film Les Milkerables was recently awarded the 'Best 9-12' film in the 2016 Rod Serling Film Festival. He has a strong passion for storytelling and the art of film which he is able to explore through the filmmaking program through his high school.  He hopes to one day make his hope and passion into his career.  Evan was inspired for this film through the idea of inanimate objects coming to life when no one is looking combined with a problem most household experience.  Using the stop motion animation techniques, paper cut outs (most notably associated with Monty Python) he was able to tell his unique story. Evan has previously been honored for his past film “Believe”. Evan took some time to share his thoughts on the Festival with us:

What is your film about?  Can you summarize it in a few sentences?

Les Mikerables tells the untold story of what happens with the unwanted cereal box left in the cabinets of Jerry’s kitchen.  The three cereal boxes try to get the attention of their “human” (Jerry) by any means-to no avail.  They soon come to realize, for their plan to work, it has to be Jerry or them!

How did you come up with the idea for your film? I was in my film class at school one day, and we were moving on to animation which was our next topic.  When I think of animation my mind goes straight to Pixar, and 9 times out of 10 I think of my favorite Pixar, film Toy Story.  It was my favorite movie as a kid and instilled in me the childlike question, “Does every object come alive when we leave it alone?”.  So with that question in mind, and me thinking about the bowl of Lucky Charms that I didn’t get to have that morning since I skipped breakfast, Les Milkerables was created.

Can you talk about your approach to the script and technical elements you used? The script was the first thing I did and then redid and then redid again.  There we multiple rewrites of the dialog and story so it had to be perfect.  My previous projects didn’t include dialog for this exact reason.  When I finally did finish the script, I then had to create and design my characters out of scratch.  Luckily the art department at Niskayuna is amazing, I was able ask a friend to draw the characters for me.  I gave a description of what I wanted and within a few days they gave me exactly what I wanted.  I then took the drawings and went over them in photoshop to create the final result.  The whole preproduction of the film was the longest and most intense I’ve ever done for any film.  All in all the post production alone took about 6 months.

Thank you for sharing your film with WSKG! How did you hear about the Rod Serling Film Festival? I heard about the festival though my film teacher Mr. Stephen Honicki.  He always encourages us to put ourselves out there and be proud of what we have created, which is just one of the many things that makes him a great teacher.

Which part of this filmmaking experience did you enjoy the most?

I honestly loved editing this film most of all.  It was a such a huge challenge especially for one person but I never had to compromise any of my ideas for others’.  I did face the challenge of finding a way to edit it. I don’t have any good editing software at home, but I am lucky enough to have access to some at school.  So for weeks upon weeks I spent any and all of my free time during the school day editing the film, adding the voices, and just making it how I imagined.

Is there anything else you'd like to share? I would just like to thank my parents for sticking by me and always being supportive.  And a very big thanks to Mr. Honicki for always being there to help guide, encourage, and help me create this even when I thought I couldn’t.

https://youtu.be/xWoOtOLwaoAThe 2016 Rod Serling Film Festival will be held at the Art Mission & Theater on October 16, 2016 and all winning selections can be found here.