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Teachers, students enjoy trial film class

Karl Horeis
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Todd Crowell edits on computers at Western Nevada Community College Sunday during Sheldon Altfeld's three-day film production seminar.
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Students in a trial film class co-taught by an Emmy-winning producer did final editing on their shows Sunday, then took home CDs with the final versions.

“These people came in here with zero knowledge of any of this,” said Sheldon Altfeld, 12-time Emmy nominee and four-time winner.

“They sat down and became an entire television crew overnight.”

Students from age 17 to 79 paid $300 for the three-day class, each assuming a role such as director, producer or “talent.”

The class was offered on a trial basis by Western Nevada Community College to gauge interest.

“They’re very pleased with the outcome of this first workshop,” said the other instructor, producer Temma Keatan. “In fact, I’m coming in next week to discuss doing these classes as an ongoing program.”

Students were also happy.

“It was very hands-on,” said Catalina Clarke, a marketing student at the Oregon Institute of Technology, who came down for the seminar.

“We were able to go through the whole process ourselves – not just get a lecture.”

Carson High School sophomore Brenon Tyzbir, 15, learned a lot by trying different roles.

“When you’re an actor, all you’re worried about is memorizing your lines -you don’t see everyone else scrambling around.”

He acted in one show, “Carson City Nights,” and was the stage manager for the other, “Keep Talking.”

Tyzbir, who takes Brian Reedy’s video production class at the high school, plans to work as an actor or a director – preferably the latter.

“I have a knack for telling people what to do,” he said.

Dan Luevano created the musical score for both shows. A professional pianist, he’s interested in branching out into video production.

“I’m not an actor – they found that out yesterday,” he joked.

“For me it all comes down to networking – that’s what it’s all about. And I’ve made some contacts in this class.”

Students used college software called Final Cut Pro to edit the video they shot Saturday.

“That’s the basic program used in the industry,” said Keatan, who has 35 years’ experience in film and television.

Cameras were donated by Black Forest Productions, a video outfit with offices on Mallory Way.

Altfeld was impressed by the students.

“These people picked it up faster than most people I’ve worked with – and (most people I work with) are professionals,” he said. “But (the students) aren’t jaded yet.”

Because it was a trial workshop, he and Keatan weren’t sure how much detail to give the students.

“We fed them every conceivable piece of information on how the industry works to see when they were going to glaze over – but they never did. They soaked it all up,” he said.

“And used it,” Keatan added.

Contact Karl Horeis at khoreis@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.