Director and Crew Make UIL Film History

Annabel+Thorpe+is+in+disbelief+after+snatching+all+top+three+spots%2C+including+the+State+Championship%2C+in+the+UIL+Young+Filmmakers+Festival.+On+March+2%2C+2016+%28Leighann+Fenter%2F+The+Talon+News%29+
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Director and Crew Make UIL Film History

Annabel Thorpe is in disbelief after snatching all top three spots, including the State Championship, in the UIL Young Filmmakers Festival. On March 2, 2016 (Leighann Fenter/ The Talon News)

Annabel Thorpe is in disbelief after snatching all top three spots, including the State Championship, in the UIL Young Filmmakers Festival. On March 2, 2016 (Leighann Fenter/ The Talon News)

©The Talon News | Leighann Fenter

Annabel Thorpe is in disbelief after snatching all top three spots, including the State Championship, in the UIL Young Filmmakers Festival. On March 2, 2016 (Leighann Fenter/ The Talon News)

©The Talon News | Leighann Fenter

©The Talon News | Leighann Fenter

Annabel Thorpe is in disbelief after snatching all top three spots, including the State Championship, in the UIL Young Filmmakers Festival. On March 2, 2016 (Leighann Fenter/ The Talon News)

Faith Stapleton, Reporter

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Never in her wildest dreams did junior and film director Annabel Thorpe see herself crying tears of joy from placing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the Division I UIL Documentary competition, but hey dreams really do come true.

“It takes a lot to make me cry, especially happy tears,” Thorpe said. “So I think the tears rolling down my cheeks kind of showed how much winning state meant to me.”

For the second year in a row, Thorpe has directed Argyle High School’s winning documentary in the UIL Young Filmmakers Festival. But this year, the crew did not only take home the gold, but they also had a clean sweep of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in Division I Documentary for the first time in UIL film history.

“I was keeping all fingers crossed for at least one [film] to win,” Thorpe said. “I didn’t think it [getting first, second, and third] would be possible.”

The process to make it to state is a lengthy, exhausting one. Each school is allowed to submit a maximum of three films in each category, documentary, narrative or animation. From there, films are cut about every week until 6 of the top films in Texas from each category make it to state and are invited to the Paramount Theatre in Austin, TX for one big premiere night. After all the top six films in D1 and D2 have been viewed, awards are announced from 3rd place to 1st place; 4th – 6th place are not announced.

Argyle High School was the first school to have all three films make it to state in one category. But it was a night of firsts.

When her name was called out for third place, Thorpe accepted the fact that she was not a state champion.

“I walked up to get award thinking “I wonder who beat me?” she said. “But when I shook the UIL film director’s hand, he told me to stay up on stage for a while. So I knew something had to be coming!”

After collecting the third place award, Thorpe was walking back down the stairs when her second documentary was announced over the speakers as 2nd place.

“I was grinning from ear to ear at that point,” Thorpe said. “Then I became really curious as to who beat me out for 1st place.”

For the last time, Thorpe went to exit the stage when they called her name a third time, but this award was for the gold.

“I just about fell over when I heard I got 1st,” she said. “Then, I think about two steps in the tears started pouring. I couldn’t get myself together! I actually ended up apologizing to the audience.”

As she went back to her seat, many school, 1A-6A, congratulated her on the multiple awards.

To earn this incredible achievement Thorpe put in hours upon hours of work, 91 hours for just one film to be exact, to perfect every second of all three of her documentaries to insure each made into the six final spots at the state competition.

“It takes numerous hours for a documentary to come together,” Thorpe said.

Thorpe’s documentary over ‘the dance world’, entitled “Pointe of the Spotlight,” was awarded third place out of 200 documentaries that entered the documentary category.

“This was an excellent film,” UIL film judge Dustina Thomas said. “Very clear story and excellent cinematography.”

“More Than Music,” Thorpe’s documentary that followed the story of an upcoming singer and songwriter, Abbey Cone, placed second.

“[‘More Than Music’] was a really impressive piece of work,” UIL film judge Stephen Jannise said. “It looked and flowed like a professionally made documentary.”

The documentary from Thorpe that completely wowed the judges was “The Dallas Morning News Intern Program,” which received first place in the state championship.

“Attention to detail and crisp, clean, storytelling is what made this film stand out,” Thomas said. “Excellent work.”

Not only did Thorpe put countless hours into each documentary, but she also had fun working on them.

“Creating [‘The Dallas Morning News Intern Program’] was fun to really be able to freeze frame that summer and to have a memoir that all of us can look back and remember,” Thorpe said.

Although just going around and filming is fun for Thorpe, it isn’t the best part of creating the films.

“The final product and just seeing everything you have put in come together,” Thorpe said. “All the hours come together into one piece that you’re very proud of. Its almost like creating a living piece of work.”

Director and editor Thorpe didn’t do all of the documentaries by herself; she had a few helping hands along the way and is very thankful for all of them.

Blair Bowman helped her create the storyline of “More Than Music,” Micki Hirshorn was the reporter for “More Than Music,” Caleb Miles sent a football clip for “More Than Music,” Miranda Downe starred in “Pointe of the Spotlight,” and Faith Stapleton was props manager for “Pointe of the Spotlight.” Her family allowed her the opportunity to work through all hours of the night, constantly giving encouragement when needed. And last but not least, The Talon News’ dedicated adviser, Stacy Short, supported the students every step of the way.

“I am thankful for everyone who helped and everyone who has supported me,” Thorpe said.

Thorpe is proud of all her accomplishments at state this year and is looking forward to hopefully going back again next year for a third state title.

“I can’t describe the feeling of know my stress and sleepless nights payed off,” Thorpe said. “Hard work prevails, and I am so happy to exemplify that.”

 

LINKS TO FILMS

Dallas Morning News Intern Program: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQjhobrk-hE

More Than Music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51VyORU45RI

Pointe of the Spotlight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMxdJObL6p8

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