By Victoria Groves
May 28, 2010
DEDHAM — Dedham High School looked more like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Wednesday, May 19 night as students and their friends and families celebrated at the fifth Annual Dedham High School Media Film Festival.
Dubbed the “Scully Awards,” in recognition of Sue Scully-Rose, the TV/video and film teacher who initiated the awards, the festival was entirely student-run and showcased the talents of dozens of budding filmmakers, writers and producers.
All participants were enrolled in at least one elective video or film class this year. Judges include teachers at Dedham High School as well as contacts Scully-Rose has in the television industry.
“(The awards) get kids excited because they know their work could win an award,” said Scully-Rose. “It motivates them to put in the extra effort and really make sure (their entry) is polished.”
Dressed in gowns and suits, as if they really were headed to walk the red carpet, the auditorium was filled with nominees as well as fans.
Brendan O’Connor was both a presenter and a nominee at the event. A senior who plans to attend Stonehill College, he has taken Scully-Rose’s courses since his sophomore year. This year his film was nominated for best documentary, best creative writing video and best video essay.
“I went to the film festival my freshman year and liked it so I decided I wanted to take a class,” O’Connor said. “The projects and assignments are always creative and during (the film festival), we all want to win, but were all rooting for each other.”
As is tradition for the festival, the evening is always hosted by a male and female senior duo. This year’s hosts were Justin Callaghan and Amanda Taddeo, who were also nominees. Taddeo is heading to Salem State College in the fall to study theatre arts.
A student of Scully-Rose’s for the first time this year, she said she wanted to get some film experience under her belt before leaving for college.
“Film studies was harder than I expected, but I’m going to go to school for this, so it was important,” she said. “Tonight is like the Oscars, it’s exciting.”
Planning to study communications at Mass Bay Community College, Callaghan has taken television and film classes throughout his time at Dedham High. He is currently enrolled in an advanced television production course.
“It gives me a way to let my creative side out,” he said. Of his co-hosting the awards ceremony this year, it was something he didn’t think twice about auditioning for. “I’m outgoing and this is my last year of TV and video classes,” he added. “I’d like to go out with a big bang.”
Other categories included Best Mock Commercial, Best Visual Poem, Best Video Book Report and Best Music Video. In addition to being creative, the students also master the technical components of video production, something they can take with them as they head off to college or jobs.
“(Scully-Rose) is really amazing with the equipment,” said O’Connor. “Sometimes we don’t know what we’re doing and she’s really patient with us while we figure it out.”
Sponsors for this year’s event include the Dedham Alumni Association, Dedham Educational Foundation, Dedham Visionary Access Corporation and the Dedham Community Theater in Dedham Square. All proceeds will benefit the Dedham High School media program to repair and purchase equipment for students in next year’s classes.
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