HAMILTON — Fast Coast Productions started nine years ago in Hamilton and is now offering weekly classes for high school students and adults.
Founder Christian Ackerman, who teaches media classes at Corvallis High School, said he decided to start the academy -- an offshoot of the production company -- where high school students can take free classes and make full length movies.
Students learn all the necessary skills, from lighting, sound, acting and directing. Student Sofia Frongillo said she loves how the program can lead to many outside opportunities.
The group has now made two movies, and is working on more. The film Scarlet took four days to film and 10 months of post production, before it could be shown here-at the Pharaohplex Cinema in Corvallis.
Students say it’s a great feeling to see all their hard work finally on screen. Scarlet is the first film the classes made, and is available to watch on YouTube, and will be on Amazon Prime soon.
Student Jacob Flowers wants to be an actor or director after high school, "it is a really cool process and something I am really happy to be a part of."
The group also works with other production companies and adult actors and producers. John Nillis, who has a production company in Missoula, makes the trip to teach the kids how to handle studio equipment.
"Christian is an amazing teacher because he brings the energy of a child with the experience of a vetern, and he combines the two and you can tell when you watch that the kids are having a good time and they are learning," Nillis said.
The second movie they made is in post production and will be available soon.
"Seeing the kids create these skills that they can use outside of making movies, that is really what it is," Ackerman said. "The movie part is awesome, that is just icing on the cake it is those intangible things of those relationships we get, that purpose that we get."
Weekly classes for high school start next month and take place every Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Adult classes will take place on Tuesdays, also from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Click here for more information.