Cascade Media Productions Tackles Silent Film Project


Photo courtesy of McKenna Quinn

Cascade Media Productions students, teachers, and chaperones pose on the campus of MSU-Bozeman. Front row (l-r) Mrs. Nancy McGonigal, Miss McKenna Quinn, Kaitlyn Wade, Alyssa Pepos, Alexis Marko, Georgia Mortag, Shelbie Jackson, Ty Tweten, Jay Hickam. Back row (l-r): Jaimee Daniels Mr. Mike Mahana.

Carter Otheim, Staff Writer

When student teacher McKenna Quinn came to Cascade from Montana State University-Bozeman in January, she also brought with her an idea from one of her college classes.

The International Youth Silent Film Festival (IYSFF) is a global film competition that Quinn wanted Cascade students to enter. In order to submit films, participants had to have been under the age of 20, and the students’ films had to be void of dialogue.  All films were roughly three minutes in length and were accompanied by one of ten three-minute soundtracks provided by the IYSFF organization.

Quinn helped her students plan, write, film, and edit their silent films all on their own. She had five groups of students, each working together on submitting a film to the competition. They had about a month to work on their films in order to meet the competition deadline.

“The work my students produced was truly impressive,” stated Quinn, “They have such a handle on editing, and the shots in their films were artistically and deliberately done.”

Before the International Awards Show, which will take place in Portland, Oregon on June 9, each participating region around the world holds its own screening to select the top two from the region to represent their region in Portland. A total of 55 films were submitted from the Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, and North Dakota regions to the Yellowstone Regional. Only ten out of 55 films were selected for viewing at the Regional, including two of Quinn’s students’ films, “Prom Queen” by juniors Jaimee Daniels and Alexis Marko, and “What to Bake” by seniors Ty Tweten and Kendra Anderson.

Though neither of the films was chosen to move on to Portland, the students learned a lot from the experience.

“The silent film project taught me that you can show so much with just expression,” said Daniels.

“This project introduced me to the possibilities of conveying a story without a word,” said Marko.

Congratulations to all involved!