Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Everyone is invited to a screening of videos produced second semester by students in the Ballard High School Video Production Program. The Showing will be Friday, June 10 at 7 p.m. in the Ballard High School auditorium. Included will be short comedies, dramas, public service announcements, and music videos. Tickets are $8 and will be sold at the door. All proceeds will be contributed to the rebuild of our auditorium sound systems. Arrive early! The Showing routinely packs the auditorium and people have been turned away.

This screening will feature a variety of productions recently honored by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences as well as film festivals such as the National Film Festival for Talented Youth and the national high school film and video festival coordinated by Temple University’s School of Film & Media Arts in Philadelphia (the “Derek Freese”).

Saturday, May 28, 2011


The Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) will be featuring two shorts by students in the Ballard High School Video Production Program as part of FutureWave, its showcase for young filmmakers.

The first short, Reflection, was produced and directed by Blair Scott and Sheridan Koehler. It explores the conflicts of conscience. The second short, Henry, was produced and directed by Amelia Elizalde, Levi Friedman, Sean Hendricks and Sheridan Koehler. The documentary pits the prolific Seattle muralist of the title against art critic Regina Hackett.

The shorts will be screened on Monday, May 30 at 4 pm in the SIFF Cinema. Both shorts have already garnered multiple honors, including nominations from the Northwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for Student Television Awards of Excellence, Awards of Excellence from the Northwest High School Film Festival, and winning the Young People’s Film & Video Festival.

Just click on the title of this post to purchase tickets for the SIFF FutureWave screening.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Students from the Ballard High School Video Production Program won multiple awards and honors at the 13th annual Northwest High School Film Festival at the Cinerama Theater in downtown Seattle on May 24. This is the largest and longest running festival for high school filmmakers in the Puget Sound region. This year 320 productions were entered in the competition from 23 high schools. Ballard High School led the pack of winners with a total of 10 awards and honors.

The festival was judged by a panel of 26 industry professionals and college media professors. The event was organized by the Media Educators Excellence Team (MEET) and sponsored by Adobe, the Art Institute of Seattle, DigiPen, Shoreline Community College, Key Code Media, and Apple.

BHS productions were honored in six different categories, reflecting the diverse skills and talents of Ballard’s video students. Some of the winning productions will be shown on Friday, June 10 at The Showing, a screening of work by students in the BHS Video Production Program. The event begins at 7 p.m. in the BHS auditorium. Tickets are $8.00 and will be sold at the door.

Ballard’s Northwest High School Film Festival winners:


Comedic Narrative
The Dummy
Rikke Heinecke, Sarah McDowell, Allie Stock, James Vitz-Wong

Amelia Elizalde, Levi Friedman, Sean Hendricks, Sheridan Koehler

News Feature
Leisure Biking
Vann Fulfs, Alex Guettler, Helen Miller

Public Service Announcement
Earth Corps
Misko Crkon, Alex Johnston-Thomas, William Westgaard

Mountain Biking
Alex James, Cooper Rickards, John Paul Umbao


Hollywood Apocalypse
Jack Hamilton, Ashleigh Klemetson, Blair Scott

Tilted Thunder Railbirds
Molly Bowman, Jack Hamilton, Kirsten Zeller

Public Service Announcement
Plenty of Road
Brendan Inkley, Stephan Neu-Yagle, Dylan Spence

Share the Road: Sidewalk
Elise Neroutsos, Ivy Vance

Teens Against Tobacco Use
Emma Hutchison, Lizzy O’Laughlin, Allie Stock

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


The following nine seniors (six girls and three boys) in Ballard High School’s Video Production Program will be pursuing film and television in college next fall, many of them at the top programs in the country. Some of these programs are highly selective, admitting only 3% (or less) of all applicants. Between them, these seniors have won 31 awards and honors for their work from international, national and regional film festivals as well as professional organizations. They have also won $270,000 in competitive college scholarships.

Rikke Heinecke will be studying filmmaking in the School of Cinema Arts at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Sydney Jarol and Sheridan Koehler will be studying filmmaking at Columbia College of the Arts in Chicago.

Ashleigh Klemetson will be pursuing video production and media studies at Central Washington University.

Lizzy O’Laughlin will be studying broadcast journalism at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Dylan Miller and Blair Scott will be studying filmmaking at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Justin Smith-Mercado will be attending the Film & Video Communications Program at Seattle Central Community College.

Chloe Warner-Moyer will be attending the Creative Producing Program at Chapman University near Los Angeles.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Nine productions by students in the Ballard High School Video Production Program have been nominated for NATAS Northwest High School Awards of Excellence. The Northwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (the professional organization that gives the Emmy awards) presents these awards to honor the best in student television production. These regional awards celebrate the most outstanding productions from five northwest states: Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska. The winners will be announced at the 48th Annual Northwest Regional Emmy Awards on June 11th.

Ballard’s nominations span four categories, showing the quality and diversity of our producers. These are the nominations by category.

Public Affairs:
Faces by Dana Baumgartner, Emma Hutchison & Chloe Warner-Moyer

Without Our Cars by Sydney Jarol, Dylan Miller & Ryan Zemke

Henry by Amelia Elizalde, Sheridan Koehler, Levi Friedman & Sean Hendricks

Long Form, Non-Fiction:
Bar Ink by Spencer Miller, Georgia Peck, Robyn Cochrane & Justin Smith-Mercado

Seattle Street Performers by Tony Meyer, James Vitz-Wong & Matt Law-Phipps

Split Mind by Rikke Heinecke, Blair Scott, John Christensen & Allie Stock

Long-Form, Fiction:
Buy, Sell, Trade by Emily Deering, Amelia Elizalde & Blair Scott

Public Service Announcement:
Plenty of Road by Brendan Inkley, Stephen Neu-Yagle & Dylan Spence

Share the Road: Sidewalk by Elise Neroutsos & Ivy Vance

The nominees were selected by industry professionals in the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. This makes the fifth year in a row that Ballard High School video producers have been nominated. Last year they received 6 nominations and won awards in the categories of Public Service Announcement and Dramatic Presentation.

BHS video students will present new works completed this semester at The Showing on Friday, June 10 at 7 pm in the BHS auditorium. Tickets are $8 and will be sold at the door.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

On April 17, Justin Amorratanasuchad died in an accident in Boston where he was attending film school. He died doing what he loved, filming. He had been a student at Emerson College since graduating from Ballard High School in 2008. A memorial for Justin is scheduled for Saturday, June 11 at Seattle Unity Church from 1-5 pm.

Justin had walked away from a full scholarship at the Northwest School in order to enroll in Ballard High's Video Production Program, where he spent three years. He was a very talented filmmaker and an inspiration to everyone in the program, both students and staff. It was impossible not to enjoy working with him. When he was happy, it was contagious. His smile lit up the room. Friends and professors from Emerson also noted these same traits, affirming that Justin's talent was maturing.

Justin’s productions are still used as examples to teach new students. He had a gift for storytelling and visualizing ideas. He also had a great sense for editing and was as comfortable in front of the camera as he was behind it.

Justin won a top prize with his very first production of his first semester. By the time he had graduated from high school, he had won a National Student Television Award for Writing from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Northwest Region), a Jury Prize for Best Experimental Film from the National Film Festival for Talented Youth, Best PSA from the Westport Youth Film Festival, and Awards of Excellence in the categories of Commercial, News, and Dramatic Narrative from the Northwest High School Film Festival.

Justin is survived by his mother, Blair Brooke-Weiss, and step-father Craig Brooke-Weiss of Seattle, Jesse Amorratanasuchad, of Seattle, a stepbrother, Levi Corgonell-Weiss, of Seattle, his half-sisters, Eve and May Amorratanasuchad, of Thailand; and his grandparents, Robert Brooke, of Phoenix, and Dallas and Ellen Mustoe, of England. His parents and friends have created a Justin Amorratanasuchad Scholarship. Justin was only able to attend a top school like Emerson because of the financial support of his grandfather. This scholarship will support public high school students who have the talent, but lack the financial resource, to pursue college studies in film and television.