Sunday, November 18, 2012


On Saturday, November 17, four productions by students in the BHS Video Production Program were winners of Fresh Film Northwest at the Portland Art Museum. This competitive regional festival is coordinated by the Northwest Film Center in Portland, Oregon. It accepts entries from filmmakers ages 13 to 19 in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Every winning entry from Washington involved Ballard High School students.

After their work was screened for the festival audience, each student received a Creative Self-Expression Award for outstanding achievement in cinematic storytelling. The BHS winners were the documentaries Deep Down (by Isaiah Hoban-Halvorsen, Kaila Lafferty & Oona Lowe) and My Little Brony (by Vann Fulfs, Taylor Martin & Bryan Quandt) as well as the short drama Dream House (by Ariahna Ghormley, Ana Krafchick & Louis Weissman). Also, Ballard video students Dayan Flynn-Walsh, Vann Fulfs, Ana Krafchick, John Paul Umbao and Isaiah Hoban-Halvorsen joined others to create the winning short Love at First Bite while Isaiah worked as Education Assistant at 911 Media Arts last summer. 

A jury of filmmakers and educators screened more than 120 entries to select 14 works for the festival. Only eight of these received the Creative Self-Expression Award. The festival seeks to celebrate originality, freshness, authenticity, and conviction in the voices of young filmmakers. According to the jurors, “We are left in awe and with the feeling that the world is going to be all right.” This is the eighth year in a row that students in the BHS Video Production Program have been winners at the event.

To see new work by BHS filmmakers, attend our end-of-the-semester Showing on Friday, February 8 or Friday, February 22 at 7 pm in the BHS auditorium. Tickets are $10 for adults or $8 for students. All proceeds support the BHS Video Production Program.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012


The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences gives High School Awards of Excellence to recognize the best in student television production. The regional awards celebrate outstanding work from five Northwest states: Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska. Entries are judged by the same professional organization that selects Emmy winners, and presented at the Northwest Regional Emmy Awards.

Seven students in the Ballard High School Video Production Program were winners at this year’s event. Ariahna Ghormley (’13), Louis Weissman (’12) & Mackenzie Wright (’13) won for Photography/Editing on their commercial for Crash Landing Pizza. Walker Evans (’13), Elise Neroutsos (’11), James Vitz-Wong (’11) & Same Weller (’13) won the Long Form (Fiction) category for their sinister short The Craft.

This makes the sixth year in a row that students in the Ballard High School Video Production Program have been winners at the event. Five other Ballard High School video productions had also been nominated: two in the Writing category, two in the Public Service Announcement category, and two in the Photography/Editing category (making every nomination in that category a work from the Ballard High School Video Production Program).

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Students from the Ballard High School Video Production Program won multiple awards and honors at the 14th annual Northwest High School Film Festival at the Cinerama Theater in downtown Seattle. This is the largest and longest running festival for high school filmmakers in the Puget Sound region. This year 354 productions were entered in the competition from 25 high schools. Ballard High School led the pack of winners with a total of 14 awards and honors.

The festival was judged by a panel of 23 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, Shoreline Community College, Seattle University Film Studies, the Academy of Interactive Entertainment and Key Code Media. For more information on the NWHSFF, visit

BHS productions were honored in six different categories, reflecting the diverse skills and talents of Ballard’s film students. Some of the winning productions will be shown on Friday, June 1 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 $10 for adults and $8 for students and will be sold at the door.

Ballard’s Northwest High School Film Festival winners:


Comedic Narrative
The Number
Alex Guettler, Ana Krafchick, Helen Miller

Crash Landing Pizza
Ariahna Ghormley, Louis Weissman, Mackenzie Wright

News Feature
Your Teen Health Center
Zachary Green, Isaiah Hoban Halversen, Kimi Rutledge

Public Service Announcement
Ballard Food Bank
Brittney Blokker, Jacob Scott, Sam Weller

Paper or Plastic
Oona Lowe, David Moore, Adlai Nissen


Comedic Narrative
Kenton King, Adlai Nissen, Silvano Ross

Thanks for Nothing
Cedar Crook, Alex James, Brianna Kadem

Dramatic Narrative
The Craft
Walker Evans, Elise Neroutsos, Sam Weller, James Vitz-Wong

Dayan Flynn-Walsh, Oona Lowe, Mackenzie Wright

Making a Mark
Brittney Blokker, Helen Miller, Sam Weller

Isaiah Hoban Halversen, Kenji Takada-Dill

Music Video
We Are the Children
John Christensen, Darienne Noelle-Clark, Alex Scheller, Jacob Scott

Public Service Announcement
Extend School Lunch
Nick Coons-Levy, Gabe Fabens, Quinlin North, Lorenzo Rossi

Trash Talks
Julian Amrine, Nick Hauger, Josh Vredevoogd

Sunday, May 20, 2012


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 1 at 7 p.m. in the Ballard High School auditorium. Included will be short comedies, dramas, public service announcements, news features, and documentaries. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and will be sold at the door. All proceeds will benefit students in the Video Production Program. 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 international film festivals such as the National Film Festival for Talented Youth and the Westport Youth Film Festival.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012


The Northwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) has announced nominees for the Northwest High School Awards of Excellence. These awards celebrate the most outstanding productions from five Northwest states: Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. Students from the Ballard High School Video Production Program earned seven nominations, the most of any school or program. The winners will be announced on June 2nd at the 49th Annual Regional Emmy Awards ceremony.

Ballard’s nominations span four categories, reflecting the diverse skills of the producers. In the technical category of Photography/Editor, Ballard High School students garnered every nomination. These are the nominations by category.

Crash Landing Pizza by Louis Weissman, Ariahna Ghormley & Mackenzie Wright

Safe at Last: The Story of Antwaan Dixon by Louis Weissman, Nate Sawtell & Dylan Spence

Senior Assassin by Alex Johnston, Tony Meyer & Elizabeth Turnell

Safe at Last: The Story of Antwaan Dixon by Nate Sawtell, Dylan Spence & Louis Weissman

Long-Form, Fiction:
The Craft by Elise Neroutsos, Walker Evans, James Vitz-Wong & Sam Weller

Public Service Announcement:
Ballard Food Bank by Jacob Scott, Brittney Blokker & Sam Weller

Senior Assassin by Tony Meyer, Alex Johnston-Thomas & Elizabeth Turnell

The nominees were selected by industry professionals in the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. This makes the sixth year in a row that Ballard High School video producers have been nominated. Last year they received 9 nominations and won the category of Long Form Non-Fiction.

BHS video students will present new works completed this semester at The Showing on Friday, June 1 at 7 pm in the BHS auditorium. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and will be sold at the door.

Thursday, May 03, 2012


Three productions by Ballard High School video students have been named Official Selections of the Westport Youth Film Festival. The honored films are The Craft by Walker Evans, Elise Neroutsos, James Vitz-Wong & Sam Weller; Dream House by Ariahna Ghormely, Ana Krafchick & Louis Weissman, and A Comfortable Home, a project produced over the summer by Isaiah Hoban Halverson. The festival will take place in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on June 2nd.

Westport is home to many New York film professionals, and the festival, in association with the Westport Arts Center, is designed to provide an outlet for young filmmakers to share their work in a professional environment and receive constructive criticism from a combination of peers and professionals. This competitive festival screens “the best international and national high school and middle school films.” For more about WYFF, visit

Dream House will premiere with other works produced by students during the spring semester at The Showing on Friday, June 1st in the BHS auditorium. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


The National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY) celebrates great work by filmmakers 22 and younger. This allows promising high school filmmakers to meet college students from the nation’s leading film schools. For students from the Ballard High School Video Production Program, it also gives them a chance to catch up with program alumni and see their recent work.

Rikke Heinecke (BHS ’11) produced and directed titles are too mainstream last summer before leaving Seattle for the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. Networking with other graduates preparing to attend USC put her in touch with Dylan Visvikis (Woodenville High School, ’11). Heinecke was taken with his script for titles..., and launched a successful campaign on Kickstarter to raise funds for the project. Using a network she had developed during her studies in the BHS Video Program, Heinecke hired Bud Harrington as Director of Photography and worked with Screen Actors Guild veteran and acting coach Valerie Mamches to cast the production. She also recruited Sydney Jarol (BHS ’11) and Jacob Scott (BHS ’13) for the camera crew.

titles are too mainstream tells the story of Alex, who embarks on a quest to become a hipster legend and win over the girl of his dreams. "I'm very excited to be premiering the film at NFFTY” says Heinecke, “it will be the first time anyone (including the actors and crew members) will have seen it."

Heinecke is no stranger to NFFTY. In 2010, she was on a team of 5 filmmakers from Ballard High School to win NFFTYs 48 Hour Film Off. The following year, her first visual story, Signs, premiered at NFFTY on Opening Night. Heinecke is looking forward to NFFTY 2012. "I am so excited to get to be a part of NFFTY for my third year in a row. It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet amazingly talented filmmakers. Last year I met Allison Tate-Cortese, who is also a freshman in the Film and Television Production Program at USC and has become one of my best friends. I really can't wait to see who I'll meet this year and what inspiring stories will unfold in front of me on the big screen."

titles are too mainstream will screen during the Sex, Lies, & Angst program at the SIFF Uptown 2 Friday at 9 pm. As previously announced, NFFTY will also screen 6 short films produced by students currently in the BHS Video Production Program. For a complete festival schedule, visit

Monday, March 26, 2012


During his last few years in the Ballard High School Video Production Program, senior Louis Weissman has had aspirations of working behind the camera on a Hollywood feature film. His goal seemed nearer recently when he was accepted to the prestigious film production program at Emerson College in Boston. Then last week, he landed a job in the camera department for a feature film shooting in Los Angeles this spring.

Weissman was one of eighteen BHS video students to tour the Los Angeles film schools and industry on a field trip in 2010. Upon his return, he co-founded 243 Productions with four classmates. Their company has created productions for a variety of clients.

Weissman also excelled on productions in class. His first visual story, Mr. Clean, was an Official Selection of the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY) in 2011. His follow-up effort, the digital film Safe at Last, was a Winner at the regional Young People’s Film Festival and will be featured at NFFTY next month. He’s had internships at NFFTY during the school year and in Los Angeles last summer.

The big break came as a result of his LA internship. “The Associate Producer, Colin Ebeling, was on set helping out, and I was camera assisting: changing lenses and things. He complimented me on my hustle and knowledge and said he’d like to work with me again in the future.” Weissman thought nothing more about the conversation until the end of January, when Ebeling tracked him down about a camera crew position. “It was unreal,” says Weissman. “I ran downstairs to tell my dad so quickly I lost a slipper on the way.”

The feature, titled Bounty Killer, is set in a future society after years of global corporate rule and collapse. It concerns a specially trained assassin on a mission to cleanse the post-apocalyptic world of corrupt CEOs – in short, just the kind of movie a teenage boy might enjoy working on. But what really got Weissman’s attention was the technology. “They asked ‘Are you familiar with the Arri Alexa?’ This is the digital camera that’s rivaling film – the same one used to shoot Drive and Game of Thrones. I’d give my right arm to work with that camera. Well, my left arm, because I’d need my right to operate it.”

Weissman has already earned sufficient credits to graduate from high school and plans to take his diploma early in order to join the crew in Los Angeles for shooting this April and May. He has no intention of putting film school on hold, however. “The job I’ll be working next month doesn’t require a college degree, but once I get on that career ladder, I’d like to move up and eventually become a cinematographer some day. Without a college degree, I’d hit a ceiling that I couldn’t move beyond. You can learn things on the set you might never learn in college, but the reverse is true, too. During the hustle and bustle of production, you don’t have time to familiarize yourself with art history or ponder what lighting strategy best complements the art design.”

Saturday, March 03, 2012


Six short films by students in the Ballard High School Video Production Program have been named Official Selections of the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY). This competitive festival showcases outstanding work by filmmakers age 22 and younger. NFFTY is a rare opportunity for high school students to share the spotlight with college students from our nation’s best film schools. This year, NFFTY received nearly 700 entries from 40 states and 22 countries. NFFTY opens at the Seattle Cinerama Theater on Thursday, April 26 and continues through Sunday, April 29 at the Seattle Center.

Official Selections for NFFTY are determined by a jury of professional filmmakers. These short films by Ballard High School video students have been selected for screening.

Cogs by Brendan Inkley, Nadia Komen & Cybele Olsen

English Pocket Mirror by John Hall, Sydney Jarol & Dylan Miller

Lost & Found by Brianna Kadem, Peter Lee & Bryan Quandt

The Number by Alex Guettler, Ana Krafchick & Helen Miller

Roll Play by Lily Bennett, Enjuli Chhaniara & Dayan Flynn-Walsh

Safe at Last: The Story of Antwaan Dixon by Nate Sawtell, Dylan Spence & Louis Weissman

An additional honor has been bestowed on Lost & Found. It will be screened on the prestigious Closing Night program. Both Lost & Found and The Number are the first short films by students in their initial year of the BHS Video Production Program.

Immediately following the Closing Night screening, Jury Prizes and Audience Awards will be announced. In addition to screenings and awards, NFFTY includes forums on filmmaking. For a complete schedule of events (including this year’s Future of Film Expo), show times, and ticket information, visit

NFFTY itself is the brainchild of Ballard High School video alumnus Jesse Harris (’04). Harris made history in 2004 when Living Life, the feature film he had written and directed as a senior project, was purchased by FilmMates and given a theatrical release. (It opened in Seattle in April, 2005.) The festival was co-founded by Harris, Kyle Seago (’07) – also a Ballard High School Video alumnus - and Jocelyn RC (Bellevue High School, ’07). A growing list of sponsors and partners, such as Bing, Volvo, Xbox 360, Expedia, and Vitaminwater have paved the way for this sixth annual event.

Monday, February 27, 2012


This spring, twelve students in the BHS Video Production Program will be visiting Hollywood to tour the industry, meet with professionals, visit world-class film schools, and connect with our program alumni.

Filmmaking is a competitive career. It’s not uncommon for top college programs of film and television to admit as few as 2% of applicants. Despite these odds, BHS video students regularly gain admission to these prestigious schools. As they move through college and enter the industry, these program alumni provide an ongoing source of inspiration and support for students currently in the program.

Kyle Seago graduated from BHS in ’07, and attended the film production program at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. By his second year of college, Kyle was getting such attractive job offers that he decided to put college on hold. The next few years took him to Italy, Morocco, Greece, and Macau for location shoots as he rose to the position of Associate Producer. Kyle is eager to talk with current students about the program at LMU and entering the industry.

Brendan McCarthy graduated in ’04 and attended film school at New York University. He is currently in Los Angeles working in the writers’ room of the new CBS series Rob! (broadcast Thursday evenings at 8:30 pm). Brendan will talk with students about writing for the industry and give them a tour of Studio City.

Chloe Warner-Moyer (’11) is currently attending Chapman University’s Creative Producing Program on a Dean’s Scholarship. She’ll be joining us for a tour of the new facilities at Chapman’s Dodge School of Film & Television and giving students the inside scoop on the producing program.

Rikke Heinecke (’11) is organizing our tour of the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema Arts, where she’s studying film production. She’s also arranging a chance for us to screen work by USC film students and meet some of the faculty.

All of these schools made the Hollywood Reporter’s list of the world’s top film schools, released earlier this year.

In addition, BHS students will be meeting film professionals with varied expertise, observing a shoot, and touring Hollywood studios.

We’re hoping that this trip will help students understand that the world of filmmaking is a realistic goal if they’re willing to work hard and prepare. This message wasn’t lost on previous students. Chloe and Rikke were part of a similar trip to Los Angeles in 2010. Also on that trip: Blair Scott (’11) and Dylan Miller (11’) both of whom are now studying film production at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Sydney Jarol ('11) who is now studying film on a Presidential Scholarship at Columbia College of the Arts in Chicago, and Liz O’Laughlin (’11) who is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Temple University’s School of Film & Media Arts in Philadelphia.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Everyone is invited to a screening of new work by students in the Ballard High School Video Production Program. Prior screenings have filled the auditorium and people have been turned away, so the screening will show on two days: Thursday, February 9 and Friday, February 10 at 7 p.m. in the Ballard High School auditorium.

The show will be the BHS premiere of Safe at Last, the winner of the Young People’s Film Festival, as well as several other honored productions. In addition to short comedies and dramas, the program will include news features and advertisements.

Tickets are $10, or $7 for students with an activity pass, and will be sold at the door. All proceeds benefit students in the Video Production Program.