Wednesday, April 13, 2016


The Northwest Chapter of theNational 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.  Productions are nominated by NATAS industry professionals.  Students from the Ballard High School Digital Filmmaking Program earned thirteen nominations, more than twice the number of any other school or organization in the five-state region.  The winners will be announced on June 4 at the 53rd Annual Northwest Emmy Awards.  

Ballard’s nominations span four categories, reflecting the diverse skills students learn in the program.  These are the nominations by category. 

Short Form Fiction:
Anne by Jaya Flanary, Meagen Tajalle & Rachel Cole

The Dragon’s Lair by PJ Hase, Jonny Cechony & Ellie Clarrissimeaux

Green Space by Jonny Cechony

My Hero by Cecilia O’Rollins, Gabriella Strommen, Olga Schultheis & David Knobloauch

Who’s Afraid of the Dark? by Bergen Johnson, Cameron Miller & Sierra Santoro

Music Video:
Big Coat by Jaya Flanary, Duncan Gowdy & Leo Pfeifer

Josephine by Duncan Kastner, Aaron Miller, Grant Moffett & Kajsa Woolford

Today by Coleman Andersen, PJ Hase & Bergen Johnson

Voices by Aurore Bouriot, Jonathan Bowers, Brian Cropp & Jake Rehfeldt

Public Service Announcement:
I’m an Artist by Martin Bolivar, Jonny Cechony & Evan Wallace

Protect Your Hearing by Elliott Atkinson, Cyrus Ogle & Bailey Wall

What Lies Ahead by Jaya Flanary, Meagen Tajalle & Grace Turnell

Hologram by Miles Andersen, Emily Black, Sophie DeGreen, Jesse Romero & Sho Schrock

This makes the tenth year in a row that Ballard High School film students have been nominated by the Academy.  Last year they received 11 nominations. 

Some of the nominated productions will be screened at the Ballard Film Festival on Friday, June 3rd and Saturday, June 11th at 7 pm in the BHS auditorium.  Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults.

Friday, April 01, 2016


In mid-March, students in the BHS Digital Filmmaking Program travelled to Los Angeles to visit college film and television programs, catch up with program alumni, and meet with professional filmmakers to discuss their crafts and careers. 

The college visits included Chapman University, Emerson College, Loyola Marymount University, and the University of Southern California – all institutions ranked by the Hollywood Reporter as among the best film schools in the world. 

In addition to official tours, the students received the inside scoop from recent graduates of the BHS Digital Filmmaking Program currently studying at these institutions.  Sho Schrock (BHS ’15) gave a presentation on Creative Producing at Chapman University.  Kelsey Mendenhall (BHS ’13) met students at the Emerson LA campus and talked about the semester that film students at Emerson College spend in LA.  Matt Law (BHS ’10, LMU ’15), recipient of LMU’s Top Production Student accolade, met with students on campus after their official tour.  (Visit for a look at what he’s been up to since finishing college last spring.) 

On the professional side, students heard from program graduates now working in the industry (many of whom had also visited Los Angeles during their time in the Digital Filmmaking Program).   Following a tour of the School of Cinematic Arts at USC, Producer Rikke Heinecke (BHS ’11, USC ’15), Head of Production at Oceana Branding (, gave a great talk on producing music videos.  (She works with artists such as Justin Beiber, Tiesto and The Chainsmokers).  Director Jesse Harris (BHS ’04,, met students for dinner to talk about making commercials.  (Jesse has the distinction of being the youngest filmmaker ever to write and direct a feature film that obtained multi-state theatrical release.  His feature, Living Life, was his senior project at Ballard High School.)  Louis Weissman (BHS ’12) talked with students about working on camera crews, writer Blair Scott (BHS ’11, NYU ’15) talked with students about breaking into the industry, and Brendan McCarthy (BHS ’04, NYU ’07), writer on Grace & Fankie, invited students into the Writers’ Room at Paramount to explain how stories for series television programs are developed.  In addition, students spoke at length with Writer/Producer Jason Cahill (winner of the Writer’s Guild of America Award for The Sopranos) Students also toured two major studios: Universal and Warner Brothers.