Documentary on Dalton selected at three film festivals, wins major award
November 30 – “Dalton: A Story of Survival”, a documentary retracing the history of the city’s resilience, was accepted at three film festivals and won the award for best feature documentary at the American Golden Picture International Film Festival in Jacksonville, Florida.
“We thought (our documentary) was good enough to” aim higher than film festivals for student work only, so STEP (student, crew, entertainment, production) Studio applied to more prestigious festivals, and ” entering (three) festivals was a victory for us, âsaid Jacob Poag, director of STEP Studio, which is made up of high school and college students from the region interested in film work.
As Atlanta and Georgia have become movie hotspots in recent years, acceptance at Cobb International Film Festival was “very big and special”, Virginia’s Global Film and Music Festival USA was another dose of affirmation, and winning an award in Jacksonville was unexpected, but “unbelievable.”
Poag, a junior at Christian Heritage School, also got to speak about the film in Atlanta at the Cobb International Film Festival, and âwe had a lot of good feedback from peopleâ from all over the country at this event, a- he declared. It was “a cool time”.
STEP screened the film at an October meeting of the Whitfield-Murray Historical Society, where “they loved it,” and Poag plans to do more screenings next year, he said. A premiere for those associated with the project is scheduled for February, and “we also want to do a public screening”, but the dates and locations have yet to be determined.
It took almost two years to make the film, including 250 hours of editing, so chief editor Noah Crump deserves a lot of praise, Poag said.
“This film would not have seen the light of day without him.”
Crump has a long history of editing and works for the North Georgia Radio Group, but he had yet to complete a project of the magnitude of this documentary, he said. Fortunately, “I was with them most of the filming so I was able to see the footage we had collected.”
Several test screenings also benefited the finished product, Crump added.
“It was good to see.”
Poag agreed, noting that “we had a pretty closed circle of three to four people for the edit, so” allowing more people to see early edits and come up with suggestions “opened up more (possibilities) for us. “.
For Poag, âA Story of Survivalâ is an apt title because Colorblind are âsurvivors who get knocked down but always get back on their feet,â he said. “I’m not from here,” but since moving to the area a few years ago, “I’ve learned how amazing (this community) is.”
Shortly after setting the title, local attorney Lane Haley (one of dozens interviewed for the documentary which provided a perspective on Dalton and his history) also focused on the impressive survival instincts of Colorblind, Crump said.
“It was the most beautiful of coincidences.”
Similar courage among the studio members allowed this film to flourish, Poag said.
“It would have been easy for us to quit, but we didn’t, and I’ve never seen anything like this happen with” a team of strictly students.
Poag and his colleagues at STEP haven’t set up a follow-up project, as they focus more on helping former studio members who have gone to universities across the country to get their films off the ground.
âFor a lot of them, filmmaking was a hobbyâ when they started working for the studio, but ânow they specialize in filmmaking,â he said. STEP will also help other student filmmakers if they have any interesting ideas and act as producers for these projects, so anyone interested can contact the studio at [email protected]
The studio is also accepting new staff, as the current crop is leaving Dalton for college elsewhere, and anyone interested in joining the operation can email the studio at the email address, a. -he declares.
âWe are looking for new people at the Dalton branch to replaceâ those who are leaving.
Working with the studio has provided Crump with invaluable experience, he said.
“By working around problems, I learned so much about the process of ‘editing and making movies.