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Spy Hop showcases ‘the cream of the crop’

Dale Thompson, Of the Record staff
Aspiring filmmakers and Park City High School seniors Patrick O Malley and Nick Demondo. Their work, along with about a dozen other young Parkites, was picked as part of Spy Hop s Best Of screening at the Tower Theatre.
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For people arriving late it was a little tricky to find a seat at the crowded Tower Theatre on Wednesday night.

The draw was Spy Hop’s eighth annual "Best Of" screening event, showcasing student films, including the work of about a dozen young Parkites.

Communications Coordinator for Spy Hop, Larkin Sealy stood in front of the large crowd and introduced the films as the "cream of the crop" from those made through Sept. ’05 – Sept. ’06.

Park City High School senior Patrick O’ Malley said it was great to see his own work on the big screen.

"I just like being able to express myself through this medium," he said.

O’Malley and fellow senior Nick Demondo said they liked being part of Spy Hop because film is something they might study in college.

"We really want to get into the film business and it’s a great opportunity," O’Malley said.

The boys worked together on two films. "The Coolest Guy in Town," played by O’Malley, is a short mockumentary about a hero who comes to the rescue when things in everyday life go awry.

Narrated in the nostalgic sleepy town style of "A Christmas Carol" and "The Sandlot" it is one man’s reflection on how the coolest guy in town brought random acts of kindness when they were needed the most.

The tone of the film is set in an opening scene when a boy sits outside on a hot day licking an ice cream cone. His scoop of melty vanilla falls to the pavement after one over-enthusiastic bite. The Coolest Guy in Town appears, clad in a leather jacket and dark sunglasses, with a fresh ice cream cone in hand. Then he vanishes as quickly as he appeared.

As the narrator reminisces about the coolest guy in town the audience watches the coolest guy rescue kites from trees, and offer a spare red balloon to the boy who has just lost one.

They also helped on a documentary titled "Guillermo Colmenero: An Artist’s Work."

Colmenero is a sculptor whose work was on display at the Kimball Art Center during the Arte Latino exhibit earlier this year.

In the film he discusses his craft and interpretations of his pieces.

The five-minute movie follows the artist to a studio and watches him sculpt as he offers an explanation for an unusual work of a male and a female skeleton form kissing. Much of his work is inspired by The Day of the Dead and the sculpture conveys the eternal nature of their love, Colmenero revealed.

Jarrett Reich, a Spy Hop instructor, commuted to Park City from the Salt Lake Valley to help Park City students with their projects.

He said in addition to getting exposure to the equipment students learn life skills, or what they like to call 21st-century skills, including teamwork and accountability.

The work is also satisfying to students, he said, because unlike a lot of school projects they walk away with something tangible.

"You have a nice concrete finished product," he said.

Larkin said Spy Hop helps give the students a medium to express themselves and bring attention to issues they find important. A valuable part of the process, she added, is, "having your opinion and idea respected and manifested."

As for the "Best Of" production, she said it allows them to showcase the work of highly talented kids.

"It is definitely a nice way to showcase the talent and creativity of our youth community," she said.

Spy Hop is a non-profit youth media studio which began in 1999. They offer classes ranging from film making to sound engineering. For more information visit http://www.spyhop.org or call (801) (801) 532-7500.

Work of Park City students shown during the best of showcase:

Coolest Guy in Town, Guillermo Colmenero: An Artist’s Work

Patrick O’ Malley

Nick Demondo

Guillermo Colmenero: An Artist’s Work

Tracy Lewis, Juliana Duran

Gabi Wilson

Jessica Christjans

Alvin’s Bright Idea

Kase Mikolajczak

Thomas Whitworth

Nate Innis

Sammi Eastin

Gage Eastin

Claymation

Chris Fedor

Patrick Schloesser


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