A local CSA New Tech student may see her short script come to life in Columbus as early as May.
Pigasus Pictures co-founders John Armstrong and Zachary Spicer surprised CSA New Tech High School and senior Piper Parks on Monday with the news that their screenplay, “Blue,” is the winner of the fifth annual Project Pigasus screenplay contest.
The Indiana-based film company invited high school students from the state to write short screenplays — 12 pages or less — based on their own experiences in Indiana, for submission in February. According to their first press release in December, the Pigasus filmmakers select the winning screenplay and then bring a crew to the winner’s town to produce the film, involving students in the process.
While the film is being shot, there will be a student crew working alongside the professional crew, Armstrong said.
“We’re going to bring you and all your friends together, and you’re going to learn step by step how we actually make a movie,” Spicer said. “And all of you will be working the actual positions under all of the professionals that we have on all of our feature film sets. So anything you’re interested in about filmmaking — whether it’s directing or editing, or you’re interested in lighting, or you’re interested in the casting process, or acting, or any of that — just let us know, and we’ll do it guide you through it all.”
The finished short film, he said, would normally be screened before one of Pigasus’ feature films. Spicer estimates that the entire process — from the date of Monday’s announcement to the film’s showing — will likely take around nine months to a year.
“Tentatively, the producers and I have set May 7th, 8th and 9th for the three-day shoot, which will take place in downtown Columbus,” said CSA New Tech English teacher Joe Steele.
In addition to the students’ work on the film’s set, producers also want the students to help with post-production elements such as editing, sound work and “finishing” the film next fall, he said.
Steele had encouraged his students – including Piper – to enter the Project Pigasus competition. Seniors in English 12 studied visual storytelling and each wrote a 12-page screenplay of an “engrossing ‘Indiana’ story” set in their town, with additional recognition given to contestants. Steele hopes to make this an annual order.
Parks, who enjoys writing poetry and plans to major in English in college, was surprised to learn she’d won and said it meant a lot to her. “Blue” is the first screenplay she has ever written.
“I was nervous about the future of my writing and stuff, so that made me really happy,” Parks said. Also, since she’s interested in the acting side of the film industry, she expects the project to be “worth it.”
According to a summary by Parks, “Blue” is inspired by her own experiences of loneliness and depression amid the pandemic.
“Over the past year I’ve looked into a lot of things related to mental health,” she said. “And I thought since I love to write, this would be the best way to get it all out.”
“That’s exactly one of the reasons we decided to do it,” said Armstrong. “…It’s about finding the beauty in the world around you, especially in times of struggle, and touched us deeply and thought it’s the perfect project to work on as we get out of this really difficult one.” time to come out.”
According to Steele, the story is about various locations in downtown Columbus, including the Crump Theater and the “Eos” statue on Fifth Street.
Parks said she has included places she’s been to over the past year that mark important memories for her.
She wrote in her synopsis that going outside and looking at the “Art and Beauty” of Columbus helped her overcome her depression.
“It’s hard to open up, I know that,” she said. “But with a little help, you can see the color in your life again. I know I have it because of the help I got and my beautiful surroundings. I mean, why should I make it even harder for myself when there’s such a colorful world around me?”