BBA Student Filmmaker to Screen Film as Benefit for School
James Moore, a Burr and Burton Academy senior who wrote and directed a feature-length film last year, premiered ‘Life Heist’ on May 19 at Village Picture Shows in Manchester as a fundraiser for BBA’s Cinematography Department. Additional screenings will be at BBA’s Riley Center on Saturday and Sunday, June 4 and 5, at 6:30 p.m. Moore spent his junior year writing and editing the script, a story about a group of high schoolers who put together a plan to rob a bank to raise money to help a young cancer victim. The boys convince the school janitor who has served time for bank robbery to help them. The film has several twists and turns including an unexpected romance between the daughter of the janitor and one of the student bank robbers. The film stars professional actor Tom Ferguson of Arlington, who plays the part of the school janitor, and features Conor Harrington of Dorset, Chaston Finaldi of Wardsboro and Koben Potalla of Manchester. Ellie Williams of Manchester plays the love interest, and Adrian and Julian Woodrow, of Shaftsbury play the roles of twin computer whiz kids who help with the technical aspects of the heist. BBA students and teachers are seen throughout the film as well as many parents, neighbors and grandparents. Students from Moore’s cinematography classes served as the filming and technical crew, including Johnny Girdzis, Max Mackson, John Amigo, Noah Kane, Ethan Hacker and Jack Geurts.
Bill Muench, head of the Cinematography Department, helped Moore with the project. “James is a very talented and hard-working filmmaker,” said Muench. “We have an outstanding arts program here at BBA as reflected by this effort put together by many of our students. There are very few high schools that have a program like this.” Moore was able to shoot the entire production over the summer with a small budget. He convinced area businesses to let him use their buildings; several scenes were also shot in various actor’s homes and cars. Moore worked with Neil Freebern, BBA’s music teacher and Creative Arts Department head, to score the film. Moore said he can’t wait to see everyone’s reaction to the movie. Advance tickets can be obtained by making donations online through bbacinema.ticketjunior.com. All money raised from ticket donations will go to BBA’s Cinematography Department. “It feels great to give something back to the program that so inspired me,” Moore said.