Higley High filmmakers shoot to the top - East Valley Tribune: News

Higley High filmmakers shoot to the top

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Posted: Friday, April 24, 2009 3:52 pm | Updated: 12:54 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Tony Perea started out making skateboarding videos, while Jorden Moen began acting and modeling in auto and political billboard and TV ads. When the two Higley High School seniors brought their skills together, their first collaboration proved to be an award-winning 10-minute short film.

VIDEO: Tony Perea and Jorden Moen's "Paradigm Shift"

Tony Perea started out making skateboarding videos, while Jorden Moen began acting and modeling in auto and political billboard and TV ads. When the two Higley High School seniors brought their skills together, their first collaboration proved to be an award-winning 10-minute short film.

VIDEO: Tony Perea and Jorden Moen's "Paradigm Shift"

The dark, dramatic film, "Paradigm Shift," won the Best Editing award in March at the 2009 Student Television Network Film Festival in Orlando, Fla. It was the first time Higley High entered the contest.

The short was one of five winners in the national competition. It was screened in front of 1,500 broadcasting, journalism, and video production students, teachers, and industry professionals from across the country.

"We got a really good reaction from the audience in Orlando," said Perea, 18. "Everyone was coming up to me after and saying how much they liked it."

Perea is the cinematographer, editor and has a small acting role in the film. Moen is the lead actor, director, writer and editor, who also wrote original electronic music for the short.

The two came up with what was at first a feature film idea at the beginning of the school year. They ended up cutting the script and the video down to 10 minutes, and finished the short the day of the deadline in February.

With inspiration from films such as "Donnie Darko," "Requiem for a Dream" and "Spun," the film follows a young man who deals with the beginning stages of a relationship with a new female student, while also figuring out what is actually real in his life. Is he really going mad?

"The whole thought process of it is if the reality around you is as real as we think it is," said Moen, 19, who is dabbling in film for the first time.

Scenes were filmed at Higley High, Moen's house, a nearby Gilbert park and an Apache Junction hospital.

Perea is no stranger to film. He also works as a cinematographer and actor for Catbrain Film Factory, and has been involved in the making of six shorts with the local company. The detective noir short he helped make, "Strong Brain," won Best Film for the 48 Hour Film Project last year.

"'Paradigm Shift' is my first hard-core drama I've worked on with a psychological aspect," said Perea, who plans on attending Scottsdale Community College's film program in the fall. He also was accepted into the 2009 Summer Broadcast Institute at Arizona State University.

Moen wants to continue acting, writing and editing, while also making his electronic music and being a DJ.

The students are both involved in the film and video program at Higley High, led by teacher David Nuttall.

Although Nuttall thought the film was "kind of creepy" and technically had some lighting issues, he said their editing was "really, really well done."

"They are both really, really driven, and I was pleasantly surprised that they won," Nuttall said. "I wasn't expecting them to win because I didn't know what they were up against."

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