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HHS student Grant Carasco premieres film created through CrewUp Program at Indie Memphis Film Festival this weekend
portrait of grant carascoBy HHS Student August Clawson

Germantown, Tennessee—September 4, 2019—Grant Carasco, a junior at Houston High School, was selected for an elite six-month filmmaking mentorship program sponsored by the Grizzlies Foundation.  The program, titled CrewUp, provided local student teams with a $500 budget and an industry mentor. This weekend, Carasco’s culminating film On Edge will screen at the Halloran Center as a part of the Memphis Indie Film Festival.

This was Carasco’s first experience in the mentorship program and he went into it not knowing what to expect. “Nonetheless I was still excited,” he replied when inquiring about what he expected out of the program.

Jessica Chaney, the manager of Cloud901, took on the task of mentoring Carasco’s Group. She guided the students but didn’t interfere too much with the actual filmmaking to foster a professional environment, which Carasco and his group appreciated. After brainstorming, the group decided to go with Grant’s pitch for their student-produced film. 

The film follows two high school seniors as they venture out to discover if the Earth is flat.  In Grant’s words the film’s protagonist, “is a stereotypical conspiracy theorist,” and his sidekick is an average high school student. The idea was inspired by the ‘Flat Earth Theory’ which was extremely popular on the Internet. The group decided the concept had potential. 

After storyboarding and scheduling, the student group began shooting. On the first day, their lead actor canceled. Luckily, they had another actor lined up who wanted to play the lead. “Ezekiel (Bill) and Merrick (John) brought the characters to life,” praised Carasco. 

Their 500-dollar budget was mostly spent on props and catering for the crew. Fortunately, they didn’t need to purchase a film permit because they were able to film at Cloud901 and on location in their mentor’s backyard. “The program was a fun experience, I loved being able to get a taste of professional filmmaking,” verbalized Grant about his overall experience. 

Come see for yourself as Grant’s film, On Edge, will be shown during the Mentorship program screening at 12:45 p.m. at the Halloran Theater in downtown Memphis. 

Tickets are free for students in grades 7-12. During the festival, students can hear Bluff City Law star Caitlin McGee share her insights about acting, breaking into the business and more. She kicks off the festival at 10am with check-in starting at 9:30. A free pizza lunch follows the workshop in addition to many other of student films and hands-on workshops.