Zombie movie takes Glenfield students to Italy

Glenwood students Moetahi Shortland, Loryn Briggs, Cooper Cheyne and Ronald Chan all worked on Chocolypse. Picture: Chris Lane
Glenwood students Moetahi Shortland, Loryn Briggs, Cooper Cheyne and Ronald Chan all worked on Chocolypse. Picture: Chris Lane

The next Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese or Peter Jackson could come from Glenwood Public School.

A class of highly talented youngsters who made a zombie-inspired short film are celebrating their movie’s inclusion in an international film festival.

Kids at the Glenfield school worked with teacher Tom Gough on Chocolypse! – made in the vein of early silent horror films – which was accepted to screen at the Global Education Schools Movie Festival in Italy.

Several students and Mr Gough will head to Europe next month for the festival.

The teacher said he could not be more proud of his students.

“It is beyond my ability to explain how proud I am of these kids,” he said.

“You never know how much they are capable of – it’s almost surreal.

“You can’t underestimate kids in south-west Sydney.”

Mr Gough said the students put together “95 per cent” of what you see on screen.

The school has a long history with creating movies and Chocolypse! is just the latest success, with previous films being entered in competitions such as Tropfest.

Mr Gough said making the movie was very educational.

“They learnt a lot about non-verbal communication,” he said.

“They learnt about drama and telling a story.”

To prepare for the film, the students watched classic silent movies like Nosferatu and The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari, infusing techniques like long shadows and ‘Dutch angles’ into their own picture.

Mr Gough said the students were very quick to pick up on the techniques needed to bring their story to life.

They not only acted in the movie, but also operated the cameras, wrote and performed the music and cut the movie together on iPad programs. 

Chocolypse! tells the story of a newly-released chocolate bar unleashing a zombie virus on unsuspecting kids.

The main character is allergic to chocolate, and is the only person at school unaffected by the outbreak.

“As the classroom teacher, I am delighted to have worked with such a creative and dedicated group of students,” Mr Gough said.

“It’s always a pleasure to see such creativity emerge and it’s exciting to be able to offer more and more creative opportunities to students as new technologies become available that give students expression to their ideas.

“It always renews the inspiration and enthusiasm I have for the work we do in public schools.”

The school is attempting to raise as much money as possible to ease the financial burden on the students and their families as they travel to Italy.

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