June 23, 2008

Filmmaker Starts Young

By Beth L. Jokinen, The Lima News, Ohio

Jun. 23--LIMA -- This summer will be a busy one for young filmmaker Becky Hartung. There are 10 episodes of her teenage drama to finish, a short film about adoption, and a trip to Orlando, Fla., for a New York Film Academy, where she'll give acting a try.

"With film, it is a way to express myself, and the same with writing," the Temple Christian School junior said, saying that she loves the "getting out of your own skin" aspect of acting.

The adoption film is based on her winning Laws of Life essay, which was about her own experience of being adopted. The money she won from Laws of Life is helping to fund her trip to Orlando, Fla.

"I was going to do film, but then after getting involved in school plays decided to do acting," she said of the academy, which includes classes and brings the film and acting students together at the end of the week.

"I have always liked writing and would go and watch movies and say I would have done this or that shot different," she said. "But it is just really awesome to perform in front of everyone."

Becky has been involved in numerous school productions, including this year's "Beauty and the Beast." She also put together a behind-the-scenes film on the production. She uses her school friends to act in her films.

Becky became interested in movies at a young age, having watched "Peter Pan" and other favorites sometimes 10 to 15 times in a row. She was always putting on skits and puppet shows for whomever would watch and received her first digital video recorder at age 12. She started making films a year later.

"I just picked up a camera one day and I keep progressing to better cameras," she said.

Through Faith Baptist Church, Becky has been part of Teens Involved, a youth organization that competes in skit, writing and other creative competitions. She attends Lima Baptist Temple.

"Spiritual Icon," a parody of "American Idol," finished second at the national level. The film featured judges determining if contestants would go to heaven or hell.

Another parody, this time of the movie "Napoleon Dynamite," was one of 30 films featured at a Kids Film Fest in California. The 8-minute film featured the main character trying to figure out how to get to heaven.

"I was really surprised," Becky said of being chosen from the 500 entries. "It really gave me a boost of energy to keep making them and making them better."

Becky, who's been featured on YouTube, has started videotaping weddings and doing promotional videos for school and others. She plans to enter some of her ongoing projects into competitions.

She said she hopes to attend Full Sale University or Liberty University to major in acting and minor in film or vice versa.

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