Students Successfully Participate in First Annual Turkey Shoot


Brianna Conley

A teacher hosts the viewing and awards ceremony of the Turkey Shoot.

Taking place in May each spring, the annual Walpole High School Film Festival has continued to accumulate great success and support from the community over the past twelve years. Students bring their ideas to life, creating documentaries, mysteries, comedies and many other genres of film.  However, this year, the Film Festival is not the only chance students have to create their own movies: the film department also decided to orchestrate an entirely new event to encourage the production of student-made films.

Students of any and all ages within the community were given twenty four hours from 12 pm on November 28th until 12 pm on November 29th to completely film, edit and complete a three minute short film. The twenty four hour film festival was conveniently named The Turkey Shoot, as it occurred the day after Thanksgiving. There were a total of fifteen submitted films that were created by current students, aspiring middle school filmmakers, and a few alumni of the program.

On December 22nd, not only were the winners of the event named, but the audience also was able to view all of the Turkey Shoot short films in the WHS auditorium. The winning film of the Turkey Shoot was seniors Caroline Falvey and Nell Gordon’s short film, “The Wanderer’s Sonata.” The music-narrated film, consisted of a series of charcoal stop motion pictures and drawings used to illustrate the life of a female composer who is friends with an elderly man.  The film consisted of approximately 1800 still frames which Caroline and Nell drew, photographed, edited and aligned in chronological order.

“The Turkey Shoot was a really great event for everyone to learn and try new things. In past years I only worked on music, but this gave me the opportunity to try directing and editing a film,” said senior Caroline Falvey.  “Although it was stressful at times, the Turkey Shoot was a great hands on learning experience.”

Additionally, one of the films was about a dancer who hoped to seek revenge on his dance instructor, while another featured a group of students who misunderstood what was the meaning of the Turkey Shoot.

All fifteen of the submitted films were expected to be completely original and authentically created by the students or alumni. Along with creating, filming and editing all of scenes, the students additionally had to either record their own music and songs to go with their movie or use up to 30 seconds of copyrighted music. Encouraging individuality and creativity, the Turkey Shoot allowed students to have more fun and take more risks than film students typically do during the production of Film Festival movies.

Having to overcome setbacks and challenges, students who took part in The Turkey Shoot were able to display their skills and determination as filmmakers.

Senior Brendan Jeannetti, co-director of the film “Silent Night,” said, “The hardest part for Jamie [Ferguson] and I was that we wanted the final product to be perfect, but we were limited to a time constraint. But the whole process was rewarding because we got to see the project transform into an interesting story with complex characters from a really basic idea.”

The First Annual Turkey Shoot was very successful and received positive feedback from participants. Mr. Alan, the director of the WHS film program, said, “The Turkey Shoot was the program’s fall fundraiser, and the submission of fifteen films was a great start. Hopefully the success will continue next year.”