Gateway: Living

Evel Knievel-inspired short film soars to film festival

Cailyn Clark flies high in the short film “Being Evel,” which is an official selection for the All American High School Film Festival in New York City.
Cailyn Clark flies high in the short film “Being Evel,” which is an official selection for the All American High School Film Festival in New York City. Courtesy

A group of local filmmakers are seeing their work, a film inspired by daredevil Evel Knievel, take launch this year.

“Being Evel,” a short film, is an official selection for the All American High School Film Festival in New York City in October.

The film was created by students Claire Gostin, Fiona McLennan, Payton Whatley and Kiante Parker. It stars Cailyn Clark as a little girl who doesn’t want to play with dolls, but wants to ride her bike off of jumps like Knievel.

Gostin, 17, directed the film and will be attending the festival this fall. The Gig Harbor High School senior is considering film school and is planning on visiting panels to learn more about the industry while in New York.

The film was created last fall in the TCC Gig Harbor film production class. Gostin was a Running Start student at the time; Whatley is currently a Running Start student. McLennan and Parker are both TCC students.

“What a cool accomplishment for first-time filmmakers,” TCC instructor Phil Wilson said of the film’s selection. “As a teacher, I don’t think I’ve ever received better news.”

The film was shown for audiences at the TCC Diversity Festival at the Grand Cinema in Tacoma and also the Gig Harbor Student Film Showcase at the Galaxy Theatre. It’s available for view on Vimeo at www.vimeo.com/114413470.

“It’s always fun to make something and then show it to people,” Gostin said.

The four-and-a-half minute film utilizes music as well as a radio interview with Evel Knievel. The young girl is flying Hot Wheels trucks on the table when she’s handed a doll in a frilly pink dress.

Not wanting to play with the doll, she goes to the garage, fixes up a peddle bike and pulls on a leather jacket and goggles. She sticks blue and white stars on her jacket to emulate Knievel.

The camera follows her view down the ramp.

Gostin said the idea she had came from two places: A television commercial featuring a girl on a bike and the stories she heard her father tell about watching Knievel and trying out his own ramps.

And thus, “Being Evel” was born.

The All American High School Film Festival runs from Oct. 9 to 11 in New York City.

Karen Miller: 253-358-4155

karen.miller@gateline.com

@gateway_karen

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