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Future Credits: New Kids on the Block

Young talent dominates ASU film festival

 by Ljiljana Ciric  published on Thursday, April 13, 2006

Jared Shelton and Scott Stine have bright film careers ahead of them -- their short film
Tiffany Tcheng / STATE PRESS MAGAZINE
Jared Shelton and Scott Stine have bright film careers ahead of them -- their short film "Chicago Love" was the only movie from Arizona selected for the ASU Short Film Festival.
 

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Jared Shelton grew up watching "The Terminator" and "Star Wars" with his dad and dreamed of becoming the man behind the camera. His friend Scott Stine, another "Star Wars" fan, always wanted to become a writer, which got him interested in moviemaking.

"Writing a novel or making a movie turned out to have no difference at all for me," Stine says.

The dream of becoming award-winning filmmakers came true for these Valley teenagers this month. Shelton and Stine, both seniors at Chandler High School, became the youngest Arizona Award winners for their short film "Chicago Love" which will be presented at the 10th Annual ASU Art Museum Short Film and Video Festival on April 15.

"The news took me by surprise," says Stine. "It was great to be chosen as the best from a handful of Arizona filmmakers."

"Chicago Love," a seven-and-a-half-minute film about obsession, portrays a man who won't give up on his relationship, and a girl that doesn't even know she's in it. It is the only film from Arizona showing at the festival.

More than 449 entries were made to the festival's organizers, John Spiak and Bob Pece, who selected 20 short films and videos to showcase at the ASU Nelson Fine Arts Center plaza. The pieces came from 31 states and 19 nations around the world.

"This year we received more entries than we ever had," says Spiak, a curator at the ASU Art Museum.

Around 30 Arizona filmmakers submitted their work for this year's festival, says Spiak. "Chicago Love" was selected as the winner.

"The film is very humorous and fun to watch," says Spiak. "It's well crafted and has a well conceived artistic twist."

For Shelton and Stine, the path to the festival began at Chandler High, where they teamed up their sophomore year in a television production class.

"We became a production team," says Shelton. "We always had an open environment between us in terms of who's the director and who's the producer."

They've created 10 short films for school projects, but "Chicago Love" is the best film they've done, says Stine. Shelton wrote, directed and played the lead role and Stine shot and edited the film.

Shelton came up with the idea for the film while listening to the song "Hard to Say I'm Sorry" by the band Chicago.

"It was an emotional, whiny song about dating and breaking up and I had this idea," says Shelton. "What if they [the characters] never dated at all, but he thinks they did and he is stalking the girl."

Shelton and Stine are no strangers to the festival circuit -- he film was screened at the Phoenix Film Festival in March where they have submitted their work, and won several awards, two years in a row.

They decided to submit "Chicago Love" to the ASU Art Museum Short Film and Video Festival on Spiak's suggestion. They met Spiak last year when he came to Chandler High School to showcase video art as a part of the ASU Art Museum outreach program.

"They are great guys with great energy and spirit, and for their age, they're extremely professional," Spiak says.

Both Shelton and Stine will attend ASU in the fall, but in terms of their filmmaking careers, they don't plan to stay in Arizona. Despite local efforts, including tax-cuts and benefits to boost the film industry in Arizona, they say that the environment is not right for them. They plan to either hit Hollywood or Los Angeles, where their work will be challenged and where they'll fight competition.

"It's not a great scene here, and right now we're just small guys in a small scene," says Stine. "We want to go where the opportunities are, and be with the giants."

Reach the reporter at ljiljana.ciric@asu.edu.



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