Bluthenthals show how it’s done

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Sequim Gazette

From robots and racers to farmers and fastpitch players — and even some cowboys versus zombies action — the 2012 Sequim Education Film Festival saw a variety of films vie for the top prize.


In the end, it was a tongue-in-cheek “how-to” movie that captured the judges’ hearts.


Cameron and Kelley Bluthenthal’s “How to Make a Movie” took top honors from judges at the seventh annual student film fest, putting the audience in stitches with their top-10 (plus a couple of extra) tips for aspiring filmmakers.


“I did not expect to get in the top three,” Cameron Bluthenthal said following the award presentations. “Never thought we’d get first place.”


Torrie McIntyre and Skyler Lewis’ “Reduction,” a kind of documentary about the loss of farmland in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley, took second while Angela Bentley’s “One Earth” took third place.


Brendon Hudson and Aran Burke won the audience over with their comedy “Racer’s Ed,” which took home the Elkie (people’s choice) Award.


The Bluthenthal brothers used iMovie software to piece together the winning film. The hardest part of making it, Cameron said, was “trying not to fall asleep in front of the computer.”


The Bluthenthals, both students at Olympic Peninsula Academy, took second place at last year’s SEF film festival with “JCL Salmon Recovery Project.”


They and other aspiring filmmakers got some tutoring when the education foundation helped sponsor a workshop on Feb. 29 with Andrew Burke, a professional filmmaker from the Portland, Ore., area now residing in Port Townsend.


“What I like to focus on (in workshops) is just having fun; for a lot of these students, it’s their first video,” Burke said Friday evening at the festival. “And they don’t have to be long. They can be two minutes.”

Burke called having video- and film-making programs at high schools key.


“That’s one of the things that attracted me (to put on the workshop),” Burke said. I had the same thing done for me in high school.”


Cameron Bluthenthal, an eighth-grader, said he learned a lot about lighting in that workshop, a skill that helped refine the winning film.


Kelley Bluthenthal, a seventh-grader, said he and his brother originally had 18 “tips” and pared it down to 10 before adding a couple in the end credits.


As for future in filmmaking, Cameron Bluthenthal said he’s not so sure.


“This,” he said, holding his SEF Film Festival first-place award, “gives me more and more confidence.”


Find more information about the Sequim Education Foundation Film Festival at


Reach Michael Dashiell at
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