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May 14, 2014

Niskayuna High School filmmaker hits another homerun with his latest noteworthy production


picture of Calvin O'Connor 
Student-filmmaker Calvin O'Connor

The work of Niskayuna High School student filmmaker Calvin O'Connor continues to receive awards and praise throughout the region. Mr. O'Connor's latest short film, "A Noteworthy Production," received the coveted "Outstanding Overall Film of the Year" award at this year's Capital Region Media Arts Festival hosted by Bethlehem High School. Fifteen high schools from the Capital Region participated in this annual media arts competition. Forty-five films from 10 different categories were screened and adjudication by professional artist, Danny Goodwin, who is also a professor and Art Department Chairperson at SUNY Albany.

"A Noteworthy Production" is Calvin's first foray into stop-action animation. The short film explores the concept of "artist's block" as a young filmmaker struggles to finish a video project. It is not until his workspace doodle comes to life that unexpected things begin to happen. This stop motion video took over three months to complete; including more than 500 Post-It notes and utilizing Photoshop for almost every single frame.

In addition to receiving accolades at the Capital Region Media Arts Festival, "A Noteworthy Production" also received top honors at the 15th Annual High School Regional, the 23rd Annual Juried High School Regional at Fulton Montgomery Community College, and the Burnt Hills Ballston Lake Federation of Women's Club.

This award winning short film can be seen on the district's YouTube channel - NHSshortcuts:

This latest acclaim follows O'Connor's success that he earned with his 2013 film "The Long-Off Season". "The Long-Off Season" is a "documentary" that takes one fact in Babe Ruth's life, and twists it around and builds off of that twisted fact for comedic effect. This film won the "Best Comedy" award at last year's Rod Serling Video Festival held in Binghamton, NY. It also was showcased at the Ballston Spa Film Festival, The Peoples Pixel Project, The Media Arts Festival at Proctors, and the Green Mountain Film Festival's Catamount High School Student Filmmaker Showcase.

Check out the link below to see this award winning short film:

In addition to being an accomplished young filmmaker, Calvin is also finishing up his requirements to becoming an Eagle Scout as well as just completing a highly acclaimed run in the Niskayuna High School Drama Club's production of "Harvey" in which he played the lead character, Elwood P. Dowd. Calvin will continue his pursuit and passion for the media arts by attending The Park School of Communications at Ithaca College in the fall. Calvin is currently in his second year of Mr. Honicki's Advanced Studio in Video class at Niskayuna High School.