There’s a new film maker in town.
He’s still a little young, but judging by his enthusiasm for making movies, this grade four student already has a bright future ahead of him.
Derrik Jansen, nine, a student at Iroquois Public School, taught by Madame LaCroix and Mrs. Mac, has been awarded first prize in the Upper Canada District School Board’s Summer Fun Holiday Video Contest.
The contest encouraged area families to submit short videos showing their favourite moments from summer vacation. Contestants posted their videos on the Board’s Facebook site.
Derrik’s award winning short film was created around his family’s camping vacation in Stowe, Vermont.
“We wanted to create a fun way in which families in the UCDSB area could share their summer memories while drawing them to our Facebook site to learn about registering for our quality programs,” said David K. Thomas, director of education with the board. “We are excited to announce that Iroquois Public School student Derrik Jansen has won the grand prize of a two night stay at the Ambassador Conference Centre Resort in Kingston.”
The Leader had the opportunity to talk to the young film maker on Friday, September 7, at his school.
“I am really interested in making films,” Derrik said. “I’ve been making my own videos, lots of them, ever since I had the chance to attend the Real to Reel Film Festival in April. (The UCDSB has held this film festival for the last six years, and IPS teacher Mrs. Moorhouse took her students, including Derrik, to the event in the spring.) Mrs. Moorhouse taught me all I know about making movies.”
Derrik’s mother read about the Board’s video contest, and encouraged him to enter.
“We’ve been going to Stowe, Vermont, camping, for about 13 years,” Derrik explained. “It’s a place really special to my mom and dad. Originally, when I was thinking about my film, I thought I might call it Stores in Stowe, but then I thought, who wants to see a lot of stores?”
With his camera constantly in his hands, Derrik followed his parents and sister Ruby as they vacationed.
“I’m one of those kids who follows his family around with a camera,” Derrik laughed. “Basically, they’re used to me being there filming. We went to familiar places and some new ones.”
He filmed the Jansen family’s visits to Cider Donuts, to Spruce Peak and to Ben & Jerry’s factory (“we were eating ice cream cones at 9:30 a.m.”). Derrik himself appears in the film at a bungee trampoline site.
“My parents said this was the most hilarious part of my video since there I am, hanging from a bungee line, and I’m whining because the harness is too tight.”
Back home, Derrik had to edit a lot of footage on his mother’s e-machine, using Windows 7, in order to get his video down to slightly over one minute in length (contest rules). His opening titles were shot over a Stowe, Vermont, license plate. “My dad thought of that,” he said.
While he could check voting on line after he submitted his entry, Derrik had no idea he had actually been awarded first place until August 30.
“I was out in a tiny fishing boat with my grandfather, when my dad called on the cell phone and said, ‘I’ve got good news. You won.’ I immediately started doing my excited dance, which is not easy,” he laughed, “on a small fishing boat. Lots of stares.”
Derrik’s interest in film making is already pointing him in a career direction.
“I really love this. I hope that it does become more than a hobby one day. I am very interested in making short films, maybe even commercials. Not educational films at this point. I don’t want to make Sesame Street.”
In the last months he’s made movies like Nerf Gunshots, Horror Film, featuring his sister, Ruby, and just this week, he made Crazy Dancing.
“After this, I would really like to experiment with special effects, but I would need a new program, and that will be expensive. Maybe down the road.
In the meantime,” Derrik Jansen, South Dundas’ newest film maker, said, “my camera and I will be out there working hard.”