Ezekial Powers celebrated his birthday in outer space.
Powers turned 17 on July 27 while attending Quinnipiac University’s, “Modern Storytelling: Movie-Making Madness for High School Students,” summer program.
Powers was one of 43 students enrolled in the one-week residential summer program, which ended Friday. They worked with award-winning media professionals to translate their creative ideas into engaging short films and video pieces. The students used QU’s industry-standard cinema cameras and collaborative editing suites to develop, shoot, edit and share commercials, television episodes and short films.
Instead of blowing out candles, Powers worked the lights during a scene on the set of the movie “Space Bug,” a science-fiction comedy/thriller.
“I like films and acting,” he said. “I do theater and improv. I like to make people laugh. I like acting but I also think I come up with some good writing stuff. I like watching Norm McDonald on (SNL’s) ‘Weekend Update.’ I could watch those for hours. I’d like to be an actor/writer. It’s a high bar, but why not shoot for the stars?”
In addition to acting and lighting, the students enrolled in the summer program learned skills such as producing, scripting, cinematography and post-production to create dynamic and diverse media content for all types of audiences.
Teamwork was a must, said Hannah McCall of Wilton. She worked as the floor director while a group of students did their own remake of a “Big Bang Theory” episode. A short scene, in which the characters tried to purchase tickets for Comicon, required 15 takes.
“It’s a lot of communication,” McCall, 16, said of her job. “I was surprised at how many takes we did, but I like the final result. I came here because I was really interested in producing and I wanted to get better at working with real cameras. This program pretty much solidified my goal of working in film production.”
On Thursday, Mike Schleif, assistant director for QU’s School of Communications, worked with the movie students, while Peter Sumby, director of operations for the School of Communications, oversaw the sitcom students.
“When they leave here, they’re going to have a better understanding of the production world,” Schleif said. “It is going to, hopefully, pique their interest because there are so many different jobs in production. They may come in wanting to learn how to direct, but they may find that camera operation, cinematography or editing is more their passion. They are getting exposed to the whole world of what goes into production.”