Titled “Life@NHS,” the 20-minute long film is the culmination of an entire school year’s worth of filming and editing for 10 journalism students from the class of English teacher Caroline Messenger.
“We studied documentaries in class, and the students looked up the style of a lot of different film makers,” Messenger said. “They came to understand that good documentaries are about things you care a lot about, and so they chose to do it about the high school.”
The documentary features interviews from freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors, as well as supplementary interviews from members of the school’s faculty.
“We just wanted to highlight all the positive aspects of our school, but we showed the hardships too,” said Halley Lisieski, a senior at the school and editor-in-chief of the school’s newspaper. “We just wanted to show people what it meant to be here today.”
The project has stimulated an encouraging amount of interest, Lisieski said. But she added that the project only came as a result of an enormous amount of dedication and passion from all of the students involved.
“We’d never handled so much media at one time, and we had to get so many things done outside of class since we did our filming and editing in class,” Lisieski said.
Messenger said making the documentary was a learning experience for her students and not just in movie making.
“They learned an awful lot. They learned that it’s hard,” Messenger said. “But they learned about themselves, too — about endurance.”
A test cut of the film premiered in April was very well received, Messenger said. The final cut of the film will be shown on Nov. 2 at 7 p.m at Naugatuck High School. Tickets are $2.