Originators of ‘Nighthawk Man’ astonished by work of successors
HIGHLANDS RANCH – Two college students were among the crowd at the gala unveiling Rocky Heights Middle School’s (RHMS) third full-length film, “Nighthawk Man Origin,” amazed at how their successors had brought new, big-screen life to their creation.
Nicole Givin, now a senior and television producer at Boston College, and Annie Meyer a senior at the University of Colorado, Boulder came up with the idea of Nighthawk Man about a decade ago while seventh-grade students at RHMS.
“They have just taken it and have done incredible things. I would have never thought in a million years that they would have done this,” Meyer said.
READ MORE: Rocky Heights Middle School students produce original motion picture
The caped-crusader was originally created for a Public Service Announcement (PSA) project in a multi-media class.
“Mr. [Kelly] Corr was running around in one of his costumes, so we asked him if he would be in our movie. It was funny and everyone loved Mr. Corr,” Meyer explained. “It turned into this huge thing because everyone wanted more.”
Meyer and Givin participated in an independent study with RHMS technology teacher Scott Melanson and their project was to create a series of PSAs about everything from littering to bullying.
“We won the Parker Film Festival in the eighth grade,” Meyer said. “We really wanted to get onto RCTV (Rock Canyon Television), so that was our big “in” for RCTV.”
The two former-students are amazed at what the students are doing in the RHMS program today. Three years in a row the students have produced full-length films, along side teachers Scott Melanson, Tim Ryckman, and Maclain Looper. The first two were based on the Hollywood films “The Breakfast Club” and “Mean Girls.”
The latest was a completely original creation. Looper wrote the screenplay and students took the lead in photography, editing and special effects.
“I am just so impressed with what everyone is doing at Rocky Heights with technology, because we had a good program when we were there,” Meyer said.
“I am so jealous,” added Givin. “My studio at college right now is nothing compared to this.”
Meyer and Givin say they know the skills the RHMS students learning today will help them regardless of what profession they decide to go into—but especially film and broadcast.
“What they are doing at the middle school is something they’ll get to take away. If they want to do it in high school, if they want to pursue it afterwards, it is an invaluable experience,” Givin said.
The lessons learned during this effort will now be shared District-wide. Scott Melanson will be working to share that expertise and create training opportunities for with teachers and students, as DCSD’s Student Media Coordinator.