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West Orange High School Senior Takes Second Place in 2024 New Jersey Ten-Day Film Challenge

WEST ORANGE, NJ - West Orange High School senior Dylan Schatell took second place in "Best Overall Film" for "Take My Hand" at the 2024 New Jersey Ten-Day Film Challenge. Schatell's film was recently shown at the "Scene and Heard" West Orange High School Short Film Festival.

The senior, who recently discovered his passion for filmmaking, will be attending Rutgers University in the fall as a Political Science major and plans to continue making films as well as work with his band "Rainbow Vision," who recently released a successful album "Dire Hydration." 

After spinning a computerized wheel to receive his film genre for the Ten Day Film Challenge, Schatell landed on "horror." The script also had to include a lead character by the name of Charli Burns, an envelope, and an extreme long shot in one of the scenes.

"I really enjoyed the entire filmmaking process, but if I had to pick, the filming and editing stages were particularly rewarding. During filming, I loved being on set, working with the cast and crew, and seeing the script come to life. It was fascinating to coordinate the various elements like lighting, camera angles, and actor performances to create the desired atmosphere and tension," he explained.

"Editing was another highlight for me. It was incredible to piece together the raw footage and shape it into a coherent, engaging story. I spent countless hours experimenting with different cuts, transitions, and effects to enhance the narrative flow and visual impact. This part of the process also allowed me to learn a lot about the technical aspects of filmmaking, such as color grading and sound design, which are crucial for achieving a professional look and feel. Overall, it was a fantastic learning experience that deepened my appreciation for the art and craft of filmmaking," he continued.

This was the first real film Schatell made. He made two short films for class during the year. 150 films from across the state were submitted, so taking second place was was thrilling.

"It was very competitive," added Schatell.

"We worked hard on this film, and it was exciting to hear the results. The film was very close to winning, and only lost first place by one point. The film also took second place in the best genre and for best use of prop." 

Dylan Schatell

Dylan Schatell


Cynthia Cumming
May 22, 2024