Making it in Hollywood … well, Winterport
Winterport — David Rice of Winterport is back at school, taking on his final year at Hampden Academy. But he’s already earned a diploma of sorts, one he has worked toward for much of his high school career. Rice is this year’s Grand Prize winner of the Maine Student Film and Video Festival, as well as winner of the 36th annual competition’s Senior Division.
“I first entered two years ago and didn’t even place. Last year, I was a finalist,” said Rice, who writes, directs, edits and sometimes plays a role in his short films.
Rice’s high-definition videos, shot on a Canon T4i and edited with Apple’s Final Cut Pro, are filmed locally and use his friends and, most consistently, his younger brother Dan as actors. This summer, however, he created a short subject with a co-writer and director, full crew and professional actors, thanks to his Grand Prize — a $2,500 scholarship to the two-week Young Filmmakers Program, donated by Maine Media Workshops of Rockport.
“Mr. Henry,” helmed with fellow young filmmaker Kayla Cesari and starring familiar Midcoast actors Peter Paton and Scott Anthony Smith, is definitely a step up in production values, but a scroll through Rice’s GroovyMoviePro YouTube channel shows the progress his interest and dedication have brought to his craft.
“I took classes for two years at UTC [United Technologies Center] in Bangor, working with David Berry,” he said a few days before his senior year began.
Rice’s two award-winning MSFVF films are “My Roommate Joe,” the Grand Prize winner, and “Eric’s Birthday,” the winner of the Senior Division, which is for students in grades 9 through 12. The annual MSFVF, open to Maine residents younger than 20, culminates with a public screening of finalists’ films and an awards presentation during Maine International Film Festival’s second Saturday program at the Waterville Opera House.
Rice described “My Roommate Joe” as a comedy/mystery, whereas “Eric’s Birthday” is a public service announcement about distracted driving.
“We filmed ‘My Roommate Joe’ in our house and downtown Bangor, and the other one in Winterport, where I live,” Rice said, adding that he used Soundtrack Pro for “Eric’s Birthday.”
His brother Dan is in both films. Indeed, sampling the GroovyMoviePro offerings show that Dan, a junior at Hampden Academy, has been willing to do all kinds of things to aid and abet the moviemaking. An early short titled “World’s Worst Parkour” is both amusing and harrowing; in “My Roommate Joe,” Dan gets beaten up, threatened and has to sit on a raw egg.
“Yeah, he is definitely into making the movies as cool possible … willing to do whatever he can to add to the movie, which includes stunts and antics,” said David Rice.
There may be more of such challenges in his future, because Rice plans to continue in the field.
“Yes, definitely! I have one more year at Hampden, then I plan to go to college and do something to do with film,” he said.
To see the Rice Bros Films output thus far, visit youtube.com/user/GroovyMoviePro. The including the award winners and MMW film are posted below.
A&E editor for Courier Publications, LLC
(207) 594-4401/4407, ext. 115
Dagney has been providing Courier coverage of the local arts scene since 1985 and has helmed the multi-paper A&E section since it debuted in 2003. She has been a local performing artist, community and professional, for almost 30 years and spent a decade writing, producing and announcing on-air for several Midcoast radio stations. When not in the NewsNest, Dagney likes to be in motion.