Ruben Arizmendi and Luis Colon are following the script at Corkran Middle School to a T.
The two recently won the International Student Media Festival's top prize for their animation project -- the eighth consecutive year Corkran has had winners.
The two eighth-graders participated last year in the County Film Festival at Old Mill North Middle School and went on to Towson and won the state competition. In late December, the boys were notified they had won first place in the international festival. They will receive a plaque next month in Orlando, Fla.
Ruben and Luis' award-winning first effort, "The Little Mushroom," is about a variety of creatures taking a walk, then finding shelter under a mushroom during a sudden rainstorm. The critters -- a mouse, rabbit, fox, butterfly and bird -- are amazed to find that they all had fit under the mushroom.
A green frog approaches them and says, "Don't you know what happens to a mushroom when it rains? It grows . . ."
They started shooting the film in the Super 8 format in October 1989.
"Those poor guys, it seemed like they were jinxed," explained Doris Jackson, media specialist at Corkran. "They had so many problems."
The production wasvery time consuming, said Jackson. "Each little item has to moved very slowly, and then it must be filmed very slowly, frame by frame."
However, their troubles weren't over after the last frame was shot.When their film returned from the developer, the boys discovered that one of their two rolls of film had been switched with someone's wedding movies. Half their movie was lost.
Ruben and Luis had to start over and time was running out on the county contest deadline.
Enter a hero -- Kodak.
"Kodak flew our undeveloped film to Palo Alto, Calif., on a Friday and called me on Monday morning and told me we would have it on Tuesday," Jackson said.
And Jackson says while the awards recognize their talent, they also acknowledge something extra. "Some people are impressed that the kids have the determination and guts to get it done."
Happy ending. Fade to black.