Media festival finds prints charming Arundel girls' slide show, 'Cinderella,' wins award

April 02, 1996|By TaNoah V. Sterling | TaNoah V. Sterling,SUN STAFF

A demure Cinderella in a flowing gown and glass slippers may have enchanted a prince at a ball in the fairy tale, but in today's version, Cindy would show up for a rock party in a black mini-dress and pumps to meet a handsome lawyer. And she would look remarkably like Barbie.

At least that's the way Sheila Bailey, Annamarie Damron, and April Watts see it. The three used Barbie dolls, a 35 mm camera and a little imagination to create a slide show version of "Cinderella" that won them an award at the International Student Media Festival, sponsored by the Association for Education, Communications and Technology.

"I think the girls did a really super job," said Mitsn Mitchell, media specialist at Waugh Chapel Elementary School where they were students last year. "It was a wonder to watch how they just meshed together."

Their story line about the mistreated Cindy, whose mother died of cancer and whose father died in a car accident, was chosen from more than 260 entries to receive a merit award at the festival in Indianapolis in February.

The girls, now sixth-graders at Arundel Middle School, began their project two years ago when Ms. Mitchell assigned Annamarie's class to create multicultural versions of "Cinderella."

Annamarie wanted to do a slide show and enlisted the help of Sheila and April, who were in another class. They posed their Barbie dolls before a black background and took pictures, but the photographs were out of focus and the lighting shoddy. The girls pitched it and started over last year.

"It started out as the regular story but we had to change it because we didn't have the clothes and stuff of the time," said Annamarie.

"The traditional story didn't have any pizazz," said Sheila. "We wanted to put a little modern day to it."

So Cinderella became Cindy, her gown was shortened and tightened, and the ball became a rock party, where dancers moshed to music by Aerosmith and Green Day. One doll was captured on film flying through the room.

It was the spirit of Cindy's mother -- not a fairy godmother -- who came up with the clothes and a '57 Chevy, instead of a pumpkin, to take her to the party.

Annamarie used sound effects from her home computer to include the sounds of a dog barking and Cindy's pumps tapping across the cobblestones.

The girls created the story and developed the script in one session, they said.

"Ideas just pinged off of each other," recalled Ms. Mitchell, who typed while the girls dictated the lines. "One would come up with something and the other would come up with something else and the script just fell right into place."

The girls shot three rolls of film and picked 26 pictures to turn into slides to illustrate the story.

The finished product was a 5 1/2 -minute presentation that won certificates at a county competition in March 1995 and a state competition in May.

Then the trio won a merit award at the international festival. The judges graded them highly in creativity and in the use of available materials.

"I think if [the girls] had fun doing it and they learned from it, then receiving the award is icing on the cake," Ms. Mitchell said.

Pub Date: 4/02/96

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