By Jenn Smith, Berkshire Eagle Staffberkshireeagle.com Posted: 04/27/2012 12:13:46 AM EDT
April 27, 2012 4:15 AM GMTUpdated: 04/27/2012 12:13:47 AM EDT
Friday April 27, 2012 NORTH ADAMS — After nearly a year’s worth of work, a group of Drury High School students has put its documentary film on the Hoosic River to bed.
This week, the students held a private screening of their approximately 30-minute video, “A Tour of the Hoosic River in North Adams,” for town officials, some fellow students and teachers, and members of the Hoosic River Revival who appeared in and narrated the film.
Soon, the film will be shown on Northern Berkshire Com munity Television and WilliNet access channels, and also online via YouTube.
“The idea was to show what the river is and the potential it has,” said Mike Schmidt, a Drury junior.
Schmidt and Katie Candiloro, a senior, began serving on the Hoosic River Revival last year.
Together, they decided to team up with members of DTV, a television and media production course at the high school, to produce a documentary film on the river.
The film explores the history of the body of water, highlighting five stops along a 21A?2-mile stretch of the Hoosic. It details the construction of the flood control chutes by the U.S. Army Corps of En gineers in the 1950s and also looks at what could happen if changes were made to re-engineer the chutes and berms to allow more access to and flow of the Hoosic River branches in North Adams.
Freshmen students Catherine Marceau, Thane Preite and Michael Boland also worked on the film, helping with research, photography and video work last year as eighth graders. Junior Dan ielle Racette served as Schmidt’s co-editor for the film. Drury teachers Jamie Choquette, Anne French and Donna Hitchcock (who has since left the school), helped coordinate the students’ site work as well as instruction on producing a film. Preite described the video as being “pretty persuasive” in nature.
“It shows how we can help people use the river. It needs to be looked at in a way of beauty as well as a matter of safety,” he said.
North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright, who was part of the film premiere audience, lauded the students’ work on the project and said he hopes it gives the young people good exposure for their talents.
“I remember when the river was pretty much a cesspool,” said the mayor, reflecting on times of heavy pollution from area factories and mills.
But he said that any action on changing the river and the chutes will continue as an ongoing discussion.
“Something like this doesn’t happen over night,” said Hoosic River Revival Chair woman Judy Grinnell.
But she told the students, “What you have done is very important in terms of workmanship and creativity, but it’s also an important message about what our river might be.”