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FHS students create film

Two Farragut High School filmmakers are already producing successful films, an indication that they just might succeed in the competitive career field one day.

Jake Krouse and Mary Findley, both seniors at FHS, produced a film that was chosen as a top 10 semi-finalist in the Kohl’s Generation Transformation Creative Expression Contest, a national contest that brought in hundreds of submissions.

The pair quickly put together their film, “Imagine,” in one day and submitted it hours before deadline Tuesday, Aug. 21.

“The film is really about the power of the imagination and if you really work hard at it you can make your imagination become reality,” Krouse said. “It’s about the power of mankind to shape his reality.”

The films for the contest are posted at, and the winners will be determined by online voting results.

The Creative Expression Contest provided participants with different words, and the filmmakers chose one of these words to base their film around, Krouse said. The only other requirement was that the film be under three minutes in length.

Krouse and Findley chose “imagine” as their word and their movie follows one character, played by Jake, as he walks through downtown Knoxville. The character sketches different things in a notepad and they then come to life in animation, Krouse said.

“What people may not realize is that the animation is all hand drawn,” Krouse said. “Just a blade of grass growing can take up to twenty frames.”

Krouse and Findley not only work together on films, but they have been dating for one year. They try to swap out ideas through the production process, but it is not always easy, both said. Their styles are very different; Krouse is more artistic and Findley more plot driven, but the combining styles seem to be effective.

The pair combined efforts the first time to produce a film for a 10-hour film festival in Market Square in May, which became more of a learning experience, Findley said.

“I didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into because everyone was really experienced,” Findley said.

After graduation from FHS Findley plans to attend a college where she can concentrate on film. “I love this idea that you can create something that can be so influential,” Findley said.

Krouse is undecided, but plans on pursuing film also.

Regardless of what develops in their future, both filmmakers agree that winning the contest would be very influential for their careers.

The grand prize includes a $1,500 gift and an internship on One Tree Hill or a visit to a movie set.

Krouse and Findley have agreed to visit a movie set if they do win the grand prize.

Voting began Tuesday, Sept. 26, but the public can vote for contestants until Monday, Oct. 9.


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