Thursday, November 20, 2014



An Ellenville World Premiere!
Nursery School's Iron Man 6 At Shadowland
Lorie Kellogg working with
the students on thier flying scene.
ELLENVILLE – Most little boys want to be superheroes, but not five-year-old Jonah Althouse. At age four he didn't want to be a hero; his dream was to film them... and in his quest to do so, mom Natasha Althouse says, something truly magical happened. A whole community embraced her "little man's" dream and made it real enough to be pegged for a premiere at Shadowland Theatre this Friday evening, November 21.
Green screen cut out and sky added.
For Iron Man 6's origins, reach back a year to the morning that a then 4-year-old Jonah bounded into the kitchen and
declared his intentions to be a film maker. Mom and son got busy writing the story, with Jonah dictating his short film idea to mom as she busily transcribed at the table what's become a twenty minute film based on those Marvel comic characters, The Avengers. The plot, created by Jonah, revolves around the kidnapping of "Max" and a subsequent rescue.
Green Screen before Effects
 Playing the Marvel Avengers in real life were young Althouse's fellow Ellenville Cooperative Nursery School students and friends.

The director's mom pointed out how Jonah's long had a nightly wish for his parents to come up with a story "from their heads" each bedtime. She also surmised that the superhero interest may have stemmed from the boy's shift from only child to big brother.

Still from final film using green screen key.
"Phil and I are avid supporters of whatever they want to be," Althouse said of her young director and his eighteen-month-old sister, Norah's, future career choices. "We encourage him and explain that to manifest a dream, you have to visualize."
Jonah, who plays Hulk in the movie, has no idea how big a deal all this is, his mom added. He took his role as co-director seriously, she went on, writing scripts, reading scenes and directing the film. But film mechanics aside, she's as interested in that special something else that happened while Iron Man 6 was being made.
"It's the affirmation that people are still out there, taking time out of their lives, trying to keep afloat and say, 'I believe in that, let's do it,'" she said. "Ellenville gets a bad rap but it's beautiful to see this in fruition; this little man did this, and I feel blessed."

Helping bring the film project to life was a large crew of local professionals with film background, including award-winning producer, director, writer and actor Joe Bevilacqua, who created the Iron Man 6 soundtrack and produced its sound effects, music and voice editing, and Lorie Kellogg, an actress, writer and video /graphic artist who produced the visual effects and graphic design for the short film. Filling out the crew was co-director Jaf Zarkas, set design and construction by Jesika Farkas, special effects by Johann Kunz, voice work by Kenny Savoy, and Prashanti Massage as executive producer.

Jonah Althouse left and Jonas Trzeciak

Filming was at the Ellenville Cooperative Nursery school, over the course of two days last February, and at nearly one hundred hours of editing, over ten hours of filming, and loads of professional filming apparatus such as green and blue screens, Kellogg noted how the short film would have cost nearly $50,000 to create were it not for the community help.
"We all liked the fact that they're really trying to raise money for the school," Kellogg said, noting that all proceeds raised from ticket sales and raffles will go to keeping the Ellenville Cooperative Nursery school up and running.
"I don't think I could have done anything like that at Jonah's age," Bevilacqua said. "If he stays in this and continues he'll go professional."

Jonah himself, meanwhile, was excited that everyone will see his movie. Now, the director/writer/star turned Ellenville Central School kindergartener said, he's more into Star Wars. Although he added that he is working on an armor suit — like Iron Man's — to keep soldiers safe.

The premiere of Iron Man 6 will be held this Friday, November 21 at 6 p.m. The evening will start with a showing of 'Hatching Houseflies for Profit,' an animated short-film produced, directed and voiced by Bevilacqua and edited by Kellogg that features characters created by Bevilacqua when he was eleven. Aroma Thyme Bistro will provide appetizers and there will be raffles for items including an original signed print from Marvel illustrator Herb Trimpe, plus other surprises.


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