Bulger's Beat: Young filmmaker excels in free-thinking class - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Bulger's Beat: Young filmmaker excels in free-thinking class

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A 17-year-old Nashville high school student is already an award-winning filmmaker, and now his animated monster movie has been nominated by Cheekwood as a finalist for its highest honor, an American Vision Award.

The five-minute movie 'In the Shadow of Monsters' may look silly on the surface, but it says a lot about the creator, Isaac Friedman, a junior at Hume-Fogg High School. When he puts his mind to something, he's all in.

"I spend half my free time doing this, the other half playing video games or writing, something like that," Friedman said.

His movie was created on his computer and is the result of hours of work. The drawings, the music and the design are all his.

"I have fun playing around with monsters and seeing where I can go with the anatomy, and try not to make it too cartoony, which, of course, is hard, because it is after all a cartoon," he said.

All of it was sparked in a classroom of creativity at Hume-Fogg called advanced studio art, where students paint or take photos and basically are asked to compose something from nothing.

The class is the one each day at school where there aren't actual right or wrong answers. Much like life after school, it's all up to you.

"It can be daunting for them to really have to make your own choices, and this is an example of him making every choice," said art teacher Shayna Snider.

Snider knows the movie is fun and entertaining, but it's the effort and the problem-solving faced along the way that makes what everyone does in her class an educational stepping stone to the real world.

"Exactly. And it's epic, and he did all of it," Snider said.

The award has the student already working on next year's competition.

"Little less silly. It can be a bit gruesome at times," Friedman said.

If you think Friedman and his fellow art students are just frittering away their free time, it really isn't so. He has made visits to seven colleges across the country, including several of the finest math, engineering and critical-thinking schools in the United States.

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