Alisha Odd and Krystal Schroeder get ready for filming.

UPDATE: Student film takes aim at drunk drivers

Contest: Grade 12 students hope to win $4,000 for dry grad.

Sometimes getting the point across requires a hard dose of reality.

When Grade 12 Eagle River Secondary students Chelsea Roeters and Katelynn Robert learned of the BCAA Dry Grad video challenge, intended to depict the dangers of drinking (or doing drugs) and then driving, they thought it would be a worthwhile pursuit. The winners of the contest will receive $4,000 for their school’s dry grad (with $2,000 being awarded for second place and $1,000 for third).

Two days were spent discussing what direction the film would take. The resulting story, says Roeters, begins at a party. A couple in attendance, who have been drinking, decide to go for a drive, and wind up colliding with another vehicle. It’s at this point that things get uncomfortable. Someone dies, others are battered and bloody.

Nathan Gagel, Jessica McLean and Adam Oddy portray injured passengers.“They looked like they were in shock; they did a pretty good job of making it look realistic,” camera operator and editor Mike Boisvenue said of the actors. “I was surprised, when I brought the camera around, they were all straight-faced like they were portraying it perfectly. It was getting too real for me.”

A goal of the film, explained Roeters, was to show the worst-case scenario and make it as believable as possible. Which is why she and her fellow novice cinematographers are so grateful to BC Ambulance, RCMP Const. Jeff Bond and the Eagle Valley Rescue Society, who helped bring an air of serious reality to the “accident scene,” complete with battered vehicles, bloody wounds and a body bag.

Eagle Valley Rescue Society unit chief Linda Schroeder, who personally provided the fake blood, was pleased with what she saw the students doing and the approach they decided to take.

“I honestly think, if you’re going to do something in life, you have to go all the way so people get the idea…,” said Schroeder. “It does look real and it does make people think. A mother there said you did a great job but I have to leave, it looks too real for me. So people get that concept when they see the reality of it. I think that sort of sticks in your mind for a long time.”

Roeters and Boisvenue are currently in the process of editing more than two hours of footage down to three minutes or less. The final, submitted video will go before a panel of judges. Five videos will be selected and posted on BCAA’s website at for the public to view and vote on.

The top five will be announced on Dec. 5, with the public being able to vote Dec. 5 to 12.

“We’re hoping to get a lot of community support if we do make it to the top five,” says Roeters, noting that even if their film doesn’t take the top prize, the experience of making it has been rewarding. Boisvenue adds that the film has also served as a reminder to all involved of the consequences of drinking and driving.

Link to video added below:

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