In publication since 1991, Wrangler News is distributed free every other Saturday to more than 18,000 homes in the Kyrene Corridor area of South Tempe and West Chandler, and is supported by local and regional advertisers.

  Search past and present issues of the Wrangler
    Site search Web search                       
   powered by
Classifieds Contact Us Links Media Kit Make a Payment Previous Issues

Back Home Forward

Step back, Spielberg; Orsino’s on his way

By: Mark Moorehead

February 23, 2008   

Dedicated students of cinematography routinely find the challenge of making a film to be all-consuming—no time for much of anything else.

Not so for Kyrene Corridor resident Aidan Orsino, who has more projects rolling than you’d expect from a fantasy team of such directorial greats as Kubrick, Coppola and Scorsese.

During a recent five-day period, his ultra-energized schedule included recording the complete dialog of an Obama-for-President rally in downtown Phoenix, attending the advance screening of a soon-to-be-released major film, solving computer problems for a group of teachers and unlocking I-Phones for some appreciative technology clients, all while attending school full time.

If you’re thinking this is a typical student working his way through college, you’d be off by a few years. Aidan is 12 and attends Kyrene Middle School.

In addition to a love of tinkering with all things electronic, Aidan wants to become a professional movie director when he grows up. Until then he’ll settle for finding one-of-a-kind projects that help build his resume.

Last week Aidan entered the Almost Famous Film Festival’s 48-Hour Short-Film Challenge, sponsored by Ball Boy Productions and Majerle’s Sports Grill.

This is a regional competition that attracts filmmakers from Arizona, California, Utah, Nevada and New Mexico. Contestants are given two days to complete a film that is two to seven minutes in length, including these requirements:
Miscalculation must be the theme;
“Are you sure that’s it” must be included as a line of dialogue; and
The turning of a key must be injected somewhere into the story.

Not one to approach such a challenge unprepared, Aidan attended the International Short Film Festival on Valentine’s Day to check out the competition before taking the lens cap off his own camera.

Instead of being intimidated, Aidan described what he liked and didn’t like about the various short films. His candid responses could have come from an experienced critic. But that wasn’t courage speaking—it was passion. Aidan hopes to be accepted to the film school at the University of Southern California, which he says would be an awesome place to learn a lot more about film making.

Calm and polite, Aidan speaks softly with confidence and deference. He strikes one as a serious young man with many talents. He calls his first film a “dramedy,” a combination of drama and comedy that is short and to the point—somewhat like him.

Relating to his film, Aidan seems to have had an experienced director’s comprehension of what was wanted.

“It involves several doors, a key and a blind man who makes a mistake” says Aidan.

As if the two- to seven-minute requirement weren’t restrictive enough, Aidan saved space at the end of his five-minute film for outtakes, a funny, irreverent reference to the final moments of many longer comedies.

While there’s plenty of competition for the $3,000 top prize (82 contestants submitted entries), Aidan remains circumspect about the opportunity.  Win or lose, he said, he’s happy the festival allowed him to participate, and had a lot of fun making the film. He even managed to get the permission of a local convenience store to allow him to film on location.

After turning in his completed film, Aidan attended a brief ceremony at which he received a certificate for the youngest entrant in the organization’s history. 

When competition sponsors reminded him that famed director Steven Spielberg grew up in Phoenix in the 1960s and began his film career when he was young, Aidan replied he knew a lot about Spielberg because he did a biography on him in third grade.

Spielberg was 14 when he made his first film, Firelight, with an eight millimeter camera, Aidan pointed out.

That film went on to provide the basis for Close Encounters of the Third Kind. And that, from  Aidan’s perspective, might be as good an outcome as a memorable line from Spielberg’s famed ‘Encounter’: “It's better than Goofy Golf!”

The festival’s winning entry will be announced later this month.



Photo by David Stone


web site hit counter