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Larchmont, Mamaroneck Student Filmmakers Screen Workshop Films

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Larchmont resident Alexi Mentzer has been called "a jack of all trades" by his peers and now he has video evidence to prove it thanks to the recent screening of two short films he helped make during LMC-TV's two summer filmmaking workshops.

Mentzer may consider editing to be his favorite part of the workshops, but his acting may have been everyone else's favorite part of the summer. He caught up with his fellow young filmmakers at a screening of their short films, including Elijah Shaheen, who said he dreams of producing and selling a screenplay.

"Honestly, I have to say it has been something learning, all of this," said Shaheen, a Peekskill resident, who learned the names of different camera angles and how to use Final Cut Pro. "It's like I've been reborn."

The students, ages 12 to 17, unveiled their work for parents and LMC-TV staff in Studio 1 at the Mamaroneck High School Sept. 24.

"I was blown away," said Bob Robinowitz, whose son Jeffrey has now done two workshops in two summers. "I like the outtakes. Once you see how the scene was supposed to go, the outtakes are that much more funny."

Jeffrey signed up for the first workshop this summer, which was run by Dena Schumacher and went from June 27 to July 15. Schumacher's group wrote, filmed, directed, performed and edited a short film titled, "Federation of Dead Americans Presents: A PSA on the Zombies of America".

"We had no clue what this was about," Robinowitz said. "He didn't tell us anything."

Like Robinowitz, most parents walked into the screening blind, and walked out smiling, holding a copy of their child's work.

"We're so very, very pleasantly surprised with the result and it's a great keepsake to have," Robinowitz added.

Students also had the option of signing up for the second workshop, which was run by Matt Sullivan and went from July 18 to Aug. 5.

While Mentzer played a misunderstood zombie in "Federation of Dead Americans,” the 12-year-old Larchmont resident also acted in "Dancing Through Time" as Wally “The Wiggler,” a shamed disco dancer eager for revenge on the man who beat him in a dance-off 30 years ago.

"He's really energetic," said Bria McClain, 12, of Mamaroneck. "He's like a jack of all trades."

McClain said that although she learned how to use the cameras, do makeup and edit, her favorite aspect of the workshop was acting.

"You get to work with other people the most," she said. "They were all really nice people and they all had creative ideas."

McClain didn't reveal anything about the movie to her parents Aimee and Scott, who laughed with the rest of room throughout both films.

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