Capalaba State College web series Who Killed Romeo and Juliet? wins festival acclaim in Los Angeles

ROMEO, ROMEO: Claire Porter stars in the web series Who Killed Romeo and Juliet?
ROMEO, ROMEO: Claire Porter stars in the web series Who Killed Romeo and Juliet?

A WEB series by staff and students of Capalaba State College has won praise at film festivals in Los Angeles.

The five-part series - entitled Who Killed Romeo and Juliet? - follows the cast of a school production of Romeo and Juliet as they unravel the mystery behind the disappearance of their leading lady.

Film, Television and New Media teacher Mark Deere said it was the first time any school had produced a web series of this scope.

"It took about six months to write the five episodes of the series," he said.

"Pre-production including rehearsals, props, costuming, scheduling took three months and then production was just over three months.

"Post-production including editing, additional dialogue recording, scoring, colour grading, sound editing and mixing (and) titles took a whole year. It took approximately 2000 hours to complete."

There were about 200 students involved in the production with 30 key cast and crew.

Mr Deere said the series - written by wife Candice - was shot entirely at Capalaba State College and starred only students and staff.

"(Candice) got the idea for the series after watching an amateur stage production and thought it would be interesting to explore the experience of someone who wanted to be in the spotlight, but who was always overlooked," Mr Deere said.

He said he had been impressed by the commitment of the students, many of whom had never acted on camera before.

"Because it was a school-based production, students and staff had to volunteer their time," he said.

"Most of the production was scheduled during school holidays, after school and on weekends.

"Many of the students involved formed new and lasting friendships as a result of the shared experience of working on the series."

The film was submitted to more than 17 film festivals world-wide.

Lead actress and year 12 student Claire Porter won Best Young Actress at the Festigious International Film Festival in Los Angeles in December, where the web series also received an honourable mention.

It came after Who Killed Romeo and Juliet? won a bronze award in the web series category at the Latitude Film Awards and is an official selection for the IndieFEST Film Awards in California, to be held in February.

Mr Deere won the Australian Teachers of Media Queensland Helen Yeates Award for the project.

Along with head of the school's arts department Debb Wall, he will be speaking about the series in March at the Drama Australia National Conference.

Mr Deere said creating the film had been a life-changing experience for the students and staff involved.

"At the premiere (at BCC Cinemas in Capalaba), the students who were involved in the series were given the chance to walk the red carpet and then watch all five episodes in a packed cinema," he said.

"It was a celebration of everyone who had contributed to the creation of the series, and the positivity and enthusiasm was palpable."