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BCTV’s Summer Video Camp recreated a scene from Cast Away for the Crowdsourced Cinema Vermont project. Sydney “Quinn” Chute performs as Chuck, the role initially played by Tom Hanks in the 2000 film.

The Arts

Crowdsourced version of ‘Cast Away’ highlights Vermont ingenuity

BCTV summer program, one of 36 teams statewide, produced a scene on the Whetstone Brook

BRATTLEBORO—This summer, 36 teams of filmmakers across Vermont collaborated to create a remake of the feature film Cast Away.

Armed with a single scene from the original film and whatever equipment they had access to, teams reinterpreted and filmed every iconic moment: the plane crash, the island survival, the birth of Wilson the volleyball, and every scene in between.

The final film, an amalgam of animation, live action, found footage, and soundscapes, retells the story with a Vermont flair and an awareness of the times we live in.

“The amount of creativity and variations that folks are putting forth is freaking awesome,” Cindy Marcelle, who worked on her own solo scene, said in a news release.

Some teams were organized as part of community media center summer programming. At Brattleboro Community Television, a two-week summer camp produced a scene after planning the production virtually and filming along the Whetstone Brook.

“We had three 11-to-13-year-olds and felt glad to have outdoor scenes to film,” said camp lead media instructor Frederic Noyes, “It was very hot in July — well over 90 degrees on the day we were shooting. We had some dedicated participants who were eager to get everything right.”

Sydney “Quinn” Chute plays Chuck, a FedEx employee stranded on an uninhabited island after a plane crash. In addition to Noyes, the production crew included Malika Anthes and Connor Noyes-Urffer.

Community media centers across the state worked together to provide team members with online technical training and community support as they constructed their scenes.

The film is in the final stages of post-production and will be aired in a statewide cable television premiere on VAN member stations.

It will air on BCTV (Comcast cable channel 1075) on Friday, Oct. 23 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. and will also be streamed live at those dates and times at brattleborotv.org/channel-8-stream.

The film is coordinated by Crowdsourced Cinema VT, a statewide project of Vermont Access Network (VAN). VAN is a membership organization of the 25 regional community media access centers operating more than 80 local cable channels across Vermont.

VAN members use emerging communications technologies to foster free speech, encourage civic engagement, enhance public discourse, and allow elected officials and community members to communicate better.

The organization collaborates on this project with the original Crowdsourced Cinema, a public art project created and managed by Northampton Open Media in Massachusetts.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #584 (Wednesday, October 21, 2020). This story appeared on page B2.

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