Helping to honor mountain heroes

Feb 13, 2020 | Uncategorized

By Mary-Justine Lanyon

With a theme of “Stories of Hope that Unite,” the 2020 Lake Arrowhead Film Festival will present a Heroes Award at the gala on May 30.

When festival organizers Matthew Kallis and Mary Dippell were talking about deserving people who should get the award, “it came up that we had never really honored or recognized the firefighters who had saved our mountain during the Old Fire and the Grass Valley Fire,” Dippell said.

She was given the name of George Corley – who served with both San Bernardino County Fire and the Running Springs Fire Department. “He at first was reluctant to accept an award,” Dippell said, “because he said, like all the firefighters I had talked to, he was just doing his job.

“I told him he would be accepting the award for all those who had fought alongside him. He then agreed,” Dippell said.

As part of the Heroes Award presentation, students in Jared Powell’s Advanced TV and Video Production ROP class at Rim of the World High School are assembling a montage of video and audio clips from the 2003 and 2007 fires.

Korey Pollard – a Hollywood assistant director and producer of the Lake Arrowhead Film Festival – has been working with the students, giving them assignments on materials to find and then reviewing their findings with them.

“The high school students are acting as producers for the montage,” Pollard said.

He is teaching them to work as a media company, dealing with a client (in this case, the film festival) who needs a montage.

The plan is to start the short montage with a scanner call and then include fire footage, including a shot of the fire rapidly approaching the high school.

On a recent Friday, Pollard left the students with the charge to assemble a rough cut with the help of Powell, which they would then review together.

“We’ll discuss which shots we want, how they work together,” Pollard said. Once they have that, the students – armed with a script they will write with Pollard – will make the calls to obtain the necessary permissions to use the footage.

“I will lead the students down the path of where they need to go legally,” Pollard said.

The lesson, he noted, is that “if you can’t get the rights, you go after the rights for your backup shot.”

He was impressed with the research the students had done, tracking both audio and video clips back to their original sources.

This collaboration, Pollard said, is just one example of how he and the other film festival directors would like to create community engagement for the festival.

The Lake Arrowhead Film Festival will take place from May 28 through May 31 at the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa. For tickets and more information, visit



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