Zac Moxley shoots a mean action sports sequence — check out his work on Vimeo and YouTube for countless examples — but for Whistler Secondary School’s entry into BCAA’s Dry Grad Video Challenge he had to do something a bit different: get realistic performances from a large cast of his fellow Grade 12 students.
It’s fair to say he nailed it, depicting a teen party accurately and unapologetically, with a unique twist — every time a teen takes a drink it increases the blood alcohol content level on the billboard that’s hovering above their head. In the end, friends intervene firmly to stop an intoxicated friend from drinking and driving.
Moxley was excited to make the finals and credited his friends and classmates for all of their work to make the film possible, but he also really wants to win the $6,000 first prize that would go towards the grad class dry grad celebration. “It would be really nice to try and win some funds towards our grad,” he said. “That money would go a long way.”
He knows it won’t be easy — there are around 80 grads this year at Whistler Secondary, while some of the videos he’s competing against are from schools with hundreds of graduating students. That’s why Moxley wants the community to vote in support of the Whistler Secondary effort.
“Our class is a little bigger than most (for Whistler Secondary), it’s about 80 kids, but it’s still pretty small,” he said. “It’s kind of a bummer that it’s not actually the best video that wins, it’s about having the most votes and that’s hard because we’re up against huge classes. But we’re also in a small community, so hopefully the word will spread around a lot more and more people outside the school will vote.”
Moxley said the grad class will decide how the money is spent, but his preference is to spend it on a nice venue for the annual prom.
Moxley, a 17-year-old senior, has been working as a professional filmmaker for several years, and his work has been featured far and wide. Last winter he joined Whistler’s Switchback Entertainment to film a segment for Salomon Freeski TV in Montreal, which should be coming out soon.
“Switchback has just been awesome to me, they’ve helped me a lot in the last year and Mike Douglas in an awesome guy — and of course my mom has helped me a lot,” said Moxley.
He likes travelling for work, but said his priority this year was school. As a result he’s been spending a little more time with his books and a little less behind the camera.
“I really haven’t done that much travelling lately, I’ve more been sticking around town and doing things here while trying to finish school,” he said. “I’m still filming all the time, but it’s all backyard stuff.”
That will change a little more once snow is on the ground. Moxley recently bought a snowmobile to access the backcountry, and has plans to do more shooting outside the boundaries this year.
“There’s also a pretty big project I want to pitch to someone,” he said, although he couldn’t elaborate just yet on what that project might be.
After graduation, Moxley isn’t sure what his next steps will be.
“I’ve been going back and forth in my mind, trying to make a decision about that — do I say and build my portfolio some more, or do I go to school and increase my knowledge on the business side of filming?”
The Whistler dry grad video, and the videos of four other finalists, can be found online at www.bcaa.com/drygrad.