The Orange County Film Festival Collaborates with The Playground OC for Festival’s Opening Film

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Director Kevin Clark, award winning filmmaker, cast his latest Film for the OC Film Festival, “Assembling a Team” entirely from The Playground acting school in Costa Mesa, CA.

David Junker, “My primary goal is to help students find the courage to use their voice to communicate stories that aim for the heart and make a difference.”

When Kevin Clark, multiple award winning director and founding partner of the video branding company, Modern Voyage in Costa Mesa, CA, was asked by David Junker, of The Orange County Film Festival, to make a short film to open the Festival in less than a month, he was doubtful he could pull it off. Kevin only had three weeks to write, cast, shoot and edit his film. The hardest part was finding the young actors he needed on such short notice. Tina Murphy, Video and Film Department Head at Northwood High School, suggested that Kevin call The Playground in Costa Mesa, the premier on-camera acting school in Southern California for kids and teens. He contacted Terri Treas, a former television writer/producer and a teacher at the Playground who, only after one casting session, helped Kevin cast his entire film with actors from The Playground.

Although Orange County has many theater-trained actors, one of the biggest challenges Orange County student filmmakers face is the lack of actors who know how to act for the camera. The Playground, specializing in teaching on-camera acting techniques to kids and teens, turned out to be exactly what Kevin and The Orange County Film Festival needed. As Kevin commented, “From a young filmmaker's standpoint it was like running into a goldmine working with The Playground actors. Most filmmakers cringe at the idea of using child or teen actors because they just don’t have the experience. Collaborating with Playground actors saves time, money and they are just a fantastic group to work with. In the acting arena The Playground is clearly shaking up the game.”

David Junker, the founder of Cinematic Arts Experience, has been quietly developing a vibrant talented film community in Orange County for the past ten years. His organization, Cinematic Arts Experience, the founder of the Orange County Film Festival, supports and sponsors this glamorous two-night affair that has brought students, families, and the community together to celebrate artistic excellence in filmmaking. With over 700 people in attendance annually, The Orange County Film Festival has become a widely anticipated event in Southern California with nationwide recognition. David Junker, “My primary goal is to help students find the courage to use their voice to communicate stories that aim for the heart and make a difference.”

Terri Treas, from The Playground, “Cinematic Arts Experience is creating the new Hollywood right here in Orange County. The Playground is honored to be a part of this burgeoning vital filmmaking community.”

Check out the "Assembling the Team" short film at

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Terri Treas

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