GREENSBORO — Adric Baumgarner gathered Friday night with other filmmakers for the launch of the city’s annual 48 Hour Film Project.
Among this year’s 34 team leaders, 10-year-old Adric is the youngest — and the youngest that city producer Iris Carter can recall in the local project’s 16 years.
“Oh, I am?” Adric said when he heard the news.
More than 120 cities participate worldwide in the 48 Hour Film Project.
The local edition typically attracts about 500 participants from the Carolinas, Virginia and Tennessee, about 60% of whom are professional filmmakers, Carter said.
Over 48 hours, these teams sacrifice sleep to creativity as they write, shoot and edit a short film.
Adric participated twice in the 48 Hour Film Project in 2018, both last summer and in the 48 Hour Film Horror Project in October.
This year, Adric decided to head a team under the name 4Kid Productions. He successfully sought a grant from the Stephen D. Hyers Endowment for Youth to cover his team’s $125 registration fee.
That prompted applause from filmmakers who convened at Revolution Mill for the kickoff of this year’s project.
Adric came to the kickoff with parents Shawn and Kelly Baumgarner, aunt Tonya Pettigrew and her boyfriend Jim Ruwaldt.
They will be part of his 10-member team.
Pettigrew has led teams before, and will coach Adric.
“Still, he well recognizes that all decisions are ultimately his to make,” Carter said. “He’s in charge.”
The teams have until 7:30 p.m. Sunday to submit their four- to seven-minute films, which will be screened next week at the Carolina Theatre. Award-winning films will be shown and honored on July 13.
The best film from each participating city competes in the whole project’s Filmapalooza. The top 12 films there go to the Cannes Film Festival in France.
On Friday night, local teams were more focused on making it through the weekend.
Their representatives drew from among 30 genres. Each team drew two, and can create a film in one or both.
All teams must include the same prop, character and line of dialogue.
This year, the character is writer Nathan or Nancy Thomas, the prop is a wallet, and the line of dialogue is “Aren’t you precious?”
Adric had hoped for horror as his genre. Instead, he drew “holiday or vacation film” and “dark comedy.”
He didn’t mind.
As of Friday night, he leaned toward holiday or vacation film.
“Halloween!” he told his family.
Adric might be only 10, but he already has short videos to his credit.
The bedroom of his parents’ Greensboro home has become his studio.
On Thursday, he explained how he records videos on his iPhone and edits them using Adobe Premiere Elements.
School friends bestowed the “DJ Adric” nickname.
“Ever since kindergarten, they have been calling me DJ Adric because I knew how to turn on the radio,” he said with a giggle.
Between the two channels, he has 100 subscribers and received 21,000 views.
“It means people actually watch my videos,” he said.
They feature real people — 6-year-old brother Jareth often appears — or stop-motion, an animation technique. He uses characters and props he constructed from Legos, as well as a toy airplane that reflects his interest in aviation.
He uses a green sheet of fabric as his green screen, which allows a separately filmed background to be added to the final image.
What does he like about making videos?
He likes to discover what he can include, Adric said.
“That you get to edit them and then post them and that people watch them, and then they like it or hate it,” he said.
So where did this all begin?
Kelly and Shawn Baumgarner named their first son after a fictional character in “Dr. Who,” a long-running British science-fiction TV series.
They named Jareth after a character in the 1986 fantasy film “Labyrinth.”
“We always knew that we wanted to have unusual names, partly because we’re geeks,” Kelly Baumgarner said.
Shawn Baumgarner works at the Greensboro Science Center. Kelly Baumgarner teaches science at Western Alamance High in Elon.
She also exercises her creativity during Halloween season, when she works with characters’ makeup at the local Woods of Terror theme park.
Adric recently finished fourth grade in the Spanish immersion program at Elon Elementary School nearby.
Adric long has loved technology, his mother recalls. He even helps his teachers.
He recalls filming his first video at age 8, inspired by his favorite YouTubers known as Stacyplays, DanTDM and PopularMMOs.
He has filmed himself playing video games.
His mother is impressed.
“He figures out a lot of stuff on his own, although sometimes he thinks he knows more than he does,” she said.
“That’s not true,” Adric replied, matter-of-factly.
Pettigrew, his aunt, has participated several times in the local 48 Hour Film Project. In 2018, she became a team leader.
Last summer, her team filmed a silent horror film titled “4240” (“Forty Two Forty”). Kelly Baumgarner won an award for her special effects makeup. Adric helped with blood spatter effects and played a small role.
He liked being on camera.
“You feel like it’s real and you’re actually running around in a movie,” he said. “And it looks real to other people.”
Adric helped Pettigrew with filming “Detention Hell” for the 48 Hour Film Horror Project in October. But she encountered technical difficulties. The film missed the deadline by a few minutes, but organizers still showed it with other films.
Adric wanted to lead a team this year “so I could tell people what to do,” he said with a laugh. “I could come up with the ideas and I could choose which one we would do.”
To prepare to lead this year, he said, he has practiced with Adobe Premiere Elements. He prepared sound effects for various genres.
“My aunt sent me a spreadsheet that showed all the genres we could get,” he said. “And then it showed three songs that we could use.”
They plan to film in Alamance County.
Does Adric feel ready?
“Yup,” he replied.