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Billings Central film class prepping for premiere event at the Babcock Theatre

Central Film Class
Posted at 4:36 PM, May 07, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-07 18:36:35-04

An entire school year's worth of film projects done by Billings Central Catholic High students will be on display at the Babcock Theatre Wednesday night.

It's how film teacher Shane Fairbanks celebrates his students each year, putting together a red carpet event and trying to make them feel like movie stars.

For the seniors in the class, like Thomas Norman, the night is extra special. Norman was in the class as a junior, so he's seen the production before.

"It was a lot bigger than I expected it to be," Norman said of last year's showing. "It's nerve-racking, but it's super fun to show people what we've been working for the whole year."

The class is offered for students of all ages and offers them a unique opportunity to express themselves creatively. Senior Julia Reger-Brown said they don't take the class for granted.

"Most schools have a drama program or something like that, but this is a whole different thing," Reger-Brown said.

Each year, Fairbanks attempts to create a red carpet event for the class. Last year, there were about 300 people in attendance.

For some students, like John Pender and Jacob Burmeister, it is an anxious night in a lot of ways.

"It's always a little uncanny to see yourself up on screen," Pender said with a laugh. "But it'll be good and that's part of the realness of it."

Burmeister is the director for one of the feature films in this year's showing but spent all four years enrolled in the class.

"I'm very excited obviously, but it's also like the end to four years," Burmeister said. "It kind of signifies our time ending here."

Wednesday will prove to be emotional for many of the students, but especially so for Fairbanks.

"I've learned to just bring Kleenexes to the premiere because as hard as I try, I always tear up a little bit," Fairbanks said. "This gives kids the chance to try something new in an environment that will love them just for trying."