"Star Wars" Creators Sends Camera Crew To Harrison Central - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

01/14/03

"Star Wars" Creators Sends Camera Crew To Harrison Central

A cameraman directed a Harrison Central High School teacher to a spot three feet from his lens.

"Just go ahead and stand right about where you are," he told her.

The production crew works for Star Wars creator George Lucas. Ken Ellis is the producer on this project.

"Actually we try to put a wall between Mr. Lucas the professional filmmaker and what we do," he said.

What the George Lucas Educational Foundation does is spotlight schools that combine classroom work with technology. Harrison Central's educational advances brought the camera crew to Lyman.

"We want to showcase what works in education these days," said Ellis.

While Ellis stood next to the camera, deciding what needed to be shot and who needed to be interviewed, Diane Curtis hid in a corner. Curtis will write the Harrison Central story.

"I'm looking for an explanation of why kids get excited about technology," she said, after the crew finished one of its interviews.

One of the stars of the documentary will be senior math wiz Briana Travelbee. She used trigonometry and a computer to research tidal changes during Tropical Storm Isidore. Her classroom presentation was taped by the Lucas team.

"We're looking for real world projects, this one being an example," the producer said. "Also the application of technology and how all of this is going to enhance student learning."

What Ellis takes back to California will be seen by George Lucas before it airs on the Internet.

"He's cutting edge technology," Ellis said of Lucas. "And he hopes that education will catch up to what he's doing in the professional realm."

It may be a year before the Harrison Central documentary airs on the George Lucas Educational Foundation web site.

by Brad Kessie

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