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Grimsley Senior Alexander Carpenter poses for a photo. Photo by Kevin Massey

Film By Grimsley Student Wins State Competition

Golden Dawn director and Grimsley senior Alexander Carpenter aspires to be a successful filmmaker.

By Ashley Crowell

April 4, 2024

Many people dream of being famous one day, becoming a successful musician, athlete or actor.


One Grimsley student is already well on his way to achieving his dream “to become a renowned filmmaker, a name that everybody knows,” said Grimsley senior Alexander Carpenter. 


Carpenter’s latest project is Golden Dawn, a post-apocalyptic style film that was recently named the winner of the NC Filmworks competition. His project has been shown in several film festivals in the state and also will be featured in the Grimsley Playmasters Film Festival on May 17. 


As part of the competition, the filmmakers are given a required prop, line of dialogue and a selection of film genres from which to choose. Golden Dawn follows three characters in a post-apocalyptic world who are going to steal gold from a cult. 


“It’s a pretty wild story, but it works well,” said Carpenter, laughing. 


Carpenter created the film for the competition with some of his classmates in the IB Film class taught by Mr. Matthew Ringrose. 


“Some of the crew I had worked with on other projects, making films and acting,” said Carpenter. “Some of the crew were working on The Haunted Tour at the time and so I was able to ask them.”


Carpenter and his crew had just one week to create the film as part of the competition. 


“The filming process was kinda tough because there were so many other productions going on, like The Haunted Tour and a bunch of testing…so scheduling was really hard.” 


Despite having many challenges during production, including microphone malfunctions and restricted shooting times, the team managed to finish in time.


“My favorite part of the production was how smooth everything came together,” said Carpenter. 


Carpenter has had lots of practice putting together film projects and working to have everything come together. 


“I used to make short little films with a GoPro camera that I had and a couple of other cameras,” said Carpenter. “I was always interested in how people made films and made special effects for films, and that got me interested in editing and putting things together.”


Carpenter is well on his way to becoming a successful filmmaker, having won this competition the previous year, yet he continues to seek opportunities to grow and learn more about his art. 


“The inspiration for this film was kind of an improvement on my project from last year…and I wanted to do a better job of storytelling and creating a more fully designed set.”


Storytelling remains the foundation for Carpenter’s films, and he continues to use all of the different elements of filmmaking to tell that story. 


“Since film is a mostly visual medium, the ability to tell a story through what you’re seeing on the screen, and not necessarily just some dialogue, is something that I really look up to.”

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