By Savannah Evanoff | Northwest Florida Daily News

When the image of a kite projects across the screen at the inaugural Kite Film Fest, it will symbolize much more.

Co-founders Nikki Hedrick and her mother, Heather Hedrick, named the film festival after Heather’s father, Gilbert Kite. A month after the two received his permission and decided to host the festival, Kite unexpectedly died.     6-gilbert-and-ellon-kite

“It’s an honor, but it’s tough, too,” Heather said. “My dad always loved movies and unusual movies on top of it. I can remember going all my life to movies with him.”

Kite carried on the same tradition with Nikki, taking her to movies when she spent time with him in the summer.

The Hedricks created Kite Film Fest as a way to bring the local film community together and give them an opportunity to celebrate their works, Nikki said. With no entry fee and only a few guidelines, the inaugural festival received more than eight hours of submissions in various short film genres, primarily horror.

6-kite-logoNikki and Heather will host Kite Film Festival at 6 p.m. Saturday at Club L.A., 34876 Emerald Coast Parkway, Destin. An hour-and-a-half of screenings will begin at 7 p.m. with an intermission.

The event is open and free to those older than 18.

We asked filmmakers Greg Vestal and Stephen Baker about the short films they will show at Kite Film Fest.

Name: Greg Vestal6-greg-vestal

Age: 50

Homebase: Miramar Beach

Kite Film Fest entry: “There Can Only Be One”

Film genre: Comedy Short

What is the plot of the film you submitted to Kite Film Fest?

A woman goes into a comic book shop to purchase the rare copy of Spiderman No. 1.

When and how did you decide to make this film?

I made films in Dallas and moved to this area last May. After getting all settled with my new job and purchased town home, I was ready to explore the film-making community here. I heard about the Kite Film Fest and decided that was a good time to get back into it.

What inspired this film?

As a director, I was looking for something quirky and funny. I saw this script and figured it would not be a difficult one for someone who is just getting back into the industry.

How long did it take you to make this film?

4 hours to shoot and about 6 hours for my editor to complete.

How much money or resources did it take to put this film together?

$50 to my editor.

What was the most challenging part about making this film?

The challenge was editing. With an approaching deadline, I decided to do it myself. Luckily, I found someone to take on the task.

What is your favorite part or aspect of the film you submitted to Kite Film Fest?

The actors and the script. I thought everyone was a really good fit, and it came together very easy.

How long have you been working in the film industry?

I have participated in several 48-hour film challenges and wrote and directed a 40-minute paranormal thriller called “Soulcatcher.” I also acted for 10 years in independent and student films as well as extra work in several television shows. Found myself fascinated when I was on the set and learned as much as I could by observing.

What is your favorite movie?

I have so many. I go to the movies at least once a week. My favorite types of movies to go to the theater and watch are the big budget, FX-type movies. I’m a big “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” movies fan. Love JJ Abrams. Favorite movie of all time: “True Lies,” an action and comedy.

Who would act as you in a movie?

Right now, Chris Pratt.

What do you love about making films?

The creative process. Watching words turn into moving pictures is quite satisfying. Although I do love being in front of the camera, I equally enjoy behind it as well.


Name: Stephen Baker6-stephen-baker-1

Age: 56

Homebase: Currently Memphis, Tennessee. I recently moved there from Fort Walton Beach, where I lived for 13 years.

Kite Film Fest entry: “The Box”

Film genre: Black Comedy

What is the plot of the film you submitted to Kite Film Fest (no spoilers please)?

A man enters a radio contest to win Kenny G tickets only to find it is run by a sadistic DJ and his hapless sidekick.

When/how did you decide to make this film?

This film was originally produced for the inaugural Pensacon Film Festival. A bunch of local professional filmmakers decided to get together and work on a project doing jobs we don’t normally do as our “day jobs.” For instance, I am a location sound mixer by trade but was the writer/director of this project. Plus, we all wanted to produce something to support Pensacon’s very first film festival.

What inspired this film?

The inspiration for the script came from a twisted idea. I had wondered what it would be like if a radio station ran a totally bogus promotion just to mess around with the listeners.

How long did it take you to make this film?

The script was written virtually overnight, maybe four hours.  We shot on two different days, one day at a radio station and another at an empty storefront at HarborWalk. Each shoot day was about four hours of work.

How much money or resources did it take to put this film together?

The cast and crew worked for pizza. I spent about $50 in materials making props, specifically “The Box.” I spent about another $50 licensing music, sound effects and such.

What was the most challenging part about making this film?

Shooting in a box!

What is your favorite part or aspect of the film you submitted to Kite Film Fest?

The performances of the actors. While I wrote the skeleton of a script, I purposely cast actors I knew would be good at ad-lib and let them do their thing. All the actors worked in radio at one time or another in their lives, so they “might” have been channeling their inner radio guys and drawing from personal experience.

How long have you been in the film industry?

I’ve been doing this for about 30 years. My first paid independent film was a documentary for PBS about moving a lighthouse in Massachusetts. My first film out of film school was a “mockumentary” called “Neewollah Yppah: The Legend of Snake Pond,” a story about a small pond in Sandwich, Massachusetts, that was supposedly inhabited by a 50-foot snake that terrorized the residents who lived and swam in the lake. It drew a lot of attention, and many people thought it was a real story. It was perhaps my own “War of the Worlds.” It was a total spoof. In fact, the title is a dead give away.

What is your favorite movie?

“Young Frankenstein,” — no question about it!

Who would act as you in a movie?

Good question. Certainly not someone who takes themselves seriously.

What do you love about making films?

The collaboration. Which is ironic, because most of the bigger films and TV shows I have worked on were anything but collaborative. However, when I am making a film or video project, I rely heavily on the people around me to help make the movie as good as it can be. Although I don’t always take every suggestion, I do try and hear what everyone has to say. Then, like an AA meeting, take what I like and leave the rest.