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Making Movies From Storyboard to Screen

July 16, 2010

A massive train, its brakes screaming, hurtles into a car. A cacophony of sirens, helicopters, crackling walkie-talkies, and the whine of an electric saw that sheriff’s deputies use to remove the car’s hood blend in an awful and frightening mix. Paramedics work intently on a boy pulled from the wreckage, but to no avail. His body is moved, lifeless, to a stretcher.

The action is riveting, and convincing. In seven minutes, It’s Not an Accident, a film the Illinois Department of Transportation uses to teach new drivers about the grim realities of train crashes, tells a compelling story full of palpable grief. But the movie — polished, edgy, realistic — comes from an unlikely source: a class of high school students.

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