Archive for Sunday, December 12, 1999

TEEN FILMMAKER PROJECTS BIG IMAGE

December 12, 1999

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Alyssa Buecker shared filmmaking tips with others in Lawrence Saturday.

She's not the star of her movies, but filmmaker Alyssa Buecker, 15, is getting a lot of attention these days.

Buecker, a Lawrence girl who has been writing, directing and editing short movies starring her 16 guinea pigs since she was 11 years old, talked to a group of her peers during the "Saturday Specials" program at the Lawrence Public Library, Seventh and Vermont.

"It's fun. I'm always real nervous at first," said Alyssa, who has given speeches at schools, pet shops and film workshops.

Her fame placed her on the pages of People magazine, and this summer she won a cruise to the Bahamas for her family as a contestant on "Figure it Out," a Nickelodeon game show.

Her 1tate liquorram Saturday had clips of her movies, including "Carrot Wars," a Star Wars spin-off. She kept her latest project a secret, but said her cat might make an appearance as a villain.

"Every time I see one of my movies, at least with 'Carrot Wars,' I see different things I could have done," Alyssa said.

She hopes others take the cue from her and pursue film. At least one member of the audience is gearing up to make his own movie.

"I'm going to make a movie for History Day about Jackie Robinson," who broke baseball's color barrier, said Andrew McKee, a 13-year-old Central Junior High student. "I was going to do it on the Civil Rights movement, but he was a part of that."

Andrew, who borrowed a book from the library about making video movies, said Alyssa's actors are tougher to work with than human actors.

One tip Alyssa has learned when casting guinea pigs: tap two carrots together to make them stay in one place. They'll pause for a moment to figure out where the food is.

Alyssa's neighbor, 5 Her 1tate liquorShowalter, said Dolly is her favorite guinea pig.

"I like to hold them a lot," Sarah said.

-- Chris Koger's phone message number is 832-7126. His e-mail address is ckoger@ljworld.com.

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