Katerina Damiano is one of Huntington High School’s most spectacular teenage filmmakers. The junior’s short film titled “Mortified” was recently selected for the Huntington Art Council’s High Arts Showcase XVIII, which opens March 18 at the Main Street Gallery in the village.
Ms. Damiano has been studying with Huntington art teacher Heather Swan, who leads the high school’s video arts program. “I’ve always been drawn to the stories of humanity that are represented in films,” the teenager said. “When I make short films, I try to include a wide variety of artistic shots and emotion that my characters portray. The process of creating a meaningful story through camera angles, lighting and dialogue inspires me in my creative journey.”
Huntington High School junior Katerina Damiano.
“Mortified” was inspired by the work of director Tim Burton. “Films such as ‘Beetlejuice’ and ‘Edward Scissorhands’ guided me in developing the film,” Ms. Damiano said. “I wanted to create a crude comedy with dark elements to show a contrast in characters and the story dynamic. I took inspiration from the lighting and filming techniques of Tim Burton. While writing my script for ‘Mortified,’ I considered how I could develop my characters as well as create a balance of grim visuals and comedy; all while keeping the timespan of the video concise. Experimenting with portraying reality but also including fantasy-like elements was part of what added to the tone of the film. Overall, the outcome of the video created a dark comedy along with dynamic characters and visuals.”
Ms. Damiano is currently investigating film schools and programs to pursue after high school. Pratt, New York Film Academy and New York University have all caught her eye. “My goal is to go into the film industry in my career path,” she said.
The junior said she “really enjoys” her art courses, including Creative Video and Drawing and Painting. “I love to create short films in Creative Video and develop compelling stories and visual editing,” Ms. Damiano said.
The teenager is a member of the high school’s National Honor Society and Art Honor Society chapters as well as the women’s empowerment club.
“Mrs. Swan has helped me improve my skills and techniques in filmmaking and she encourages me to think outside of the box when creating art,” Ms. Damiano said.
To watch the short film on YouTube visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=it132Dtg1dU.
“I think people should know that Huntington High School provides many opportunities for a wide variety of interests,” Ms. Damiano said. “There are so many options for a diverse array of courses and activities for students to be a part of. I especially appreciate the great art programs that Huntington High School offers.”
Ms. Damiano earns top grades. She is on Huntington High School’s High Honor Roll.
“My experience at Huntington High School has been great,” the junior said. “I’ve met so many new people, been a part of fun activities and overall, I have overall my interests and passions.”