Filmmaker tells story of Folsom High School

Documentary to debut Thursday at school's Jill Solberg Theatre
By: Don Chaddock Telegraph Managing Editor
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A local amateur filmmaker has focused his lens on Folsom High School, crafting an hour-long documentary on the institution. Craig Covello filmed interviews with retired teachers, former students and more to help celebrate the school’s 88 years of history. The documentary is titled, “The Folsom High School Story.” “You shoot a lot of tape,” he said. “I shot 90 minutes to come up with three or four minutes (used in the film).” He said the Folsom Historical Society was instrumental in the film’s development. “The first graduating class was 1926,” he said. “The (society) was great because I was able to find graduating photos and even an old diploma.” The historical group stores their archives upstairs from the Folsom History Museum on Sutter Street. “This is a 100-hour project,” Covello said, who donated his time and resources to the project. He said Dean Handy, with the alumni association, was also very helpful. Finally, school Principal Kathryn Allaman helped organize an informal gathering of retired educators. Covello was there with his camera. “We had them sitting around a table and talking about the good old day,” Covello said. “It was difficult because I was carrying this camera and moving from side to side to get different people talking. It’s not like I had a whole crew and someone with a boom mike. It was just me.” He said one teacher, Jim Ward, was known for dressing up as people from history for his lessons. “He had a video of himself as Adolph Hitler,” he said. “That’s a serious subject and I was able to take the video and incorporate in my film.” Allaman said Covello was a natural choice for the project. “Craig is just a genius with multimedia,” she said. “We thought we should do some public relations for the high school. We thought about a brochure and then thought about a video we could use for back-to-school night.” She said they wanted to focus on what makes Folsom High School unique. “That first day, we talked about what sets Folsom apart,” she said. “He captured exactly what we wanted to capture. It evoked a feeling about the school.” Covello said the movie should help freshman get adjusted. “When I went to high school, back in the Stone Age, I was scared to death,” he said. “I would have appreciated a video like this.” Covello used music from the school’s bands as a soundtrack. “(The school’s) history is irreplaceable,” Covello said. “You can’t purchase that. It’s not something you can just order and download from the Internet. We put a historical perspective to (the film).” Choosing this week to show the film is no coincidence. “Homecoming is a nice time to do this,” Allaman said. The video will also be sold during the premiere at 6 p.m., Sept. 30, at the Jill Solberg Theatre at Folsom High School. Proceeds will help the school offset budget cuts, according to Covello. For more information, visit * * * KNOW AND GO What: “The Folsom High School Story” movie premiere When: 6 p.m., Thursday Where: Jill Solberg Theatre, Folsom High School Info: craigcovello