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To Film Or Not To Film...

Some schools put on plays, others musicals. But the students at Elmhurst High School in Fort Wayne, Ind., wanted to do a little more, so they made a movie. "Rendezvous," a picture set during the Revolutionary War, is the creation of the school's own Elmhurst Cinema Productions, which for the past several years has written and produced full-length feature movies.

For this year's production, students collaborated on the script and gathered a cast of 435, including students, parents, teachers, professional actors, and historical re-enactors.

"People were very generous with their time and their talent," said Michael Floyd, who teaches communications at the school and also directed the film.

To give the movie authenticity, students traveled to five states and Canada to shoot on location. But to keep costs down to about $10,000, cast members made or bought their own costumes.

Although the majority of the production company is made up of seniors from the school, students from all grade levels and area schools contributed nearly 9,000 hours outside class to put the film together.

The two-hour film, which started production last April, will premiere at the end of this week at the high school and will be shown in some of the cities the students visited on location.

Santa Rosa, Calif., school district officials insist they're not playing "Siskel & Ebert." But just weeks after reversing itself and turning down a request to film a horror movie at picturesque Santa Rosa High School, the school board has given thumbs up to a comedy directed by Ron Howard.

The board late last month unanimously approved use of the school for "Inventing the Abbotts," a romantic comedy set in the 1950s. District officials said Mr. Howard's film would require only two days of shooting at Santa Rosa High and thus would not disrupt school as much as "Scary Movie," which had a two-week filming schedule.

--ADRIENNE COLES & Mark Walsh

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