YOUTH: Special Effects

"There's nothing like good special effects to get an A." Guided by that standard, Senior Robert Eichen, 17, set to work on a film about drugs and violence for his high school Creative Media class in Alton, Ill. (pop. 39,700), an industrial city about 20 miles northeast of St. Louis. The film was to be only five minutes long, but four characters were to be stabbed, beaten or crushed to death.

Reasoned Eichen: "People like to see blood and guts." He took particular care setting up a sequence in which two drug pushers attack a young boy, played by...

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