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For Mount Si High School junior Michael Wagner, the most interesting thing about New York City was a toss up between the giant rats in the subway and the bustle of Times Square.

"It truly is a city that never sleeps," Wagner said.

He and four other Mount Si students traveled to the "Big Apple" Jan. 10-15 as a field trip for teacher Joe Dockery's video production class. The trip combined tours of the hands-on Museum of Moving Images, New York's top film schools - New York University, School of Visual Arts and the New York Film Academy - and cultural trips to sites like Times Square, the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and the Broadway show "Hairspray."

"We wanted it to be an experience," Dockery said.

During the trip, students get exposed to film schools and learn what is required should they want to continue in the field, but they also get to broaden their perspectives by getting out of the Pacific Northwest, Dockery said.

Wagner said he was surprised to learn that film students at the universities were learning on 16mm and 35mm film cameras rather than digital.

Senior Kendra Fowler said she enjoyed learning how movie special effects, like the spinning head in "The Exorcist," were done.

Last year, students visited Los Angeles, Calif., to tour that city's famous film sites.

Mount Si teamed with Tahoma High School for the two trips.

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