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A student of moviemaking

Give $1,000 to the average college student and he or she probably will beat a path to the mall.

Brock Bradley, a senior at the University of Central Florida, is spending his windfall on making a short movie.

Bradley, 23, was recently awarded the Linda Perry/Touch the Future scholarship sponsored by the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Film Commission.

Much of the $1,000 prize that came with the honor is being spent this week on post-production duties for his seven-minute film, The Blackbird. He'll spend $275 per hour in an Orlando studio in order to convert his film footage to videotape for easier editing later.

"The money will definitely come in handy, with the high cost of film and post-production," he said. "I have learned the importance of internships, paid and unpaid."

In order to qualify for the film commission's scholarship, Bradley was required to be accepted in some kind of internship relating to movie or television production. He had three such positions on his application.

Last semester, Bradley completed a stint working for Disney/MGM Studios in Orlando. The job gave him experience in computer imaging, art and sound effects and client service management, which he utilized when The Today Show was broadcast live from the new Animal Kingdom theme park last month. Bradley previously worked as an intern for a PBS television station and Nickelodeon Studios in Orlando.

The latter position was a bit of a homecoming for Bradley. He had attended Northeast High School in St. Petersburg until midway through his junior year, when he landed a role in Nickelodeon's series Welcome, Freshmen. He moved to Orlando for the job and earned his diploma with on-set instruction before advancing to UCF, where he majored in radio and television arts. Bradley plans to pursue a fine arts degree in motion pictures next.

His first move includes _ what else? _ more applications for internships, this time with Lucasfilms Ltd. in California and the Captain Kangaroo show videotaped in Tampa.

"I'm very interested in knowing all of the technicalities of what goes on, on both sides of the camera," Bradley said.

WHAT'S NEW _ It's interesting to know when an actor takes a role left behind by another performer. You can occasionally tell how someone's career is going by considering whose fingerprints were on the script when he/she got it.

For example, Black Dog (PG-13) opens nationwide today, starring Patrick Swayze. He plays Jack Crews, a trucker who lost his license after a fatal accident years before, who must now get behind the wheel again to deliver illegal weapons or else his family will be killed.

Read that synopsis one more time and you already know this movie doesn't have much going for it.

Then, you remember that Black Dog was supposed to star TV's Hercules, Kevin Sorbo, who dropped out of the production due to an injury reported on the set of his syndicated series. Of course, that announcement came after Sorbo's mega-flop movie debut Kull the Conqueror, which makes the departure seem like a pitcher feigning pain in his arm after a bad inning.

Watching Swayze pick up Sorbo's scraps, especially for this type of movie, is a telltale sign of how Swayze has gone from box office sizzle (Ghost, Dirty Dancing) to fizzle (Three Wishes, Tall Tale, Father Hood) since 1990. Playing a vigilante truck driver doesn't sound like comeback material.

By the way: Universal Pictures didn't allow critics to see Black Dog in time for a Weekend review. Go figure.

100 YEARS, 100 MOVIES _ Several weeks ago, Floridian ran a story about the American Film Institute's survey of nearly 1,500 movie industry types to select the 100 best domestic films released between 1896 and 1996.

We took the exercise a few steps further by asking readers to study the AFI's list of 400 nominees and pick their top-10 list of all time, plus their choices of the greatest movie stars ever.

The AFI will announce its results in June during a CBS television special.

The Times will reveal its readers' selections on Sunday.

Don't miss the Floridian section that day, which will include the top movies picked by Times readers, along with the top 10 male and female stars. You may get a kick out of a partial list of films that fans believed to be overlooked by the AFI nominees. And we'll include selected comments from readers about the survey, their favorites and American cinema in general.

We received 236 letters, faxes and e-mails on the subject, including two entries from adult care centers that used the survey as a group project for their patients. We got responses from across the country, too, thanks to our Internet site and readers who shared the survey with out-of-state friends.

Some results will make you nod in agreement, and some may leave you scratching your head in confusion. Certainly, it will provide interesting conversation over your morning coffee.