Future filmmakers find inspiration in everything. TV, the internet, friends, and movies. DMA encourages creativity but at the same time we realize teens find inspiration in the media they interact with. These teens in Digital Media Academy’s Film Camp found inspiration in a scary movie!
“Re-Encountered” was created by, scripted by, storyboarded by, and starred teens from DMA’s teens in Filmmaking camp. How’d they do it? Using HD video cameras, directing the scenes, editing music for the video and editing the video in Final Cut Pro, on Apple computer workstations.
Check out the suspense-filled short film shot on campus:
By Katy Scoggin – Lead Instructor Hands On Digital Filmmaking for Teens
Last August, I taught Hands On Digital Filmmaking for Teens at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. The class was a really successful exercise in collaboration and one of the highlights of my summer. I think everybody realized during that week that what you can accomplish as a group is a lot bigger than what you can create on your own.
It took me a lot of years to realize the value of teamwork. As a high school student, I loathed group projects because they always meant the same thing: I would end up doing all the work for several people. What a drag.
Since becoming a filmmaker, though, I’ve learned that teamwork is not about a bunch of slackers and the over-achievers who pick up after them. Real teamwork is about getting a bunch of creative minds together, bouncing ideas off one another, distributing work evenly and according to different folks’ strengths, and eventually coming up with a project that is bigger—and far cooler—than what any member of the group could have created alone.
That’s what my Philly students did last summer in the film camp course. They began by working individually on script ideas, which they later pitched to the class. Everybody got really excited about one student’s thriller idea. The story is about a girl who reveals the identity of a serial killer by posting a video of his latest murder on YouTube. After developing the script to suit everyone’s taste, we cast the project with some of our more performative members and broke the script down according to location.
Everyone who was interested in shooting—including the actors—had the opportunity to get behind the camera. Other students learned how to slate each take as camera assistants; lock the set down and watch for oncoming pedestrians as production assistants; and hold the boom pole as sound recordists. Everybody always had a job to do. And if each individual hadn’t held his or her own weight, we would not have completed the movie in such a short time span.
They say each movie is made three times: First you write it. Then you shoot it. Then you edit. After our two-day production period was over, we hunkered down and started to put the movie together. If you’ve ever written a paper, you understand that editing is basically rewriting. It’s the same in the cutting room: once you put the images you’ve captured into order, you can reorder them in a thousand different ways. Finding the best way to tell a visual story is one of the most challenging and, ultimately, most gratifying aspects of filmmaking.
In our digital film class, we decided to keep things collaborative through to the end: Each student picked one scene to edit, after which we cut the entire story together. At the end of the week, when we screened our short film for parents, I think everybody was happily surprised to see how much they’d been able to accomplish as a group in just one short week. The experience was a great one, and I look forward to having more like it this summer!
News from HQ by Philip Harding
Learn more about Digital Media Academy Film Camps for Teens in this video. See what teen students are saying about DMA summer technology camp programs. DMA summer camp students get the opportunity to act as a producer, screenwriter, actor / actress, director, scout, art director, digital video editor, and more! This is a truly amazing tech learning experience.
Digital Media Academy also offers similar Film Camps for Kids and Filmmaking Courses for Pro Adults in addition to the Teen Film Camps.
Learn more at http://www.digitalmediaacademy.org
News from HQ by Philip Harding
Make a movie at Digital Media Academy Film Camp for Teens!
I have had the pleasure of being able to attend, direct, assist, and co-instruct all levels of DMA’s filmmaking programs, but I just wanted to talk about the youth film camp programs for a moment. We’ve seen a lot of girls very interested in the film industry and these film camps. Both guys and girls get the chance to work in a real world film set and get a taste of the movie making action. Teen and youth students get the opportunity to create their own movie from scratch during the 5 day summer camp. The class starts with brainstorming creative story ideas and actually writing a movie script. Throughout the week-long bootcamp style filmmaking course students are able to write the script, act in the scenes, scout out shooting locations, shoot the film, edit the video with a pro level app like Apple’s Final Cut Pro, and produce their own DVD to take home. What a week!
DMA students get to act as a producer, screenwriter, actor / actress, director, scout, art director, digital video editor, and more! This is a truly amazing experience.
I have a lot of great memories across many of our university campuses with a green screen, mic boom, or extra camera trying to get in one last video shoot for the film camp. These film courses are always fun and creative. The learning experience is hands-on and directly duplicates being on the set making, acting, and directing a Hollywood picture. The camera equipment, audio equipment, lighting kits, and computer & software technology is always the best available.
By Dave Bittorf – Lead 3D Modeling, Animation & Game Design Instructor
I’ve always been passionate about art and also curious about how games are created. If you ever wondered how artist create the amazing 3D images you see on your favorite video game then check out the game creation classes at Digital Media Academy! I’ve been working in the 3D industry for about 5 years now. The software that we are using for these classes are the real deal. Maya, 3D Studio Max, Z-Brush and Unreal have been used to build games such as Gears of War I and II and Unreal Tournament III. Click on the image below to check out a video that gives you an idea about what a career in game creation is all about.