Saturday, July 16, 2011

Film Camp Day 5—It’s a Wrap

Wow! What a week. We’ve reached the final day, and it’s a mad rush to the finish line. With only five hours to go to a 2:00 p.m. deadline, all three of our teams are in high gear to complete their films. Friday morning is when reality starts to set in. Choices must be made, and compromises are the order of the day.

One team started the day with an 8 and a half minute rough cut. They will have to get it down to 3 minutes. Not an easy thing to accomplish. There are sound tracts, sound effects, dissolves, and cuts, which will all have to be taken into account. Some teams haven’t even decided on a title for their movie. And don’t forget, your project requires end titles and credits. So many choices and so little time.

But that’s really the whole point of the camp. We want to create a real world experience. What would it be like to work professionally in the media, television or film industry? Well, the truth is there are real deadlines and consequences. Tough choices. No one ever gets all the resources, budget or personnel that they would like to have. We design our film camp so that our students face the same choices and decisions as in real life.

It seems like the next five hours takes place in a blink of an eye. Everybody has a job to do, and the clock become our opponent. Is the DVD cover finished? What about the poster? Who’s doing the pitch? At 3:00 p.m. the world premier will take place. There will soon be a room full of people waiting to see your movie. That’s what makes this final day so exciting.

By 2:00 p.m., the teams are finally near the end. But, like in most years, we are now in the overtime period and sprinting toward the finish line. There are always unforeseen problems that pop up. Not only do you have to finish your movie, but you have to compress your files to a format that can be used for a DVD. That adds extra time to the process.

By 3:00 p.m., the house was full, and my partner, Isaac, was back in the edit bay finalizing the DVD to be used for the screening. Our students are learning firsthand about the importance of schedules and deadlines. Luckily, the DVD finally arrives at 3:10. p.m.

For the next hour, we get to enjoy three amazing films. I’m absolutely stunned with what they accomplished considering the restraints that they had to face. Of course, we could have given them more time. And we realize their films could have been better, but I’m convinced they learned more by having to make the hard choices. Just like in real life, we have to learn what to leave in and what to take out.

The first film reviewed was The Ballooniverse, a story about a young girl named Susan who discovers her precious balloon is missing. She finds three heroes to help her on her journey through the park. They soon uncover a disturbing truth that maybe the balloon is not as it seems to be.

The second film reviewed was Have Faith, a story about John Maxwell who has just broken up with his girlfriend. As he stumbles through the woods, he will soon have an encounter that will change his life forever.

And the last film reviewed was The Antagonist. This is a story about a man infamous for a life of crime. Dismissed from his prestigious brotherhood of evil, he sets out to design a plan more dastardly than ever before.

The critics are in. All three films were a rousing success. After talking to several friends and parents afterwards, this year’s camp was clearly a very satisfying experience. In our final session, we shared ten tips on what you can do now to prepare for a career in film, television and media. We talked about film schools, how to break into the industry, and other future projects.

We want to thank everybody, especially the students who worked so hard and put everything they had into this week. Thanks to the parents for their support as well. And, of course, we want to thank all of the instructors who gave up their time to participate in this year’s camp. And finally much appreciation to Isaac Stambaugh and the Vineyard Community Church in Springdale, Ohio.

Sean, Josh, Grant, Chelsea, Chris and Thomas

Elise, Jarrett, Caleb, Travis, Hannah and Will

Kyle, Daniel, Griffin, Madeline, Edie, Jesse and Marcus

Madeline and Edie working on final edit

Deadline nears

Jarrett at work

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