Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Library GrabBag: Movie Magic Camp

Just to prepare you...I'm catching up on a lot of library related posts I had planned to write.  So yes, you'll be diving into my world a bit for the rest of the week.

I'm a librarian who loves books, but I am also a librarian that loves filmmaking.  And when you are surrounded by talented teens who also enjoy the art form, fun things can happen.

For the last couple of years I have been playing around with the idea of a library "camp" for my middle and high school students during the summer.  I don't have it in me to plan an actual day camp, but an extended class could work, especially if it was a topic I was familiar with and excited to conquer a couple of days a week.

So this year we offered "Movie Magic Camp," a three week class that met on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1-4pm.  Each class started with a discussion about film followed by time to work on a group project.

The challenge:  Create a parody 5-10 minutes long of a story in which you are familiar.  What happened next, well, was exactly what I predicted: a crazy filmmaking experience that would leave me rolling on the floor.


Day one: 
- Introductions
     - What to expect at Movie Magic Camp
     - Goals
          - Fostering an appreciation of filmmaking by dissecting and discussing filmmaking and storytelling
          - Harness creative talents of teens in our community
          - Practice working as part of a team
     - Reveal of "The Challenge"
- Script Writing
     - How to format a script
     - Storyboarding
- Acting
     - Stage Tips
     - Acting Tips
     - Memorizing Lines
- Filming
     - Filming equipment
     - Techniques and shots
     -Do's and Don'ts
- What is a parody/spoof?
- Begin work on projects

Day two:
- What is a film adaptation? (Discussion and examples)
- Work on projects

Day three: 
- Films throughout history (Discussion of filmmaking, historical timeline, examples of early film)
- Work on projects

Day four:
- Animation and multimedia storytelling (Discussion of techniques, history, examples)
- Work on projects

Day five:
- Alfred Hitchcock - a look at classic horror/thrillers
- Video editing
     - Software
     - Techniques
     - Do's and Don'ts
- Work on projects

Day six:
- Appreciating the awesomeness of Stephen Spielberg
- Finish projects
- Project viewing and pizza!

It was A LOT of fun.  Things learned: teens don't really "discuss" movies.  They like projects, but they don't fully appreciate the importance of understanding film, studying the past, and planning to create great work.  Allowing teens to create their own work with few guidelines is the best way to spark their creativity and encourage imagination.  They are a bit insane, but my goodness are they interesting and delightful.  And group work is hard.  Not every teen is suited for big projects.  But it is so, very, important to learn.

We'll definitely be doing some kind of class again next summer.  It was a fun way to spend time with a talented group of teens who love the library and what we have to offer.  Not quite sure what the topic will be (maybe a bit more of the same???) but I'm excited to start planning.

And in case you're interested, here are the final results:

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