The Official DC Asian Pacific American Film Blog

Friday, July 20, 2007

P.O.V. - Week 1 Recap

What do you get when you put eight, young aspiring filmmakers together in a room for a summer workshop? Over the next six weeks, we'll see what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real. This, after all, is their Point of View...

Bright and early last Saturday morning, eight students from the greater DC area , ranging in age from 16 and 19, met for the first time at APA Film's inaugural Point of View ( P.O.V.) Youth Workshop at Georgetown Day School . After initial icebreakers, Nguyen, an instructor, posed to students the question, "What is film?" In thinking about the key components of a movie, the students identified three key elements: movement, light, and sound. Whether it was still early, or the students were just getting to know each other, in the beginning the class was a litte quiet.

However, once they got their hands on the cameras, there was a sudden shift as everyone got their own camera to play with. First, they learned how to take off the training wheels and turn on the manual features for the cameras. The tripods were soon unfolded as they learned to pan and tilt.

After a break, they got down to storyboarding. Chris was in charge of assignments, giving students such scenes as: "Chris gets into college" or "Chris gets a visit from panda bear." Everyone had 6 storyboards to tell the story. It was amazing to see how the same story can be told in multiple ways in just 6 frames.

During lunch, we played games like connecting celebrities via movies they starred in. For example, how many steps does it take to link Jessica Biel to Matt Damon? (Answer: two. Jessica Biel was in Elizabethtown with Alec Baldwin; Alec Baldwin was in the Good Shepherd with Matt Damon).

We ended the day with a series of interactive activities. We paired each student up to go through a checklist of tasks. As they recorded wide, medium, and close-up shots and practiced racking focus , it was heart-stirring to see them set up shots using everything they had available–from left over donuts to Chris and Nguyen. In no time, we ran out of time. Packing their bags, we wished them goodbye and hoped to see them next week.

I just want to note that the kick-off of P.O.V. couldn't have happened without the generous donations of local organizations like Georgetown Day School for the use of their facilities and RTNDA for lending their cameras.

You can check out pictures of the first day of workshop here:

Next week, Nguyen will update you on Week 2, where the students will start to learn lighting techniques and editing software.

-Vincent Huang
Education and Outreach Chair


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