Even Steven Spielberg started somewhere.
If you have a son or daughter aged 10 to 14, who loves all aspects of film production, the Director’s Cut Camp at Shenkman Arts Centre might be just the ticket. “We’ve been running this camp for 10 years,” says Brad Ferren, instructor with Director’s Cut. “We started the first year the centre opened and every year it seems to be even more popular. Kids love it.” Ferren says that kids learn Claymation, how to make a music video and a two-to-six-minute feature film. He says the camp is a real eye-opener for kids as they learn about pre-production, script writing and post-production. “I think kids are surprised at how painstaking it is to make a Claymation production,” says Ferren. “They learn storyboarding, sound effects and titling and end up with a film that is about two to five minutes long that is 24 frames per second. They sure learn how to be meticulous.”
Another favourite is a week-long camp on making a music video. “Kids think this is a blast,” says Ferren. “They get to pick a song and then film a music video around the song.” Ferren says that means kids acting in the video, learning camera angles, doing a shot list and understanding behind the scenes post-production, like editing. “It really is a team effort,” he says, “and a lot of work, but very satisfying to see the resulting music video.” The most challenging camp is making a feature film. “This is probably the most complicated film production to do,” says Ferren. “But it’s always a sellout.” Ferren says the student campers learn about action on camera, casting, voice work, and creating their own script. “The feature film usually ends up being from two to six minutes long,” says Ferren, “and includes everything involved in making a film.” He says the camp provides a wide perspective on film production and kids are amazed at how long it takes to do things and how complicated it can get. “One of the big eye-openers is continuity,” says Ferren. “We have some really good laughs and often make a game of spotting the continuity errors.”
The Director’s Cut Camp is a great educational perspective on the world of film. The camp is always a sellout. Register your budding Spielberg early at www.shenkmanarts.ca.