by Odera Ezenna

The University of West Georgia’s School of the Arts (SOTA) recently kicked off its fourth annual film camp—a weeklong event that gave students a firsthand look on what filmmaking is all about.

Students look at a cameraActivities included daily workshops and tutorials on screenwriting, movement, voice coaching, image capturing and film editing. The students got to use state-of-the-art university equipment, as well as learn to use their own smartphones and tablets.

“The camp is devised as a way of connecting multiple areas in SOTA,” said Casey McGuire, art professor and camp director. “It’s a way of working together so that students get to experience sections of SOTA and make a film.”

This year, lucky students aged between 13 and 17 got the chance to work in close collaboration with professionals from the school’s College of Arts and Humanities’ (COAH) Film Studies program, learning for themselves what it is like working behind the scenes.

“We had these seven really awesome students, who are all really into film, and they were all pretty involved,” said McGuire. “They were all excited to come do this, and they were all really invested, which was great.”

Dr. Erin Lee Mock, director of the COAH Film Studies program, said she was very excited for the opportunity the camp provided for the students.

“We consider the UWG Film Camp to be a moment for students to enter a community of artists working here on campus and around the world,” said Mock. “By exposing them both to the breadth of film and to the nitty-gritty of filmmaking, we empower them to find their own voices and ways to express their unique perspectives.”

The students spent the week learning to perfect their directing and editing, as well as learning to write and act, which served as new territory for some of them.

“I’m not a writer or an actor,” said Andrew Kircher, a Grace Christian Academy student participating in the camp. “I only do photography, editing and posting. So I figured this camp would give me a good opportunity to expand my knowledge of those things.”

Student editing video on a computerAs part of the camp, the students got the opportunity to work on their own projects this year. They were responsible for the writing, acting, directing and editing of their own films, which they screened for everyone, including the faculty, on the last day of the camp.

“The students worked independently on their films, and they each had their own screenplay, outline and storyboard that they came up with,” said McGuire. “Then they used each other as their actors or directors, but independently they edited and put it all together.”

Each participant got to take home flash drives that contained everyone’s completed works.

“The students got to take away a good sense of how to make a basic film from beginning to end, through thinking about planning, shooting and organizing,” said McGuire. “I also believe they each took away a good sense of leadership, because they each had to direct and shoot their own thing, and that takes a little outgoing leadership experience to cultivate.”

Posted on July 21, 2017