Friday, July 24, 2009

Summer Filmmaking Workshop at BMFI

Did you know that Bryn Mawr Film Institute has its own summer program for teenagers?

BMFI's Summer Filmmaking Workshop, now in its second year, is presented in conjunction with The Big Picture Alliance, a non-profit youth development media center that has been teaching filmmaking to Philadelphia-area teenagers since 1994. Twelve students collaborate on a short film over the course of the six-week intensive program, in which they learn about acting, writing, lighting, cinematography, editing, and teamwork under the guidance of professional media-makers. At the end of the program, their hard work will pay off; the SFW partipants will join their family, friends, and community for a special premiere of their film at Bryn Mawr Film Institute on Friday, August 7, at 4:00pm, followed by a reception in the upstairs Multimedia Room.

The Workshop unites a diverse mix of high school juniors and seniors from public and private schools in both Lower Merion and downtown Philadelphia. Instructor Chris Fusco, a Senior Teacher at Big Picture Alliance, praises the collaboration between the students "fantastic." He adds, "BPA has serviced both city youth and suburban youth since our inception, but we have not had many opportunities for these two populations to collaborate in a meaningful way. By spending seven hours a day together, four days a week, the students [in the Summer Filmmaking Workshop] are learning and growing together as digital media artists. They're different visions are being realized in a work that has different perspectives on the teenage experience. It is a really unique environment."

In the first few weeks of the program, participants practiced various acting and production techniques and collaborated on a script. Then they put their production knowledge into practice while filming their comedic short film on locations around the Main Line. Now entering their fifth week, the students are finishing filming and will soon begin post-production, when they will edit their film and design marketing materials to prepare for their big screen premiere.

The short comedy features Dobbins High School's Isa Walker as a sixteen-year-old boy named Lucas who works as a clown at birthday parties for little kids. At the beginning of the film he finds out that the birthday party he has been hired to work is for a classmate... the girl of his dreams. Keep an eye out for a link to the finished film when it's complete or come to the FREE premiere event on Friday, August 7 at 4:00pm.

BMFI looks forward to seeing what these creative young filmmakers do next.

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