by Claire Miller
Film studies programs at universities like Georgia State offer their students the chance to learn about the elements required to make a movie, from preproduction and casting to editing the material into the final product.
Students in the College of Education’s Saturday School for Scholars and Learners program had their first glimpse into filmmaking during the program’s summer day camp, which took place May 31-June 4.
The program, which provides academic enrichment programs for gifted and talented kindergarten through eighth grade students in the metro-Atlanta area, hosts a day camp each summer that focuses on a different theme.
“Our teachers offer activities that children wouldn’t do during the school year,” said John Kesner, director of Saturday School at GSU. “This year, the theme is movie-making, and the kids have really taken to this topic.”
The day camp’s curriculum was tailored for each age group, with students learning editing, acting and filming concepts as they created their own movies. The films ranged from finger and puppet shows in the kindergarten and first grade groups to commercials and silent films in the older grades.
“They get to see that movie magic,” said Frank Mastrogiacomo, media arts teacher at the DeKalb School of the Arts and one of the day camp leaders. “We gave them three film concepts – stop motion, the dream sequence and conversion – and we help them develop scripts and cast and record their films. They learn drama and movie-making skills, and they’ve really worked as a team.”
The week’s work culminated in an open house on June 4, where parents were invited to the college for a screening of the films their children created during the day camp. It also gives camp participants the chance to see their hard work on the big screen.
“For them, it’s a lesson in storytelling,” Mastrogiacomo said. “And they love seeing that story turned into a movie.”
For more information about Saturday School, visit http://education.gsu.edu/saturdayschool.