This past week, the 2015 Rutgers Summer Digital Filmmaking Camp started and ended with one word at the forefront: “collaboration.“
Ten middle and high school students, clearly driven and wanting to learn about different aspects of filmmaking, took on the guidance of instructors and ended the week with their very own individual film shorts assisted closely by their peers.
Of course, with only five days to complete intense screenwriting, production, and post-editing, getting these young and eager students to work together wasn’t always easy.
“In the very beginning [the students] start off and nobody wants to talk, but we get into a circle, look at each other, talk to each other, and within two hours it’s a whole different dynamic,” said Camp Director Neal Bennett.
When the Extension Division team had a chance to chat with Bennett, it was clear he was passionate about what he did for a living and that he wanted to pass whatever knowledge he had onto his students. His style of instruction heavily focused on working together and networking.
Bennett himself has had extensive experience in the television and media industry, all of which led him to becoming Director of Education at Industry Media Arts.
“I’m looking for them to understand the collaborative art form of filmmaking and for them to be able to create films they can share at home,” Bennett said. More importantly, he emphasized, was learning how to “stay in touch with each other and understand the workflow, including dealing with different personalities in the field.”
By Day 3 of the film camp, the students had shot lists constructed, equipment to experiment with, and intense schedules filled from 9:30AM-4:30PM. The best part was it looked like they were all having a wonderful time, taking on various roles that mimic the real industry.
“One of the students here is really into live-switching and directing sports, while another student who likes only sound has focused only on sound production for these past few days.” Bennett emphasized that students can learn what aspect of filmmaking they feel most comfortable with.
Being in a college environment for the summer camp was an added bonus as well, said Bennett. Again, collaboration was mentioned. Through the camp, students could develop networking connections and possibly work with college students to assist on film shoots in the future.