Zombies and vampires and films, oh my!
Last night was a hoot. I was a judge for our local middle school's film class year end film competition, sitting through three hours of film clips. They had a gazillion categories - best film, actors, cinematography, editing, music videos, commercials, and on and on.... Popular themes seemed to be zombies and vampires. Prizes will be presented next week at a big gala (dress-up required).
This middle school film class is one of the most popular in the school (7th and 8th grade classes), and the enthusiasm of the kids was really evident in the films. Were they great films? Uh... no, but there were some great moments and great laughs. BTW, one of the films by some 8th-graders (on Cyberbullying) was accepted this year at NFFTY (National Film Festival for Talented Youth) in Seattle. Another film was accepted for a state-wide student festival. So these kids are doing well....
I am convinced that there are three or four of those students who would have successful careers given the opportunity. But the opportunities seem to end at the middle school level. These kids split into two separate high schools, neither of which have film programs. The closest high school that has something (and boy, do they have a great program) is 25 miles away in another county. That school has an entire wing dedicated to teaching "the arts." If only we could have that here.
One of the other judges was a former Disney executive and as we talked afterwards, he was complaining about our school district's lack of a clue about film.