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ITC Students Become Filmmakers with ’15 Seconds of Cinema’ Project

This is a photo of a female student filming a male student who is posing in front of a green screen in a media lab.Inspired by four ITC students who won an award for a 15 second film at last year’s CNY High School Film Festival, Advanced Media students at ITC became filmmakers recently, creating, directing and producing their own 15 second films.
Students began by studying the three-act structure, examining their favorite movie and selecting their three favorite scenes. Over the course of just eight days, they used that as the basis of their own one-page script, which consisted of three five-second scenes of screenplay. Four groups of students worked together to produce films: It 2, Mean Girls, Clueless and The Bee Movie.
“Our film was a comedy, so our biggest challenge was not laughing while we were filming,” senior Hunter Barney, Producer/Lead Actor of The Bee Movie, said. “We really had to work well as a team to get the work done and to make sure we had every shot that we needed. It was really fun to set up the special effects… I was able to film in front of a green screen, since I had to be relatively bee-sized.”
“Our challenge was trying to capture the whimsical moments that last in peoples’ memory,” Tatyanna Dowdell, Director of It 2, explained. “It feels good seeing your film come together… I feel pretty accomplished.”
After reviewing their idea with peers, the students them created shot lists, prop lists, location lists, actor lists and a schedule. Students applied to serve as Producer, Director, Cinematographer, Sound Operator and Editor and then spent a double period filming their movies, ensuring that they captured industry-standard lighting, camera movements and audio. Once filming was complete, the editor assembled all shots into a final edit, and then students critiqued their classmates’ films, fine tuning their edits as they went.
“This was really a creative challenge, and I’m more confident in my editing skills now, for sure,” Pich Chet, Cinematographer/Editor for Mean Girls, added. “I also have a better respect for those who work in the film industry. It took us three days just to film for 15 seconds… we got to see how much work really goes into every aspect of filmmaking.”
“These films have been a hit,” Media Communications teacher Jeff Newell explained. “Every team who has participated in 15 Seconds of Cinema loves the project, and the whole media program loves the result!”
Final films premiered to all media classes at ITC. To see the various 15 Seconds of Cinema projects, visit the ITC Facebook page:!
Anthony Q. Davis, Superintendent
725 Harrison Street
Syracuse, NY 13210
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