Film club provides assistance for projects

A new film club was established earlier in the school year with an objective to help students develop production skills. Antoine Davis, campus supervisor and advisor of film club, has a background in photography and cinematography. He started the club to share his knowledge and give students a new creative outlet.

“I’ve always had an idea of bringing a piece of me wherever I go, so when it comes to film, it’s something that I’m passionate about, along with photography and graphics,” Davis said. “I know what it does for me…so if I can kind of tap into different kids’ creativity and help them see that within themselves, that’s really everything for me.”

Davis’ first goal was to help students get more comfortable with using the equipment. The club is working with a combination of school-administered technology and Davis’ personal collection. 

“I actually donated my whole studio,” Davis said. “I brought some strobe lights for photography; we set up a photo studio in the graphics lab. I brought my drone down here, I brought my stabilizer, video lights, my mic setup, boom pole, all my stuff, because I’m like if these kids can get their hands on professional equipment, that will just help them develop their portfolio.”

Zahni Gulbronson, sophomore, was interested in film and photography prior to joining. Using the equipment, he has been able to develop his skills and learn new techniques.

“Learning how to work with sound has been really, really helpful,” Gulbronson said. “I didn’t have experience with that beforehand and he was able to really help me get into that… He taught me some interesting stuff with editing, like how to sync up certain tracks with each other that I never would have figured out before.”

Film club is currently working under Youth Rising Up (YRU) to create videos shedding light on various issues. Their partnership began with the Black History Month program, which needed to be virtual this year. 

“[Since] a lot of things have had to be online and digital, we’ve had students in film club help us out with filming these videos and providing us with the production equipment,” said Alemitu Caldart, senior and president of YRU. “We’d go to different locations and the film students would bring their equipment and we would shoot the video.”

Caldart is grateful for the partnership.

“It’s been an easy way to create whatever we want to do… It just allows more freedom [for] what we want to express,” Caldart said. 

It’s been an easy way to create whatever we want to do… It just allows more freedom [for] what we want to express.

— Alemitu Cardart, senior and YRU president

 Most recently, film club released a video surrounding Women’s History Month. 

“We chose to interview a whole bunch of women throughout the [district],” Davis said. “We reached out to a whole bunch of different people to get their insight on what it’s like to be a woman, through the different stages: the good, the bad, the ugly and also the good again.”

Davis added that the students were able to work more independently with this project.

“After maybe the first two or three people we interviewed, they’re running on their own because it’s like ‘You know what to do, now show it,’” Davis said.

Students were assigned different roles in the production process.

“I think I was the director of photography, some people did the sound, and we had some people directing, sort of telling the people what to do,” Gulbronson said.

Nothing is completely set in stone for their next projects, but Gulbronson hopes to work more with student-selected short film projects.

“[Hopefully] in the future we’ll get into more things…like student ideas and maybe try to turn that into little short films,” Gulbronson said. 

Davis has big plans for the future, including a summer program through the recreation department called Flavors Academy, an extension of his personal production company called We Got Flavors. 

“That’ll be another way that we can come into school next year fully prepared to just tackle projects without having to go backwards,” Davis said.