By: Rebecca Parker, Muncie Public Library Technology Coordinator—
Muncie, IN—Muncie Public Library (MPL) offered its first-ever film school this summer, turning its Maring-Hunt Library Maker Space into a filmmaking center where six Muncie high school students spent an intensive two weeks learning to write, shoot, and edit video projects. In this project-based, hands-on learning opportunity, students were led through a variety of lessons and projects designed to help them develop telecommunications skills that are fundamental to filmmaking, but can also be applied to many career paths.
The film school experience culminated with a showcase screening of the students’ final projects hosted at Ball State University. Friends and family members joined the students at the showcase and offered commentary on their work. Paige Waters, BSU Instructor of Telecommunications, and her students conducted a tour of the department and answered questions about career opportunities in the varied field of telecommunications.
MPL Digital Mentors Daniel Allen and Stuart Cotton organized and facilitated the Summer Film School pilot project that gave the students experience using professional camera and sound equipment. The students then edited their films using professional software.The purpose of the film school is to help Muncie teens develop valuable communication and technology skills that would strengthen their employability and their resumes. The MPL film school program aligns with Indiana Department of Education standards for Radio and Television I, a recommendation for students in grades 11-12. The high school students were chosen based on their interest, the strength of their applications, and teacher recommendations. No prior film or media experience was required. “Many of our students had never touched a camera before this program, “ said Allen. “We wanted to show them that they could create great things if given the opportunity and guidance.”
Muncie Community Schools helped to promote the film school through teacher announcements, the MCS website, and at information tables staffed by Cotton and Allen at Muncie Central High School.
The library plans to offer the film school again next summer. MPL Director Akilah Nosakhere supports the initiative and recognizes it as “an important creative component of young adult education at the public library.” To find out more about next year’s Summer Film School, contact Daniel Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org.