Tribal Digital Filmmaking Academy

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Welcome to the Tribal Digital Filmmaking Academy. This program is geared to teach youth beginning digital video production through hands-on training. We want youth to walk away from this training with the basic understanding of how to make a movie on their own. This way, if they ever wanted to make a movie in the future or are thinking of a possible career in the film industry they will be ready to move forward. In this training workshop youth will learn how to write, direct, shoot and edit a movie. We will start by dividing the class into three smaller groups and each group will develop a story that they will make in to a movie. Filmmaking is a group effort, so students must be willing to commit to the entire week. On the final Saturday we will screen the completed films to the community. But most importantly, we want students to have FUN!

People decide to make their first film for different reasons. Some want to express a vision or idea that is unique and challenging. Others have a story to tell or something they need to say. Still others want to learn the technical aspects of filmmaking such as cinematography or special effects. Whatever the reason the starting place is to understand how a film is made. The Tribal Digital Filmmaking Academy is our starting place for learning beginning filmmaking. Filmmaking is a process that requires skills and artistic vision. Although many of us have ideas floating around in our heads about a story that would make a great movie, its developing the skills necessary to bring this artistic vision to light. Much like a painter who must commit to learning painting techniques, requiring many years of apprenticeship, a filmmaker must do the same. Like any well-known filmmaker today, they just did not wake up one morning knowing how to make a film, but learned the craft over many years. One cannot master any art form overnight. Steven Spielberg began making movies as a kid using his parent’s home movie camera. Even after graduating from film school his craft and artistic vision developed with each film. He wasn’t born a great filmmaker, but through practice and hard work, became a great filmmaker.

Just a few years ago making a movie, even for independent and beginning filmmakers, was a costly effort making it much harder to achieve. When I made my first 16mm film in college it cost me about $10,000 dollars. I had to cut the actual film in to hundreds of small pieces, hanging them around my editing studio, selecting the shots I wanted to use and assemble them on a six-plate flatbed- a large contraption with three large plates on the left side and three large plates on the right. The film and sound tracks wind through some wheels and sprockets allowing the editor to watch the images and hear the sound. It was a huge time consuming undertaking. Although video production was cheaper then film, the image quality of video was and still is rather poor. Video has about a five-year shelf life, after that the images begin bleeding and start to look blurry. Also video-editing equipment was bulky and hard to use. Today, the increasing advances in digital technology brought about a decrease in the cost of producing a broadcast quality movie. This has given many people a chance to shoot and edit their own movies. A person can shoot on a Digital video camera, connect the camera to a computer.

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