School Film

After working hard at it all year, our students have finally completed their film. I am always been impressed at how patient and open minded she is with our students as she guides them through the entire film production process and her insistence that the students take the leading role in all the aspects of the film – even when time gets tight – ensures that we stay true to the goal of an active learning experience as well as an end of year show piece. We are very blessed to have a professional with such talents working with our students, long after her own children have left our school and we hope she continues to direct our films and coach our students for many years to come. So… a word from Sharon:

In 2004 Pav asked if I could guide the students of the upper years in making their own film, prompted by Graham Jessop’s Small Schools Film Project which she wanted MAUPS to take part in. I was a parent at the school and had just won Best Film at the New York Short Film Festival. We made The Rainbow Resort, and I’ve guided the students every year since then (the entire oeuvre can be enjoyed via MAUPS’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa0om-ISrQOEvfFHfi7Io5A, which has also become a fabulous time-capsule of the students’ physical growth!)

We brainstorm the film as a class, after being given a theme, and then the students work in smaller groups with me to flesh out the treatment (what happens in the story), and then the specifics of the script itself  (characters, dialogue and details). 

Each year the story is required to include at least one scene with the whole school, and acting roles are given with priority to the Year 6s. Storyboarding is next and the scenes are broken down into sketches that will guide the individual camera shots. After we cast the roles, we then make the film with students taking turns on camera and the handheld mic wherever possible.

Editing is next, and using the professional editing program Premiere Pro, I separate the left and right hand activities of an editor between two students – one on mouse and the other on keyboard shortcuts.

Throughout this process the students experience an incredible variety of technical operations as well as the fine art of filmic storytelling, through writing, acting, camera and sound capture and edit decisions. 

We’ve just completed the editing process and now our 2019 film, What Happened At Lunchtime, is ready for the musical score.

We’re all very excited to screen our latest film at the farewell in December!

Sharon Shostak