This year, Camilla Wildman, high school student and budding filmmaker, went to a summer camp to make movies with other teenagers, like the start of a traumatic and scarring Stephen King novel. But life surpassed hastily-written fiction for Camilla, and she learned a lot about filmmaking and had a lot of fun besides. Here, she tells you how to approach your first film-camp experience and what you can look forward to.
This past summer I spent two weeks making short films with a group of teenagers. It was a great experience and I would recommend it to people of all ages. It’s also a fantastic thing to put down on a college resume. Regardless of what you want to do, opportunities like this teach social skills like leadership and teamwork. So if anyone wants to do a filmmaking summer camp, here are some pointers.
Be open minded
Every person is different and every person has a different taste in film. Don’t show up to camp thinking everybody wants to make a blockbuster action movie. There’s a good chance nobody will like your ideas for the film, but that’s ok. You’re not the director, everyone there is. You may even end up creating something that’s the exact opposite of your dream movie, like a cheesy romance. You may even end up liking it!
I walked in to camp thinking about Wes Anderson movies and left with a film about a banana. The contrast between the two is crazy, but I like them both equally. You never know what you’ll make, but it will be awesome.
Do not take it too seriously
You’re a kid, or at least one at heart. You’re not superior to anybody there, you haven’t made ‘The Godfather’ and you probably aren’t James Cameron. (Are you?) Everyone there just wants to have fun, not make millions. You have plenty of time to get yourself acquainted with Sandra Bullock and Lupita Nyong’o, just wait a little bit.
This one’s pretty self-explanatory.You’ll be spending some time with these people and all of them share a dream job similar to yours. Why wouldn’t you want to be friends with them? Seriously though, these people will probably be cool. So go ahead and follow them on Twitter or another social networking site. Who knows, maybe one of these kids will be a fellow director later in life. It wouldn’t hurt to be pals with them.
Don’t be afraid
Even though I just explained the importance of making friends, you should also be okay with not being buds with everybody. One week isn’t terribly long, and you probably won’t see any of these people ever again (other than that fellow director). So show up in weird clothes and be yourself. While that sounds really cheesy, it doesn’t really matter. Being afraid of someone’s perspective on you is really stupid, especially if you will forget their name in a few months.
Another cheesy and clichéd line, but HAVE FUN. If you don’t have fun, it changes your perspective of directing and filmmaking. Don’t be the one who sits in the corner on their phone. Don’t do that.
Hopefully, at the end of camp you’ll have created a beautiful little movie and made some good friends. Maybe you want to do it again? Well you should, that means it was fun. I hope you get to create movies some day. Good luck!