Musician Chris Shutters is filmed by Toledo School for the Arts seventh grader Morgan Harrison during Shorties U at North-view High School in Sylvania.
Children got behind-the-scenes looks Saturday at filmmaking and other art platforms during the premier creative academy, Shorties U.
About 51 children stretched their minds to go beyond using a digital device for just talking, learning each component of filmmaking and the power of digital at the Sylvania Community Arts Commission’s four-week Shorties U program held at the Northview High School Performing Arts Center.
Toledo resident Kayden Landis, 12, stood poised in front of the camera, while David Jakes, interviewed from behind the camera’s view. Mr. Jakes, a video producer for the Maumee advertising firm Hart Associates, instructed Kayden and his sister Sadie, 10, while the two produced the promotional film. When Sadie was finished filming her brother, it was her turn in front of the camera.
Kayden was a bit nervous before the interview, but the lessons he learned from Mr. Jakes and other field experts at the filmmaking program, helped him feel “more comfortable,” he said.
“I’ve learned how to hold the camera and certain effects. How to cut out parts from video and add different filters to make areas look darker,” he said.
The filmmaking sessions aim to prepare young film stars for the upcoming Shorties short film challenge. The Shorties film viewing will kick off the Tree City Film Festival, held April 24-26 in Sylvania. Jennifer Archer, the arts commission’s executive director, said submissions will be accepted until April 12.
Amelia Niedermier, left, is one of several students being taught by Eric Shanteau, right, how to use mirrors for extra creativity during Shorties U, hosted by the Sylvania Community Arts Commission.
In its third week, Mrs. Archer said she could already see the children expanding their filmmaking skills, and gathering a team together to shoot a short film for the festival.
“I think we are going to see more creative content this year,” she said, noting that the children also learned how to write a script at the workshop.
Inside the theater a group of boys were spread around the stage, capturing singer and songwriter Chris Shutters, while he performed a ballad on guitar.
“I like working with kids and it’s cool to see their minds working,” Mr. Shutters said. The children used his performance to learn about shooting music videos. “They are learning video and audio media,” and the final results of the filming will be transformed into a YouTube video, he said.
Children were hushed for a several minutes as they listened intently to photographer Eric Shanteau, who is known to capture intriguing images of northwest Ohio using only an iPhone. The Maumee image maker has 4,000 followers on Instagram.
He placed a large mirror on the floor, teaching the students, with digital gadgets in hand, how to use reflection — from ponds to sunglasses — in photographs and to the photographer’s advantage.
Previous guests have taught the students video editing, putting together a broadcast news package, and other storytelling skills. For more information about entering the Tree City Film Festival, which also features a 50-hour filmmaking challenge beginning March 21 visit www.sylvaniaarts.org.