New project targets young filmmakers

A new project to create and nurture more young filmmakers begins at the Hanalei Community Center this year, in partnership with the 2006 Hawaii Ocean Film Festival.

The first meeting for this project will be Thursday, in the Teen Center at the Hanalei Community Center from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The meeting is to introduce the participants in the film festival, the scoring sheets and criteria for judging the films. Students interested in filmmaking are invited to participate as judges.

Students will view short films about marine resources, ocean recreation and cultural connections to the sea, while judging them on the following criteria: story, directing, performances, lighting and setting, special effects and sound.

Through a grant from the Hawaii People’s Fund, the project hopes to inspire local youth to find their own voice, and tell their stories digitally.

By connecting youth and organizations to realize the value of digital activism, it will also raise awareness on the issues and common interests we share about the ocean, states the project’s director Meli Sandler in a press release.

By project’s end, the students should be able to understand the qualities an independent film needs to have to be included in a film festival, and why they win.

Generally, the films that the festival receives have a documentary, adventure, or an issue that they want to relay.

The festival prefers to play short films, and the students will score the films as if they were tasked with weaving together a show that a Kaua‘i audience would enjoy.

“Young filmmakers can learn a lot by watching the nearly perfect films created by the big studios, but many will tell you that they learned more by watching films that were not perfect,” said Sandler.

Questions the students will consider are:

Does the screenplay have originality, creativity, a logical narrative and plot, continuity, and developed characters? Does the screenplay effectively communicate a story through dramatic action and dialogue? Does the director maintain control over every aspect of the process?

These are the foundations of good storytelling, a place where every filmmaker needs to begin, states the release.

Learning cinematography is understanding the relationship between the camera and the human eye. The camera transforms itself into the eyes of the viewer. For young filmmakers who are interested in improving their skills, two local filmmakers will be available to set up classes or tutoring. Joel Guy of Hanalei will be available for those who work on Apple Computers, and Brady Cushway will be able to help those who are using PCs.

For more info call 826-4581, or pick up materials at the Hanalei Community Center bulletin board.

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