When I was a teenager, I was extremely appreciative of working video/film production professionals who took the time to give me advice, instruction, etc. I started as a P.A. for a large-budget commercial shoot when I was a sophomore in high school. I didn't know anything, but I was eager to listen and learn. Now that I've been in video production for over ten years now, I look for opportunities when I can help students who also share an interest in creating short films.
One of the areas in which I have helped in the past has been through the Lads to Leaders program. Affiliated with Churches of Christ across the country, Lads to Leaders seeks to develop the talents of young people (Kindergarten through College) for service in their churches, schools, and communities. There are various areas in which students can get involved. Each event helps students better assess their own skills and interests. One of the events offered is a short film competition.
The theme for last year was, "We'll Work Until Jesus Comes." I helped organize a team for the Hoover Church of Christ in Birmingham, AL. I facilitated discussions to conceptualize the story and write the script. I talked to the team about the basics of narrative film production - lighting, composition, camera movements, direction, etc. It was up to the members of the team to scout and secure locations, provide props, wardrobe, etc. I provided the equipment and served as the DP. The students handled everything else.
The film we produced, entitled Escape, takes place in 1858 and centers on a young slave family trying to flee to the North, and the unexpected ally they find along the way. The film earned 2nd place at the 2012 Lads to Leaders convention in Nashville, TN. I was proud of the students for their work, and I was glad that I could help out and be a part of it.