Starting this week, twelve students from Crenshaw High School and the Heart of Los Angeles afterschool program will learn the craft of filmmaking from LMU’s faculty and students through the School of Film and Television’s Summer Creative Workshop.
The two-week program provides hands-on training to youngsters who have shown promise and interest in filmmaking. At the end of the program, participants will hold a screening at the Mayer Theatre featuring the short films they created.
“They act, they direct, they write the scripts,” said Mark Evan Schwartz, associate dean of SFTV. “The students who make animated films do all the animation themselves.”
The program is partly funded by a gift from LMU Board of Regents member Paul Fieberg and his wife Patti. The Stuart Foundation is also a major supporter of the program. Students who show extraordinary ability have the opportunity to win scholarships to study film at LMU.
In addition to faculty, LMU students work with the participants on a volunteer basis, and visitors from the industry drop by to share their perspective. Actor Eriq La Salle (ER, Coming to America) joined students in 2006 and urged them to follow their visions for their projects.
Faculty participating in this year’s program include Schwartz, who will work with the students on story development; Jose Garcia-Moreno, teaching animation techniques; Sylvia Morales on the art of directing; and Charles Swanson on cinematography.
For the members of the LMU family who participate, the program is always an incredible experience. “It’s so rewarding and so much fun,” Schwartz said. “It’s truly the highlight of my year.”