Teacher’s Talk: Teenagers on Film

We welcomed the students in Teenagers on Film this week by introducing them to the components of film criticism. Dr. Jerod Ra’Del Hollyfield, a WKU professor of English and film, screened several films in the opening days of class, including Super 8, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, the recent documentary American Teen, and a short film called Goodfriends, which was written, produced, and directed by Dr. Hollyfield himself.

The students have also spent time developing their own film projects in groups. Each group has selected among its members a director, writer, producer, cinematographer, editor, sound mixer, and production designer. The students are currently in the process of collaborating on the story they plan to film. They are also learning exactly what their chosen crew position entails in both independent film and in the Hollywood film industry.

On Tuesday, each group pitched their film idea to Dr. Hollyfield and me (I am Dr. Hollyfield’s teaching assistant) and we provided feedback and suggestions for revision. In the coming days, the groups will workshop their screenplays with other groups and with the entire class. By the end of the week, they will have a complete, polished draft of their screenplay and will be ready to begin filming!