Film class examines changing role of teenagers in movies

Chloe Harkins
Chloe Harkins

Have you seen a film this summer? Perhaps a summer blockbuster sold out at the movie theater, or an indie film you came across on Netflix. So far the campers in the Teenagers on Film class have seen at least ten movies, on top of two brand new films no one has seen yet – their own.

In their first week of camp, students were introduced to the various genres of film through watching examples of each that featured teenagers. Films they watched included Billy the KidWhere the Wild Things Are, and Perks of Being a Wallflower (which many students said was their favorite). They also split into two groups of six and began pre-production on their own short films, through a process of brainstorming, pitching ideas to the class, determining who would be in charge of roles such as acting, directing, and producing, and finally writing their own scripts.

In their second week of camp, students learned about the history of modern film, and specifically the changing roles of teenagers in the past 50 years or so. Movies they saw to demonstrate this transformation included Rebel Without a CausePretty in Pink, and Clueless. They also began production on their films, planning and then shooting them on campus.

This week, their final week of camp, students are watching films that show a world cinema portrayal of teenagers. Films they will watch include Marie AntoinetteThe 400 Blows, and Whale Rider. They will also edit their films, and plan to finish them in time to show them at the talent show!