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Hamptons Life

Jul 7, 2008 11:46 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Film Festival and Guild Hall team with LTV for film workshop

Jul 7, 2008 11:46 PM

East End museums have been following in the footsteps of larger urban institutions for years, creating winter and summer film programs for their patrons, but Guild Hall in East Hampton will take the trend one step further this summer.

Beginning July 14, students age 10 to 18 will participate in a week-long Summer Student Film Workshop sponsored by Guild Hall in collaboration with the Hamptons International Film Festival and LTV in East Hampton. The students will learn about the entire filmmaking process, from writing to acting to editing, and the workshop will conclude with a Friday night screening at the Boots Lamb Education Center.

Each day will focus on a different aspect of filmmaking, which will be taught by a person working in the industry. Plans call for actor Alec Baldwin, currently starring in NBC’s “30 Rock,” to participate in the acting workshops on July 15.

Guild Hall Executive Director Ruth Appelhof said in a recent phone interview that the new program has been in the works for awhile and is a natural extension of the student arts festival held every winter at the museum. For several years now, the festival has included a student film competition, which included 20 submissions last year. The winner’s work was selected to air on LTV.

“Working with the kids in the schools during the school year made us think ‘what about the summer?’” Ms. Appelhof said. “I see this as one of the strongest areas that Guild Hall can offer to the community.”

In addition to the significant contribution to the student art festival made by young filmmakers, Ms. Appelhof also pointed to the Hamptons International Film Festival’s role in creating the new program, as well as supporting it.

In a recent press release, Anne Chaisson, director of strategic development for the Film Festival, noted that “the festival has a long, rich history of identifying up-and-coming filmmaking talent, and workshops such as these allow us the opportunity to foster an appreciation and knowledge of film in the next generation.”

“The Hamptons International Film Festival,” she continued, “is thrilled to participate with Guild Hall in encouraging filmmaking in the local community.”

Seth Redlus, executive director of local community television station LTV, is also offering his insight, expertise and crews to the project. In a unique collaboration, the student filmmakers will have access to LTV’s film crews, who will record the students’ scenes, teach them the editing process and then edit the films for the premiere on Friday, July 18. Mr. Redlus will also be one of the adult mentors coming to speak to the students about the “back end” production of their films.

The crews will be “working in groups to help the students get through the execution of the projects,” Mr. Redlus explained in a recent interview.

The students will “learn about camera placement, microphone placement, cinematography angles, working with a crew, how to conduct themselves on a set, how to work with professional camera people,” Mr. Redlus said. “They are learning to work with a team of people and to communicate with them how to execute the project [they] envisioned.”

Like Ms. Appelhof, Mr. Redlus sees LTV’s part in this program as an important component of its own mission, to help get the word out about ongoing public programming in the community. The station and Guild Hall have had a longstanding relationship, which includes the station producing films for the museum and Mr. Redlus’s ongoing involvement with the film portion of the student arts festival.

As for the students, Mr. Redlus hopes each will “gain a better understanding of how the entire process works.”

“This is a brief but realistic look at what this takes and the ones that are interested enough to want a career in it, it gives them a holistic view,” he said. “As with any real life experience, this is the perfect opportunity to see ‘is this right for me?’”

The future looks bright for the 12 students currently enrolled in the workshop and for the first mentoring program they are participating in. After next week’s workshops are completed and all the films have wrapped production, the students will take with them a completed short film and a brief but comprehensive look at the process of filmmaking.

“This community has so many extremely talented people and we need to begin to think about the next generation and find their role in the arts,” Ms. Appelhof said. “I think what the students will take away is some basic knowledge about how films are made, feelings of accomplishment that they have a film with their name on it, and, most important, how it feels to create something, because that is what we are trying to get them excited about, the creative process,” she said. “What we really hope will happen is to create the next generation of artists.”

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