Day 5: Friday Fun

12 07 2009

by: Joslyn Young, Director & Founder

Friday was probably the most fun day of our first week at VFC. We started the day out with some acting games, playing two different games that go by the same name, “Freeze.” In the first version, led by Brian, we all had to walk around acting like a certain type of person, so that had us outside, walking with limps, old lady glasses, nervousness, and cockiness.

Then we moved inside and played the second version of Freeze where two people improvise and act out a scene together. Everyone else is in the audience and can yell “Freeze!” whenever they want, at which point the actors must freeze in their exact positions and the audience member who yelled has to take one of the actors positions, but completely change the scene. The idea is that you take the same position, but are creating something new and different, so turning fighting into dancing, or something like that.

Our Freeze games got us all up and moving and laughing a lot. I can already tell that the teens are a group of actors, and a few of them really surprised me with how much different they can be when acting. It was a lot of fun, and we played it again later in the day as our “relax/have fun” break, which was our reward for working hard all week long.

Then it was instruction time. So, we went over different types of shots that area commonly used in films, talking through over the shoulder shots and different points of view. We watched the openings of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Star Wars Episode: The Phantom Menace, and Sweet Home Alabama to get a feel for the different shots. The teens all yelled out the type of shot each time a new scene came up, and we thought about how they all work together to create something seamless for the audience.

After watching the openings of these movies, the teens all wrote at least a page reflecting on the film, Hip-Hop Beyond Beats and Rhymes, which we watched on Wednesday. We talked through these reflections after lunch, discussing the effects of hip-hop culture, its pressures, and the its consequences.

Just before lunch Cory came to talk and brainstorm with the kids about doing a service project. The general consensus was to organize a block party for teens in Chester towards the end of the program, giving other teens a positive and safe activity to do, which was helped to solve some of the main issues that the group had identified as problems in Chester.
After lunch (and talking about Wednesday’s film, which I mentioned earlier), we had a bit of indecision as we tried to decide how best to spend the afternoon. Eventually, we decided to play some more Freeze and watch some of the movies that we started earlier in the day. So, we played more Freeze and Cory even guest starred in a couple of the scenes, which was great.

Once Freeze got to be a bit boring for people, we had a conversation about the first week, asking the teens to reflect on what went well and what could be improved. Since this is my first time doing this, I want to get as much feedback as I can about how to improve it, and this discussion proved to be very helpful for me. Now, I’m trying to figure out how to make the first week, where instruction is the bulk of the work, more interesting and exciting.

Finally, at the end of the day, we started brainstorming about the final project for the summer. After working in small groups and talking about what issues we wanted to cover and what messages we wanted to send out, we came together as a whole group to talk over ideas. The group decided that making one big film together would be best, basing it roughly along the same general plot idea as the film ATL.

So next week, we’re jumping in to character development, script writing, and planning as we work out our plan for a film about different people and friends whose lives are all intertwined. I’m excited to see how week two progresses and what ideas the teens come up with.




One response

13 07 2009

The blog is great, guys! I really like hearing about your experiences. Teddy, I enjoyed your entry, and I hope to hear more about the internships you guys are in.

Keep up the amazing work! 🙂

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