By Fitale Wari
I had the opportunity to attend a meeting of GHS Film Production and watch as its Co-President, Taylor Kitchen, took the lead on their upcoming project, a documentary on the Granville Schools Land Lab. If you have not heard, the Land Lab has gained significant attention in the community for its focus on project based learning. The idea for the documentary came from an environmental studies class taught by Jim Reding. In his class, students were required to make informational booklets for Granville Intermediate School kids to learn about the Land Lab. Now, some of Reding’s students are ready to take that informational concept to the big screen. GHS Film Production team hopes their project will encourage students to learn more about the Land Lab in a fun, new way.
At the meeting, other GHS Film Production members, Burke Abbott (Co-President), Mason Knight (Vice-President) and Robert Gangner (Secretary), bounced ideas off each other to create a unique and cohesive vision for their documentary. In fact, everyone chimed in and demonstrated respect and consideration for every idea that was presented. They discussed what time of day to shoot in and how to accommodate for the weather. Focusing on the images of ecology, the students plan to use voiceover interviews and incorporate time-lapsed clips that show Granville’s beauty. The students imagine the style of their documentary will resemble the Planet Earth documentary series. The club’s advisor, Dianne McDonald, sat in the back, giving the students room to plan a course of action.
GHS Film Production has also worked with the the Kiwanis Club of Granville. They were asked to create a mini-film that shows the collaboration between K-Kids and the Humane Society. At the meeting, students shared how they faced many challenges while filming for this production: interviewing young, camera-shy children, gathering enough usable content, and editing. (Imagine cutting nine minutes of footage down to one and a half minutes!) Despite the challenge, the club submitted their piece to the Kiwanis International 2017-2018 Club Promotion Best Video Contest and won. You can watch the award-winning film here.
“We hope to continue to work with the awesome group of kids at the Granville Elementary School in years to come,” Taylor said. “Their community work has inspired our videos and have also inspired us to work more with the community.”
In fact, impetus for the collaboration between GHS Film Production and Kiwanis of Granville came from a breakfast hosted by the Granville Community Foundation. The annual breakfast brings together Granville nonprofits to share and celebrate programs made possible by the foundation’s grants. At the breakfast, GHS Film Production’s co-president, Burke Abbott, spoke with a representative from Kiwanis, and together they decided that a film highlighting the work of K-Kids would be successful and worthwhile.
GHS Film Production is eager to begin working on their upcoming projects thanks to new equipment purchased with a grant provided by the Granville Community Foundation. The club purchased a new Apple Macbook Pro that is used for editing on Premiere Pro, Adobe software. Not only does the new equipment relieve students from having to edit film on their personal computers, it also gives them access to the latest in film editing software.
Burke, Taylor, Mason, and Robert are passionate students who would like to see the high school create a class that focuses on film production for their peers to take. For them, film is a way to escape their school work and explore their creative sides. If a class were designed around screen writing, sound/lighting techniques, and overall film production, it would provide creative outlets in-school that would not conflict with after school activities. This class could even help students learn new skills that they can use in their futures. For instance, graduating seniors, Burke and Taylor, both plan to continue their film students in college this fall.
“We hope to expand who we work with in the future as we try to tell the story of this wonderful town,” Taylor shared.