DMA Central

THE OFFICIAL COMMUNITY FOR DIGITAL MEDIA ACADEMY

Teen Filmmaking Summer Camp

An interview with Lee Manansala, Digital Media Academy Teen Filmmaking Summer Camp instructor:

Lee, what have you been up to lately?
For the past year I’ve been working on my thesis film project at NYU.  I love writing and I am surrounded by wonderfully talented friends and colleagues all willing to lend support and advice, one of those reasons why I love filmmaking and wouldn’t trade this life for any other.

What is your experience at Digital Media Academy?
For the past two years, that experience has come in the form of teaching the beginner’s and advanced digital filmmaking courses for teens at Digital Media Academy.

What’s it like teaching film summer camp for teens?
Digital Media Academy’s week-long teen film summer camp courses really rejuvenate and inspire me, and it has less to do with the professional satisfaction a teacher feels after a day of work, but more to do with being around immensely creative, eager, and talented young filmmakers. Every one of my students has come to class with ideas, sometimes more ideas than they know what to do with. It’s my job to help them organize those ideas, turn them into a story.

What kinds of film projects do the teens at film summer camp work on?  What do the teens learn?
Last summer, a group of Digital Media Academy film summer camp teen students set out to make a short film in the thriller genre.
Take a look:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bhd5YlupwwI

This film was made at Digital Media Academy teen summer film camp.  All the creative bits—the sound design, the effects, the varied shot selection—are all the products of the students’ imaginations. The courses culminate with a screening of all of the work; I was incredibly proud to watch the final film, and was gratified by the smiles on my students’ faces as they enjoyed the result of all of their hard work. The teens deserve all of the credit, but I like to think that my instruction pointed them in the right direction.

What can teens expect at Digital Media Academy film summer camp?
At Digital Media Academy I emphasize a sound, three act story structure, which to my mind is the difference between kids having fun with a camera and young filmmakers setting out to make a short film. And instead of burying and intimidating my students with technical parlance (something that happened to me when I first became serious about cameras and editing software), I give them the essentials. We use sophisticated cameras and very powerful editing and authoring software, but it’s more important to know how to utilize them for our specific needs. When the technical aspects of digital filmmaking are more approachable, a young filmmaker is more likely to return to it and cultivate his or her love for it.

Do teens need any special preparation for Ditital Media Academy’s teen summer film camp?
Ultimately, what my students bring to class is joy. It’s the joy of being around and working with other young people with a similar passion for film and creativity. It’s the joy of having an idea for a movie and seeing it through until it is, in fact, a movie. I’m only too happy to help and watch it unfold before me, because I, selfishly, get as much from the experience as my students do. The digital filmmaking courses for teens at Digital Media Academy are an incredible opportunity (one I wish I had when I was teenager) to immerse yourself in a creative medium that is challenging, rewarding, fun, and joyous.

What’s next for your filmmaking work Lee?
I am set to teach the digital filmmaking courses for teens at Digital Media Academy teen summer filmmaking camps at Harvard and Brown. 

For information about teen summer camps at Harvard University, click here:  Harvard Summer Camps

For information about Brown University Summer Camps, click here:  Brown University Summer Camps.

Can film students contact you?
I’d love to answer any film and video related questions you might have. I’m easily reachable—and friendable—at:

Click here:  Lee’s Facebook page

Or you can visit Digital Media Academy’s website at:   Teen Summer Camps 

Register for summer camp today!  Click here: Register for Digital Media Academy Summer Camps

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