For the past three weeks, ten Apprentices have immersed themselves in the world of film while working at Real Art Ways in the Neighborhood Studios Eye On Video program. This program gives both experienced and non-experienced young filmmakers the opportunity to study a series of seminal historical and contemporary films while finding and developing their own artistic voice.
In the first week, the 2012 Apprentices were introduced to the principles of cinematography and editing, both of which are essential elements in film production. Then, the Apprentices split off into small groups to create short “in-camera edited” films, which focus on direct observation. This project explored the relationship of the eye to the camera lens and challenged these young filmmakers to observe the world they live in more closely and contemplatively, tuning them in to the phenomena of seeing. The time spent practicing these techniques became a foundation for the Apprentices to hone their eye, helping them to envision the films they wanted to create this summer.
From there, the Apprentices continued to work on their cinematography skills by competing in a Shot Scavenger Hunt assignment that required them to film ideal examples of various technical shots. The Apprentices eagerly compiled what they hoped to be first-place-worthy shots for the purpose of receiving a very desirable prize, a one year free Movie Pass to the Real Art Ways cinema! Considering how well all of our Apprentices did this year, Real Art Ways chose to award all ten Apprentices with a coveted year long movie pass!
Erika Van Natta, our master artist-in-residence, has constructed a fulfilling college level curriculum designed to help advance our apprentices’ pursuit of filmmaking excellence. This year’s final project will focus on French Surrealist and German Expressionist films of the 1920s such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, a silent horror film directed by Robert Wiene, and Un Chien Andalou, a silent short film by director Luis Buñuel and artist Salvador Dalí. This assignment will allow the Apprentices to re-interpret historically significant films of the 1920s from their own personal and contemporary perspectives.
Currently, the Apprentices are applying their new understanding of individual shots to piece together ambitious character driven, narrative films. We are greatly enjoying watching the Apprentices hone their skills and realize their artistic visions through film studies and production. In the coming weeks, we are certain that the Apprentices will continue to be successful and productive as they work towards their professional and personal goals.
A selection of the Apprentices’ work will be showcased in the Eye On Video film festival, which will take place on Tuesday August 7, 5:30 p.m. in the Real Art Ways Cinema, 56 Arbor Street, Hartford. We invite you to attend. Admission is open to the public and free of charge.