Each summer, Oklahoma Children’s Theatre (OCT) offers film production camps on the campus of Oklahoma City University. Kids are divided by age into Filmmaking I (5 to 7 years old) and Filmmaking II (8 to 12 years old) production teams. With help from OKCU Film faculty and students, the young filmmakers devise and produce their own short movies.
Over the years, campers have produced animation, comedies, dramas, and more than their share of zombie movies. Highlights of the filmmaking process are outlined below.
Young filmmakers learn how to operate the equipment they will use for their projects. Crew responsibilities and set etiquette are explained. By the end of the day, everyone is calling out “Quiet on the set!”
In the afternoon, the group works on a shooting exercise, usually blocking and filming a game the group likes to play.
Filmmakers begin to think about how making a movie is less about following people around with a camera and more about deciding what shots have to be collected and arranged to tell a story.
The day begins with a review of dailies from the previous afternoon’s shoot. Filmmakers discuss how the dailies should be arranged in editing, and troubleshoot any missing shots.
Filmmakers pitch ideas for the project they will work on the rest of the week. Oftentimes, the final project results from combining ideas from several kids.
Filmmakers conclude the day with a location scout, looking for places to shoot their movie around campus.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY
Filmmakers start filming their final project, and the team screens rushes and edits as time permits. New ideas for the film are incorporated as the filmmakers work through the production process. The team is encouraged to view filmmaking as a process of shooting and revision, working toward a satisfying story.
The final flurry of activity. Filmmakers record replacement dialogue, collect foley sounds, and experiment with effects as the project moves through post-production. All the members of the team make movie posters that will be displayed in the hall outside the screening room for the project.
The final project is presented to family and friends during an afternoon screening.