Knox private school's movie summer camp teaches life skills

Knoxville private school's movie magic summer camp teaches life skills

Updated:
Green screen technology is being used to add their own special effects. Green screen technology is being used to add their own special effects.
Some of the students get help getting into character. Some of the students get help getting into character.
The students spend time writing scripts and making storyboards. The students spend time writing scripts and making storyboards.
John Jines says he's teaching the basics, but not making it easier because of their age. John Jines says he's teaching the basics, but not making it easier because of their age.

By ERICA ESTEP
6 News Education Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Some Webb School of Knoxville students are squeezing the most fun out of the last few days of summer camp, before heading back to class in less than two weeks.

The private school has hosted hundreds of speciality day camps this summer, with topics like robotics, Lego building, creative writing and solving mysteries with science.

This week they focused on Movie Magic, which 11-year-old Noah Byrd said he couldn't wait to take. "I'm really into special effects," he Noah. "I like to make my own movies and stuff like that, and I thought this camp would help me."

The fourth-seventh graders get a lesson in what it takes to make a movie, from concept to editing a final product.

Nine-year-old Meryl Ye explained what they're doing with special effects, "It's like when it seems like something is impossible, we can make it look like it seems possible."

Green screen technology is being used to add their own special effects. "It projects an image on there without it having to actually be there," Noah explained. "So you can be in New York City (for example), but you can be in Knoxville at the same time."

Meryl says she's enjoying all the behind-the-scenes tricks. "I didn't know how they made it look like someone was carrying a head because I thought it was all Photoshopped, instead of like a green screen."

Movie makeup allowed them to transform into zombies earlier in the week. They've written their own scripts and got to try their hand at acting and directing.

Their instructor, John Jines, is a New York college professor. He says he's teaching the basics, but not making it easier because of their age.

"They're learning, honestly, the same thing that you would learn in a college level intro to film class," Jines explained, "which is just the importance of lights, the importance of sound, getting over stage fright, learning how to work with other people."

Jines says the skills learned in summer camp could be used in a future career, in the classroom, or just in everyday life.

Noah says he's learning a lot. "The confidence, you just have to have it or else you just kind of freeze up," he said, "and you don't know what to say. Even though you might have the script right there, you might not know what to say unless you have confidence."

Jines is impressed by how quickly his students have caught on. "When a fifth grader can make a movie from start to finish, burning a DVD, and actually give it to people, that's just insane. I mean, that's just so wild."

The week long camp ends with editing their movie scenes, and the students seemed most excited about seeing the special effects finished products.

Webb School has held specialty summer camps for 50 years, focusing on fun and education, while teaching kids life skills like critical thinking, confidence and teamwork.

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