Area teens have a chance to get down and dirty with their favorite medium as part of Southwest Alternate Media Project (SWAMP)'s annual Lights! Camera! Action! movie making day camp. Over the course of a week, kids get to experience life in the director's chair (and the editor's chair and the camera operator's chair and the sound designer's chair) while learning the ropes and making a film of their own.
This is the seventh year SWAMP has hosted the camp, and alumni have gone on to pursue film at the collegiate and the professional level. One alum, Gabbi Chennisi, is a double major in art and film at Rice and went to Kazakhstan to film a documentary called Babushka . The film screened at Rice earlier this year. "It brings tears to my eyes, how successful she's been," said Michelle Mower, SWAMP program director.
Though a number of former students go on to study film later in life, Mower said the camp also teaches kids a valuable life skill: teamwork. "You see people putting goofy shorts up on Youtube and getting a lot of attention, and there's nothing wrong with that," Mower says. "But when you consider what real movie making is, it's collaboration."
At the end of the week, students get to see their final product on the big screen--in the HD projection theater at Houston Community College's Spring Branch campus.
Lights! Camera! Action! Moviemaking camp takes place 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. August 1 through 5 at HCC--Spring Branch, 1010 W. Sam Houston Parkway. Registration is open until the first day of camp. $300.