Telling their stories

Senior Odaliz Cruz Working on the editing process of her “New Girl” fIlm. “I feel really good about the class so far, I am really learning a lot of new skills in film.”

Telling their stories

Everyone has a story to tell, and in the Cinema Arts class, students get the opportunity to tell theirs. In Cinema Arts, students are given the opportunity to use their creativity by making films such as documentaries, narratives, ads, and music videos. 

The class teaches students about the main processes there are in making a film – pre-production, production, post-production, and distribution. 

Reeve Solis has been working at Alisal since 2008, teaching graphic design,  when he was offered Cinema Arts in 2017. He said he enjoys teaching this class and seeing how students perform with the tasks he gives to them, like taking care of the equipment. He feels confident entrusting the students with the equipment because the class is comprised of a 50-50 mix of juniors and seniors.

 A reason why he took this job was because he has always done photography, it was a good opportunity, and his other job was part-time. The offer of the job clearly worked well in his favor. Solis said, “I was being offered a full-time job which had more hours and it helped in keeping financially stable.” 

The reasons students signed up for the class vary. Senior Jocelyn Flores said, “It seemed interesting and I already have a little bit of experience in film.”

Senior Arleth Cabrera said, “I wanted to learn how to edit videos” and at the end of the school year, she wants to accomplish the skill of editing videos without reaching for assistance. Senior Angelica Hernandez said, “I want to be a broadcaster, so I joined the class.” She wants to grow her communications skills with the camera which would definitely help her with her broadcasting career. At the end of the year, students will be independent filmmakers.

Before students begin to film, they are responsible for making their shot list schedule, storyboards, and script. Solis said, “This is important before the filming process because it keeps the students organized.”

Then they’re responsible for getting their hands on the equipment and producing their film. Senior Adrian Alvarez said, “I like working with the equipment because it is all new to me and I enjoy filming and being on camera.”

Once the students have completed their filming process, they begin to edit their film. Each team member has to edit their own version of the film in order to get credit. This is so each person learns and get experience on the editing process. Junior Maria Hernandez said, “My first time editing there were complications because I had no idea what I was doing.” 

Solis enjoys seeing each student learning the basics and enjoying the process of film. He said, “I enjoy the satisfaction of watching students accomplish something they didn’t know they can.”

Besides all of the films that students are being tasked with during school hours, there is an event at the end of the school year where students showcase films, commercials, documentaries, and other digital media projects they have created. This is known as the annual film festival or the “big show” which is held in the Maya Cinema. Solis selects the best 1-minute student-made films from his classes to compete. These students can win cash prizes towards film, media, and educational technology items. “The film festival is important because it allows these students to get the recognition they deserve for great films they’ve created,” said Solis.