Pictured above, Chatham Middle School Film Club students in action filming their original short film “Time Stop.” Working with professional director Patrick Toole, students learned about all aspects of creating a film in this six-week film making course. A screening of their film took place at the Crandell Theatre on May 18 for the public to see.The CMS student body will also get to enjoy the film during their school’s Arbor Day assembly in May. The Film Club is advised by Cecelia Hetterich and Michele Debye-Saxinger as an afterschool club.
The Crandell Theatre hosted a premiere community screening of three short films produced by area student filmmakers on May 18. The films were created and produced by students from Chatham, Hudson, and Germantown public schools as part of this year’s Crandell Theatre After School Filmmaking Project (ASFP). A Q&A with the student filmmakers and their filmmaker mentor follows the screening. The event is free to the public.
Middle and high school students in Columbia County have been participating in the filmmaking project since its start in 2000. The curriculum pairs a professional filmmaker mentor with students to cover all phases of film creation and production. With mentors taking the students through the basics of how to make a short film, the group works collaboratively to develop a story concept, write a script, act, direct, shoot footage, and figure out the technical side of production, such as lighting, sound, and special effects. The students and mentor meet once a week after school for six weeks.
This year the films were made by seventh and eighth graders at Chatham Middle School, sixth graders at Germantown Elementary School, and fifth graders at Hudson Intermediate School. The 2019 Film Mentor, Patrick Toole, teaches filmmaking to students throughout the region and has been involved with ASFP for several years.
The After School Filmmaking Project is sponsored by the Crandell Theatre, the Chatham Education Foundation of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, and Germantown: Questar III BOCES Arts in Education and Exploratory Enrichment.
The Crandell Theatre, a 501(c)(3) member-supported nonprofit organization, operates and maintains the historic movie house at 48 Main Street in Chatham, NY, and produces the popular FilmColumbia Festival every October. Programs of the Crandell Theatre are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. For more information, visit https://crandelltheatre.org.