Tag Archive for Collins

Wesleyan Film Outreach Volunteers Teach Local Youth about Filmmaking

Luisa Bryan ’21 helps fourth-grader Justin and third-grader Franchesca film a short movie as part of a class taught by Wesleyan Film Outreach.

Sarah Lucente '21 works with MacDonough students Isaiah and Violet on how to operate the videocamera.

Sarah Lucente ’21 watches Isaiah direct a scene.

“Press this button and say, ‘Action!'” Sarah Lucente ’21 explains to third-grader Isaiah as he intently peers into a videocamera’s viewfinder. “Think about this scene. Think about doing a closeup.”

Isaiah is one of 10 area youth learning about filmmaking though Wesleyan Film Outreach, a program that provides school-aged children with the skills to write, film, direct and edit themselves.

The class is taught by Wesleyan students as part of the YMCA’s Kids’ Korner, an after-school enrichment program held at MacDonough Elementary School in Middletown.

Stephen Collins ’96, associate professor of film studies, teaches the community-engagement class for two hours every Tuesday with Film Outreach volunteers Lucente, Caris Yeoman ’21, Luisa Bryan ’21 and Nick Catrambone ’21.

Collins modeled the class after a pilot he ran in 2016 at MacDonough with his youngest daughter’s fourth grade class.

“Having two kids in the public school system, I see how starved they are for arts education,” Collins says.

5 Questions With . . . Steve Collins on Filmmaking, Teaching

Steve Collins, assistant professor of film studies, in the Goldsmith Family Cinema. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

This issue we ask “5 Questions” of Steve Collins ’91. Collins is an assistant professor of film studies. He recently completed a new feature film, You Hurt My Feelings. His first feature, Gretchen, won the $50,000 Target Filmmaker Award for Best Narrative Feature at the Los Angeles Film Festival and has been shown on the Sundance Channel.

Q: What courses do you teach at Wesleyan, and what have you learned from working on films that you share with your students?

A: I teach an intro to 16mm film production class called “Sight and Sound” where we focus on how to tell a story without dialogue. For seniors I teach a year-long thesis film class, where the students develop, shoot and edit a 12-minute narrative. I also teach a course in screenwriting, where we focus on the short film form.

Films are dynamic living organisms. I try to pass on the rigor, passion and care that goes into their construction. As someone who makes films in addition to watching them, I can offer the firsthand proof to them that yes, directors do think very carefully about what they’re doing, where to place the camera, how to use sound, light, composition, editing, etcetera, to evoke the desired response from the audience.