By Libby Ricardo | Last week, I had the distinct pleasure of watching students from the Lowcountry Montessori School discover the magic of filmmaking.Immersion week, an event that takes place at the end of every cycle to help supplement the classroom curriculum, was facilitated by two of the best authorities on film Beaufort has to offer: VW Scheich and Uyen Le.
Having moved to Beaufort recently to begin work on their upcoming film project Basement Bob, the dynamic couple and film making partners have set their sights on sharing their extensive film knowledge with the community. Scheich’s resume includes Spiderman 3, Superbad, Ghost Rider and a long list of others.
Susan DeLoach, a Beaufort-based photographer and mother of an Lowcountry Montessori School student, first contacted Scheich and Le along with others in the arts community with the hopes of exposing students to working professionals in the arts. “I’m a supporter of the Beaufort International Film Festival and would love to see more locals participate in the festival,” DeLoach says. “The only way I know how to do that is to raise awareness of all the talented and professional people already working in the performance industry in our home town.” A talented artist in her own right, DeLoach understands the time and labor that go into producing such work. “I feel it is very important to see that it takes a team of professionals, not just the performers, to make a production.”
The most important theme that emerged from a week of hard work was team work.
As the students learned about the intricate process of film making—from early development right through to filming and eventually editing—they were confronted with the greatest challenge in production: the necessity to listen, cooperate and work together.
Uyen Le adds, “In order to finish a film project, individuals must collaborate and communicate with one another. We saw the students pull together to accomplish each step in the film making process- from brainstorming ideas to writing the script to shooting the PSA- and by the end of the week, they had grown into a crew able to work together. “
The students began the week discussing the early stages of the production process. They were asked to engage creatively and brainstorm ideas for their very own film project; a 30 second spot that would be filmed on Friday. The class opted to explore the world of parody in a mock Public Service Announcement bringing awareness to literary characters being killed in novels.
Anna Schaffer, local thespian, musician and owner of the new Lowcountry Music Studio in Port Royal, came to the class on Monday to share insights on acting. I, too, was able to teach a lesson on acting methodology that would be applied to the performances in the PSA.
I was originally slated to present only on Monday, but, curious about the project, I was able to tag along with Anna Schaffer to observe her working with the class. I was not only impressed by the quality of the facilitators (Schaffer, Le, Scheich and DeLoach are all highly regarded in their fields and quite commanding public speakers), I was also blown away by the students of the Montessori School. Their insight, creativity and enthusiasm for the project were tremendous. As I watched the fruition of a week’s work, the morning of filming on Friday, I was delighted by their knowledge of film terminology and practices.
Upon reflection after leaving the set, I realized that the skills gained from their time with the film makers could be applied to any situation, to any profession. These students had not only gained an interesting insight into the complicated world of film making, they had learned important lessons in communication and collaboration through practical application.
Le and Scheich plan to present several workshops on different aspects of film making to the Beaufort community in the next several months. The workshops will be done in conjunction with the Beaufort Film Society. If you are interested, please visit www.basementbobthemovie.com and sign up for the mailing list. And if you have yet to do so, pre-order your copy of the movie now, and show your support for arts in our community.
All photos by Susan DeLoach Photography