Kids get movie-making tutorial in library district program

Steven Spielberg might have some competition. A special program through the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District, TechArt Studio, has young adults learning the ins and outs of movie making in a two-day class.

The next one is planned from 1 to 5 p.m. Oct. 26-27 at the Sahara West Library, 9600 W. Sahara Ave. Teens took part in the program Sept. 29 at the Centennial Hills Library, 6711 N. Buffalo Drive. Bob Cabeza, vice president of community development for the YMCA of Greater Long Beach, Calif., and Change Agent Productions, helped develop the program and oversaw the event.

“We found out that a lot of young people know how to make movies with their iPhone, but they don’t know how to conceptualize movies,” Cabeza said. “They don’t know how to tell stories. They don’t know how to use the technology or the software, and they don’t know how a videography camera works. … A lot of them didn’t know what the term ‘digital media’ was.”

The 20 young people might be making movies, but part of the intent was to show them that libraries are not limited to books. He said it also taught them abstract thinking, sequential planning and critical thinking.

The program was made possible by an $89,650 grant from the MacArthur Foundation. It provided Macintosh laptops, movie cameras and tripods and determined the best software to use, such as Apple’s GarageBand, for the soundtrack.

“Kids are born digital,” Cabeza said. “They don’t know what a record player is, except something you skip hip-hop beats on. They were born not knowing what a phone with a cord looks like. Once you teach them the basics, they run with it.”

The basics included being issued equipment and handed a plain object and told to make a two- or three-minute clip about it.

Before any movie could be made, each team had to pitch the idea to their peers to ensure their idea had merit. They also made up a storyboard, wrote a script and scouted possible locations for shooting it. Software such as iMovie, InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop were used.

Sari, 14, wants to attend the New York Film Academy for a career in cinematography. She had tried to make a movie on her own over the summer, but it didn’t turn out as she’d imagined. The TechArt class taught her “that you can put backgrounds in to make it look like you were somewhere that you actually weren’t. And I learned you don’t have to do the sound effects as you’re doing the video. You can add them after.”

The TechArt Studio projects included the difficulties of being shot on location. There was no way to avoid curious library patrons pausing to see what was going on. Book carts and book shelves were seen in the background.

One group went outdoors to make a movie about a device that alerted the litterbug police. The opening scene had a teen tossing a cup carelessly on the ground and walking away. The first take would have been perfect, the filmmakers said, if a well-meaning library user hadn’t stepped in and admonished the teen to pick up his cup and put it in the nearby trash can.

But there were highlights, too. One movie had special effects pop magically onscreen. Another group took a heavy-duty binder clip and decided it was a self-activated man-eater, used to ensure that a job candidate had no rival. A portion was cleverly shot from the perspective of its “jaws.”

Kim Clanton-Green, project manager for the program and branch manager at the Sahara West Library, said the movie-making program stood out after seeing how her niece Daphney, 15, used the technology to stay connected over the summer.

“This (program) sparked me,” Clanton-Green said. “One of the things we did at my library was, we had a person from Gamestar Mechanic come out and give a video game shop, and that was the first actual program connected with this that we did. And the level of enthusiasm was huge, the turnout was huge.”

The library district started the TechArt Studio camps in July, beginning with the West Las Vegas Library, 951 W. Lake Mead Blvd. Starting in January and running through June, Clanton-Green said, the library district plans to rotate the equipment between three hubs to further the program and make it more accessible.

Before the Sept. 29 program ended, the participants were asked what they had learned. They responded with numerous observations: Not realizing how hard it was; how imperfect the final product can be; how much filming it took to get mere seconds of usable footage; how much patience it takes; how much attention to detail it requires; and how often Murphy’s Law played into filmmaking.

Cabeza sent them off with reassuring news.

“Your first effort is always the hardest,” he said. “… With each successive attempt, you’ll do a better job.”

The Sahara West Library session will have kids 12 to 17 making their own Halloween horror movies. Regisration is required. To register, call 702-507-3644 or visit the Children’s Services Desk.

Editor’s note: Last names of participants were withheld from this story at the library district’s request.

Contact Summerlin/Summerlin South View reporter Jan Hogan at or 702-387-2949.

New York artist Bobby Jacobs donated a sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden
Bobby Jacobs, an artist from upstate New York, has spent much of the past year creating a sculpture of two separate angel wings. He donated the sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Weather will cool slightly through the end of the week
The weather will cool slightly through the end of the week., but highs are still expected to be slightly above normal for this year. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Mayor announces new public-private partnership
Mayor Carolyn Goodman announced the creation of the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE, a public-private partnership that will allocate money to the city’s neediest.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Fall fairytale gets cozy at Bellagio Conservatory
Bellagio Conservatory introduces its fall-themed garden titled "Falling Asleep." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
What the house that Ted Binion died in looks like today
Casino heir Ted Binion died in this Las Vegas home in 1998. Current home owner Jane Popple spent over $600,000 to restore and modernize the home. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Rescue Mission employees terminated
Don James, a former employee for the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, talks about the day his team was terminated. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Cupcakes at Freed's Bakery
Freed's Bakery will have Raiders-themed cupcakes available in store and for order during football season. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s fans say goodbye to Cashman Field
Las Vegas 51s fans said goodbye to Cashman Field in Las Vegas, Monday September, 3, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s owner Don Logan's last weekend at Cashman Field
Don Logan, owner of the Las Vegas 51s, gives a tour of Cashman Field before the team's final weekend using the field. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Metro Asst. Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Aug. 8 officer-involved shooting
Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman met with media Monday to discuss the details of the 14th officer-involved shooting of the year. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program where community and business leaders joined to welcome students back with an inspirational welcome. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Star Trek fans on show’s enduring popularity
Star Trek fans at the Star Trek Convention 2018 talk about why they think the show has stayed popular across the years Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nonprofit provides clothing for homeless
Sydney Grover of Can You Spare A Story?, talks about how she founded the non-profit organization. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Family remembers deceased mother
Family members of Adriann Gallegos remember her. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Camp Broadway teaches kids how to sing and dance
The Smith Center's seventh annual Camp Broadway musical theater program gives 150 kids ages 6-17 an opportunity to learn musical theater skills from industry professionals over a five-day period. Marcus Villagran/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @brokejournalist
Restoring classic Corvettes to perfection
Members of the National Corvette Restorers Society Convention talk about what it takes to earn the NCRS Top Flight Award for a restored Corvette at South Point in Las Vegas on Tuesday July 17, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
'NO H8' Campaign comes to Las Vegas
Hundreds of locals participate in the NO H8 campaign founded by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley as a response to Proposition 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign has since evolved to represent equal treatment for all. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Star Wars and Golden Knights mashup at downtown art shop
Star Wars and Vegas Golden Knights fans attend the Boba Fett Golden Knight Paint Class at The Bubblegum Gallery in Las Vegas, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Clark County recount votes in commission’s District E primary
Clark County staff begin the recount requested by candidate Marco Hernandez in the democratic primary for the County Commission's District E seat on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Long-running local hip hop producer wants Vegas rappers to shine
Las Vegas Hip Hop producer and co-owner of Digital Insight Recording Studios Tiger Stylz reflects on 30 years of music production in the city. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
"Pawn Stars" fans visit Richard Harrison's memorial at Gold & Silver Pawn
"Pawn Stars" fans from around the world visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas following the passing of Richard "Old Man" Harrison on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like