First Films was a digital film-making workshop run over four days. The course celebrated the movie-making genre by harnessing students’ creativity and giving them a new media platform to tell their stories.
Open to students aged 9–14 years, this course ran during the January school holidays in both Christchurch and Auckland. Each year the course focused on a different film-making genre, such as stop-motion, documentary style, silent movies, etc.
Students were encouraged to work in small groups to produce a short film in time for their premier screening for family and friends at the end of the course. Past students enjoyed the creative buzz of shaping their own films and learnt many new skills along the way including collaboration, problem-solving, time management and scalability.
Students were fully equipped with digital video cameras, tripods, microphones, and up-to-the minute computer editing software.
Course facilitators gave participants a thorough introduction to the art of film-making, covering everything from brainstorming and story-boarding, to filming and finally post-production. Participants were encouraged wherever possible to take a DIY approach and produce their own sets, effects, and soundtracks.
The emphasis was on students using new media tools to empower their film-making experiences. Previous students were often new to the platforms and software used on the course but these ‘digital natives’ adapt very quickly to the new technology presented. In particular CORE welcomed those students who were not so technologically experienced, but had a burning desire to make their own masterpiece.