Analyzing films from all over the world makes Film Studies a class that can take students on a ride
Riverview has two options of film classes as electives. The first one is Film Studies, which basically is watching all different kinds of movies from all around the world and from all different years for the purpose of analyzing them. Students will watch some of the best movies in cinematic history, including most of the “classics.”
Yes, that’s right—there is a class where students just sit in a dark room and watch movies. What could be better than that?
The only downfall is that when watching a movie from another country, it will not be translated, and there is a lot of reading subtitles. The class broadens students’ horizons for career paths in their future.
“It was by far one of my favorite classes my sophomore year. We watched some movies that I had never heard of that soon became my all-time favorites,” Chris Ramos ’21 said.
Steven Lehman is the teacher. Outside of teaching, he has his own business to create short films, like commercials for companies. Students like Ramos say that “being a very knowledgeable and passionate teacher has made him loved by all of his students.”
In fact, it would be hard not to get interested in a film when he is teaching.
The second course Riverview offers is a 2-year class where students are making short films with a group. This means the first year consists of them writing their script, planning their shots, choosing the location, picking the actors, getting professional equipment, shooting the film, editing and working on sound design and color grade. While that may sound like a lot, a group of four to five students can complete a whole 3-minute film in a quarter.
Five jobs of film-making will get rotated among the people in the group. The five positions are those of director, writer, editor, cinematographer and sound designer.
The director will plan out the shots and make sure the group members know how they want the idea presented in the screen play so that it can be brought to life. The cinematographer will operate the camera and help the director to come up with shots and camera angles for the film. The editor will take all the shots that were filmed and put them together on a software called Final Cut Pro to make it the right time limit, with the shots in the proper order. The director helps the editor to make sure it is still on track. Finally, the sound designer will add in effects such as music, a doorbell, a planned noise and other sound effects. The editor can also add color grading if there is a flashback.
This is an IB course. At the end of the year, when students create their films and complete their reflection paper on each, they will create a demo reel to submit for IB to grade. A demo reel is showing the best way they showed their work by picking out clips in their films.
For the second year of IB film, students again have Chambless. He teaches Film Studies both at Riverview and Ringling College of Art and Design. In this class, everything students learned from the year before film making goes into creating one full-length film. This film will take the whole year, with the teacher introducing the new concepts to make the artistic process of creating the story line and how to better take what is in the script to put to film.
“I would have to say my favorite year taking a film class at Riverview would be my junior year when I was able to make short films with all my friends. We had a ton of fun filming, and as we edited the film, it was crazy to think that I made a little movie. Then, at the end, the class watched all the movies, and everyone got a good laugh,” said Blake Quigley ’21.
The film industry has a wide range of career choices to offer. If students want to explore one of these careers or really like to watch movies, he or she should consider taking Film Studies. Taking these classes shows students how far film can take them in the career world.
IB Film is open to all students.