Middle School Film Crew Gets Rolling

As part of preparations for the launch of King of Elfland’s Daughter, a small group of Middle School students are training to become a professional film crew. The students are spending their Exploratory class learning how to operate equipment, compose shots and work as a cohesive team.

“We’re learning to become a television crew so we can shoot the big show,” explains teacher Matt Lurie.

For filming the King of Elfland’s Daughter, the student crew will use three cameras, which will be connected to a video mixer, a device that can be used to switch recording from different video sources. When filming, the operator of the video mixer, also called a switcher, alternates between the different feeds as the director signals them. Last week, the students dropped in on one of the play’s rehearsals, so that they could practice moving around the stage and see how the actors moved during certain scenes.

“Filming a stage show of this scope and magnitude is not unlike what professionals do when recording live television productions such as the Oscars,” says Mr. Lurie, who is a former broadcaster.

One of the challenges that the film crew will face is moving around to get the shots they need without disrupting the live performance. To be able to accomplish this task, the students will have to learn to communicate silently, through hand signals, as well as to work in synchronization with each other.

“We’re ghosts,” Mr. Lurie says. “We’re the observers.”

In addition to filming the final production, the Middle School film team will compile behind-the-scenes footage to create a documentary that captures all the hard work that goes in to creating a large-scale, professional production.

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