Many of us have had a secret desire to star in a movie, write an award-winning script, strut our stuff on The Great White Way, or work behind the scenes in music, sound, special effects or promotion. But where does one take that first step into the creative process of creating films and stories or writing the next Broadway hit?
Kingsport Theatre Guild Film Camp and Kingsport Theatre Guild Youth and Teen Camps can open up the world of film and theater, providing education and guidance in the areas of writing, directing, casting, editing, acting and stage managing in concentrated periods of study and practical application.
Presented through a partnership with Big Small Town Studios in Erwin, the film camp is open to students in grades 7 through 12. Film Camp Path One runs July 5-13 and is structured for directors, writers and film crew. Film Camp Path Two runs July 9-13 and is structured for actors, crew and interested learners. The full camp runs July 5-13. In these camps students work with a local film company learning writing, directing, casting, learning about and using film equipment, including editing and sound, background noise, music, and graphic design. Students will earn IMDB credit and will have worked on beginning a professional resume by the end of the camp. Path One runs one week and two days from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and costs $300. Path Two runs July 9-13 and focuses on acting methods, stage craft, and those that have a dynamic and healthy curiosity of film making and costs $250. The full camp combines the two weeks of film work and students will have the opportunity and knowledge to complete a short film. These films may be submitted to local, regional, national or international film competitions.
Tina Radtke points out the benefits of the intense, hands-on work the students gain from the camps.
“Several years ago, our students entered one of our films into a competition in Germany and it won second place in their age category,” says Radtke. “We were all invited to the premiere, but unfortunately it was too expensive.”
Prior film projects by KTG film students can be viewed through Big Small Town Studios on YouTube.
Perhaps acting and performing are more your interest. Then, be sure to check out the youth and teen camps. These camps will help prepare a young person to choose a monologue, song and dance for use at an audition, and help them learn a group song and dance. The teens or youth can choose whether to pick a monologue or write their own. There is also instruction on costumes, lighting, set design and stage management. The camps start on Monday and by 6 p.m, Friday, the students perform their monologues, songs and dances in front of a live audience, using props or costumes and having drawn a stage set for their production in the Renaissance Center Theater.
“It is amazing and very gratifying to see someone who can barely introduce themselves in front of the other students on Monday gain the confidence and poise to perform in front of an audience,” says Radtke. “Learning to speak in public is one of the most important lessons in life. The No. 1 fear in the majority of people is speaking in public,” Radtke points out. “Imagine how much easier your life would be if you didn’t have that fear.”
Not everyone can be (or wants to be) a film maker, director or stage manager. But young people can discover personal strengths and interests outside of the classroom, interests that may crop up later in life, such as public speaking in a professional capacity at work, or working with a non-profit, such as a church, school or children’s group.
“Schools, churches and community theaters always need people to run lights, work sound boards, design costumes and build sets. Many community organizations benefit constantly from young people and adults alike,” Radtke said.
For more information on the camps, classes, auditions and upcoming season, visit kingsporttheatre.org.