Clemente Freshman Invest in Politics Through Film

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by Luis Salgado, Roberto Clemente Community Academy

Director Josh Rech recently visited the Clemente freshmen to show the students his movies.  All freshmen will be creating original films, and Rech provided tips and tricks for students to use as they begin to make their own movies. In World Studies class, students have been studying ideology and propaganda and have been collaborating in small groups to create their own movies. Before getting started, however, students were able to pick Rech’s brain on ideas such as framing, lighting, sound, and directing.
Rech was able to share his two original movies that he made, as well as give students ideas for their upcoming project. The filmmaker also shared his personal story about how he turned his passion of movies into a lifelong profession. Rech answered questions that students formulated about strategies for making movies, suggestions on chasing a dream as a profession, and on how Rech got into the filmmaking profession. Rech also showed clips and images from Oscar Award winning movies and analyzed how they used techniques such as framing, lighting, and sound to build emotion in their movie. Finally, students watched his short film and asked questions, while some students were even brave enough to provide critical analysis and suggestions for improvement. After each class, multiple students came to speak to Rech about how to pursue their career in film.  They also exchanged email addresses for further questions and feedback. If interested in seeing Rech’s movies or contacting him for inquiries, visit his website at joshrech.com.
Students have used techniques learned from Rech’s suggestion when they created their own videos with Clemente’s professional cameras.  Students also edited their videos in the Clemente recording studio. Using iMovie, students turned their hours of footage into short movies on a political topic of their choice. The freshmen then returned to the auditorium to show off their movies to the class. Students enjoyed the unique challenge that this IB assessment provided.  The students reflected on the experience and described how working on their writing, directing, camera, and editing skills has shaped their identity as an International Baccalaureate student.
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