Film Class Debuts at Carrboro High School

Photo by Jeremy Yap, courtesy of Unsplash

For any student who’s ever wanted to make a TV quality movie or show like the ones on TV, there’s a new class at Carrboro High School for just that. Honors Global Cinema and Filmmaking provides a creative outlet for performing-types besides climbing onto the stage (don’t climb up onto the stage. That’s dangerous.) It’s taught by performance arts teacher Brett Stegall and has attracted all kinds of students hoping to learn about the razzle-dazzle of the film industry.

“I really want to do film as a major in college and as a career so I’m just trying to make myself better for the future,” said senior Caleb Martin. “I’ve taken camps, I’ve done courses…so I’m pretty well versed in it, I just want experience.”

Students’ first major assignment has been making flip books and although tiny cartoon flip books aren’t usually considered the height of Hollywood’s capability, they’re important. Flip books are pieces of paper with small drawings that when flipped through create a short animation.

As anyone who’s ever watched movie trailers would know, animation is quite popular with crowds. Animated films were first very popular throughout the twentieth century, with the first entirely animated movie coming out 1908 (a French film by Emile Cohl called Fantasmagorie) and then leading to the rise of well known characters such as Felix the Cat, Betty Boop, Popeye the Sailor and Mickey Mouse throughout the decades.

Martin hopes that later on the class will go more in depth on the filmmaking process, “storyboarding…filming, editing and publicity.”

Gen Holmes, a junior in the class, agrees. Holmes has taken a couple summer camps on the topic when she was a kid and is interested in movies as a hobby more than a career. Still, she’s excited for a supposed upcoming project.

“[Ms. Stegall] made it seem like we’re each [going to get] put into groups and we’re [going to] make something,” Holmes said, and though she isn’t sure, she is hopeful. “I would prefer to make, like, a horror film.”

Even though Holmes seemed confident, if someone were to just watch a horror movie, they’d probably think making their own would be complicated. Making any movie, regardless of genre, is undoubtedly intimidating, but Ms. Stegall’s gradual start to the class has put students at ease. Homes and Martin agreed that, as of yet, going to class is a good, calm experience. They start each day by checking in with every student, asking how they’re doing physically, mentally and emotionally. Both the measured start to projects and the daily check-ins help students feel calm and welcomed to the class.

The film industry is a notoriously competitive field and it doesn’t appear to be getting any easier, so students trying and hoping to get into film school should consider taking Honors Global Cinema and Filmmaking to get a leg up. Even students who are just hobby filmmakers or movie enthusiasts should think about signing up to learn a bit about what goes into making the insanely popular movies they watch in theaters.

As a last bit of encouragement, Martin assured: “When I walk in, it’s just full of cool people and it’s really fun environment…[it’s] very exciting.”

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Audrey is a senior and an editor for The JagWire. In her free time, she draws, watches foreign TV shows, and makes soufflés while listening to music to try and stave off any panic that can come with making a soufflé. She's currently accepting photos of cute animals wearing clothes.