Hosting a Teen Film Festival
Today is a time of great creative renaissance for teens. Now, more than ever, they have the tools at their disposal to make their own movies. You can see amazing examples on YouTube and hitRECORD.org. For a great look at young people dabbling in the word of film, watch the movie Super 8. Tap into this zeitgeist moment and ask your teens to participate in a local teen film festival put on by you, their favorite librarian.
Put together an awesome prize package. It could include things like gift cards, local movie theater passes, or even something like a digital camera, iPod touch, etc. You can ask local stores to donate and give them sponsorship credit.
Network with your local schools to get submissions, especially the art departments. Sometimes they will even offer extra credit if you prompt them.
Getting Your Promotional Materials Organized
1. Decide how you want to organize your teen film festival. Will it be an open theme or will you ask teens to shoot on a specific theme? If you want to do book related, you could ask teens to create their own booktrailers (see this post for more info). Or, you could ask teens to make creative videos promoting the library. But to spark true creativity, just leave it open.
2. You'll want to set some specific guidelines. You'll definitely want to address in your submission guidelines any rules you might have about language and content. I've heard libraries say it had to be something you could sit and watch with the adults in your life, including teachers and parents. That seems like a good guidelines. You'll always want to address length, etc.
3. Create a way for teens to submit their videos. You can set up a dummy email account using a free service such as gmail and asked teens to submit them via e-mail. By using a dedicated account, you can make the e-mail address film festival related and easy to remember for teens and have an easy way to access all the submitted videos with your inbox being flooded with other correspondence.
5. You'll want to set up a YouTube channel to upload the videos to and have an online gallery. You can upload the videos all at once or do several a day for a week.
6. Create a voting mechanism to allow teens to vote on a winner. If your library has a teen website, you can easily insert a poll feature to allow for voting. FB also has an easy to use poll feature.
Showing The Work
If you have a way in-house, stream the videos in your teen area or at your check out desk. You can use laptops or digital photo frames to do this. I have also visited some libraries recently that had iPads attached to end caps, which would be ideal for this as well.
Have a film festival event where you actually show the videos in-house. You can use a laptop and projector to do this. Be sure and have refreshments. You might also want to consider contacting your local TV station personalities to come and host the event.
Depending on the number of submissions you receive, you may want to ask the top vote getting teens to talk a little bit about their piece as an introduction to showing them.
Award prizes and voila - you have hosted your own mini, local teen film festival.
Other Film Related Programs
We recently outlined a variety of movie related programming ideas based on the book Reel Culture by Zest Books, so you may want to check it out for some additional ideas.Resources
Want to make a movie? There's an app for that of course. Here's more on iMovie.
Here's some information on making book trailers.
Here's a YouTube clip on making a Short Film
Clipcanvas on How to Make a Short Movie
Top 5 Online Tools to Make a Online for Free
How to Use Windwos Movie Maker
Don't forget about Vine and Snapchat
See also: Lights, Camera, Action: 5 YA Titles about teen filmmakers