My Time Making Films with Kids: Camacho Activity Center

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Our latest blog entry is another in a series of first-person accounts from the Revelator staff. Today’s entry is an inside look at making films with children at the Camacho Activity Center, as told by one of Revelator’s newest team members, Bethany Magley:

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Earlier this year, like most people in their 20s, I decided to change jobs and try something new. This change came at the beginning of the summer, so I thought I would look into being a summer camp counselor. I’m not going to lie, it sounded like a fun way to do outdoor activities and get paid for it. Soon I was hired as an audio/visual staff member at the Lorraine “Grandma” Camacho Activity Center in the heart of East Austin. The first three weeks of training with the other counselors was amazing. We went rock climbing, kayaking, and even explored a cave together as we learned how to lead children through the activities. The cave part was a little terrifying due to my claustrophobia, but it was fun nonetheless.

When the first week of camp rolled around I was thrust right into the fray as I learned that I would be the lone counselor for the teen campers for two hours in the mornings. Having never worked with children before, I was a bit intimidated. I did my best to seem confident and in charge while trying to make the teens feel comfortable hanging out with each other. Most of them were ready to get outside and do activities, but I had to tear some of them away from their cell phones.

As the weeks went on, I got used to being an authority figure and taking care of the kids. As part of my audio/visual duties, I floated from group to group and filmed a lot of the camp activities for promotional videos. It was a fun way to experience all of the different age groups and interview the kids on their favorite parts of the day.

VIDEO CREATED BY KIDS, FOR KIDS!

Near the end of the summer there were three movie themed weeks, one for each age group. The scripts for these movies had been written beforehand by another staff member, since each age group would only get one week to shoot their movie. We started off each movie week with a table read of the script, followed by a quick casting session. While most of the kids wanted to be in front of the camera, there were a few who were more comfortable helping out behind the scenes. We encouraged the kids to bring props and costumes from home since we had virtually no budget for the movies.

Filming the movies was a crazy process that took us all over Austin, from South Congress to the Hope Gallery. Although they weren’t too fond of all the waiting around during filming, the kids loved being a part of creating something. They would often offer us suggestions they had for improving the films and we used as many as we could.

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So, as the summer went on, a total of three movies took shape. Now that camp is over and the children have gone back to school, the audio/visual staff is working to edit the footage we shot and put the final touches on the movies. The finished products, along with all of the promotional videos we shot over the summer, will be premiered in November at the annual Camacho Film Festival in Fiesta Gardens. It’s a fun way for the kids to see the movie they created and for the parents to see their kids on the big screen.

-Bethany Magley
Production Team Member, Revelator

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ABOUT REVELATOR: Revelator is a full service film & video production company in Austin, Texas. We like to write, produce, & edit projects for t.v. and the web. We specialize in brand films, corporate identity work, as well digital advertising and t.v. broadcast advertising. If you need help with your script, production, or just an idea, give us a call.

REVELATOR SERVICES: Video Production, TV Commercials, Brand Films, Virtual Reality, VR Experiences, Script Writing, Music Videos, Lifestyle Videos, Technology Videos, B2B Videos, Product Videos, Feature Films, Motion Graphic Videos, Turnkey Solutions, and Live Event Video Production.