This post was contributed by Sharon Lacoste, ISAK’s film teacher. Ms. Lacoste graduated from Stockholm University and the Swedish Film Institute. Ms. Lacoste brings real-world film experience to the classroom — before becoming a visual arts educator, Ms. Lacoste spent many years making film as a professional.
We started teaching film at ISAK this year and I do not think that we could have started with a better group of students than the ones that I have here.
Film is a subject that I am very passionate about. Being able to share my love of film with students is the best part of my day. I get paid to play. The DP Film students are exposed to a comprehensive film studies program. They will learn its history, explores its theories, understand the technology behind making film as well as master the semiotics of film as they become filmmakers of their own. They also learn how to work in true collaboration where each person has a very specific job role which they can not transgress. The students learn a level of project management and trust that is incomparable in other studies and very applicable to the real world. They create extensive portfolios for each film project that they complete, and this year alone they have completed no less than nine film pieces for class.
We are also running a pilot program at ISAK where all the film work that the students complete is made using a device, meaning a phone or tablet. Thanks to the Hayashi family who donated iPads to the school, we were able to secure four of them and turn them into film cameras which are beautifully versatile and create excellent light-weight kits to work with as well as ensure good images.
As a taster of what we do, here is a short made by G-11 student, Angeles. Each of the students were given the same storyboard (decided by me) to work from to create a short that played with the stereotype of how we recognize a character to be good or bad on screen. The idea is to be very aware of how film communicates, and to create moments that surprise the audience. Even though audiences are well versed in film language, we can still play with those expectations as filmmakers and surprise them.