Tahoe Expeditionary Academy Film Festival showcases student research
Students at Tahoe Expeditionary Academy got the chance to show off their work at the school’s third annual Celebration of Learning and TEA Films Festival Tuesday night, with film topics ranging from debates around gun control to aviation.
“Those videos were all theirs,” said John Considine, films program instructor. “They came up with the ideas and I helped facilitate and show them the best way to make it possible. I think they did a really good job for amateur filmmakers.”
Throughout the last semester small groups totaling 17 high school and middle school students each studied a topic of their choice which brought each group on various trips to Chicago, Washington D.C., and the California coast.
Once the students did the research and captured footage, Considine aided them in the editing process and developing the story line.
Films like “More Than Two Sides” dealt with the controversy over the accessibility of guns in the United States given the country’s high rate of mass shootings. Through visits to Sacramento and Carson City the students connected with individuals on both sides of the debate, then interviewed each other for their film. Each student brought a different perspective to the debate with the film leaning toward more intense background checks while leaving other options open.
“The most effective way to tackle the national problem is to stop thinking of gun control as a political and instead see gun violence as a public health issue,” said student Johan Sotelo. “There’s no one side to this problem.”
A second film studied aviation exploring what the future of the industry would look like. After visiting the Nevada Naval Air Station, speaking with pilots, flying Cessnas at the Truckee Airport and attending an air show, the students determined there were endless ways the industry could change. If anything, the future of aviation is a pilot shortage, according to a pilot interviewed in their film.
“What is the future of aviation,” student Max Loughan asked during an interview in his film. “We found out that we really don’t know.”
Another group took a comedic approach to the same topic in their film “How to Survive an Action Film.” In their film they touched on the mechanics of flying, using unrealistic plane crash scenes in well known action movies like “Pearl Harbor” and James Bond. Using footage from those films they walked through the steps of flight including a pre-flight inspection, communicating with air traffic control and maneuvering the plane in the air.
“I was really impressed with everything they’ve done here,” said Considine. “This is where we’re starting and I’m excited to see where it goes next semester, now that the kids are more comfortable with it.”
Considine said next semester’s group of students will be headed to Barbados and Hawaii for another round of research and film production, with his group headed to Los Angeles to learn how to make a commercial for the school.
“The idea is to have the kids voice promote the school,” he said. “Who better to promote the school than them?”
Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at 530-550-2652 or firstname.lastname@example.org.