The Foundation for the Augmentation of African-Americans in Film (FAAAF) concluded its first Reel Kids Summer Movie Camp with an entertaining, yet passionate closing exercise. The celebration, which culminated in unveiling the campers’ final project, was the exclamation point of two weeks of fun and learning.
Held in conjunction with Celebration Church of Columbia’s Champ Camp, The Reel Kids Summer Movie Camp trained 26 children, between the ages of 9-12, the elements to create a short film. Several industry professionals from BET and filmmaker Kirk Fraser (The Life of Rayful Edmond: The Rise and Fall, Vol. I and Without Bias) shared production elements with the campers taking them through the process from idea to final project execution.
The final camp project, Jackie’s Journey, was based on a story idea submitted by third-grade student Alyssa Ball. The two-minute movie and the movie poster, created by BET graphic artist Maurice James from a concept inspired by the students, were unveiled during the camp’s closing exercises to a rousing reception from the entire camp.
Eleven years in the making, the Reel Kids program was a “surreal moment” for FAAAF founder and Executive Director Tim Gordon. Founded in 2004, FAAAF initially launched the Reel Kids program but executing the program proved more difficult than initially imagined. “It may have taken a long time to come to fruition, but trust me, it was worth the wait,” said Gordon.
During the camp, the children learned the elements of story origin from Fraser, how to transfer their ideas from their mind to storyboard with BET producer/editor Chris Bennett, the importance and elements of voiceover with film critic/on-air personality Gordon, production elements with BET producer Keith Burns, creative story elements with BET graphic designer James and an education in post-production editing with BET editor Troy Pinckney.
The children also were treated to an advance screening of the upcoming LionsGate Entertainment stop-motion animated film, Shaun the Sheep. The film played to a raucous and energetic crowd that clapped, cheered and sang along to the fun story. “The children had a BLAST,” said Gordon.
Several sponsors, including LionsGate Entertainment, Allied Integrated Marketing, Ivan Walks & Associates, BET, Celebration Church of Columbia’s Champ Camp, made the Summer Movie Camp an unforgettable experience for the campers. “A special thanks to all of the sponsors, presenters and hard-working staff that breathed life into this very special program,” said Gordon. “Their dedication, sacrifice, belief and positive example of philanthropy have inspired us to continue to spread the Foundation’s mission and expose more children to the endless cinematic opportunities available to them.”
The Reel Kids program will conduct their Fall After-School Program in both Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD – dates and program information will be announced by the end of August.