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Filmmakers Collaborative to host moviemaking workshops for students through February break

Melrose-based Filmmakers Collaborative will host in-person and virtual classes for high school and middle school students hoping to get a taste of movie magic during February break.
Melrose-based Filmmakers Collaborative will host in-person and virtual classes for high school and middle school students hoping to get a taste of movie magic during February break.FC Academy

For tweens and teens inspired by the moviemaking happening around town, the opportunity to create for the big screen is about to get real. Melrose-based Filmmakers Collaborative will host in-person and virtual classes for high school and middle school students hoping to get a taste of movie magic during February break. The FC Academy winter session of pro-led courses and workshops will take place Tuesday, Feb. 16, through Friday, Feb. 19.

Students will learn a range of documentary-making skills, including scriptwriting, storyboarding, character development, and camera techniques. Each class allows for students of any experience level to make a short film in their preferred genre. Instructors include Lame Cool Productions founder Raysam Donkoh-Halm, filmmaker Tyler Patterson, and producer-director Jon Dunham, who will stream his courses from Italy.

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The in-person programs cap at 10 students per class and follow COVID-19 protocols, including mask wearing, social distancing, and equipment sanitizing between sessions. All equipment — including cameras and editing materials — will be provided for in-person participants, while students joining remotely will need access to a smart device, Zoom, and video editing software, such as iMovie.

Laura Azevedo, the executive director of the Filmmakers Collaborative, said the program emphasizes creativity, confidence-building, and collaboration.

All students’ creations can be submitted to the Boston International Kids Film Festival, which the Filmmakers Collaborative created in 2013 to celebrate family-friendly films made by professionals and students. “I have parents saying, ‘It’s like their Super Bowl!’” said Azevedo.

The festival allows students to see their films on the big screen, meet pro filmmakers, and even walk a red carpet. The film festival is scheduled for November.

The four-day in-person classes cost $240 and will take place at the Cabot Theater (286 Cabot St., Beverly) and Hunt’s Photo & Video (100 Main St., Melrose). Virtual classes will take place 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and cost $185 for the four-day period. Classes range from ages 8-11 and 12+. To register for classes, visit filmmakerscollab.org.

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April Federico is a writer in Rhode Island. She can be reached at aprilfedericomedia@gmail.com and on Twitter at @AprilFMedia.