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Budding filmmakers in Hay River learn the craft at spring break camp

When it comes to spring break, it’s usually a time for people to get away for a few days or head somewhere hot.
Van Delorey, left, works a boom mic as part of the spring break filmmaking and storytelling camp at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Hay River earlier this month. The camp is being co-hosted by the Hay River Film Society and Hay River Youth Centre. Photo courtesy of Scott Clouthier

When it comes to spring break, it’s usually a time for people to get away for a few days or head somewhere hot.

For those who stay during spring break, there are options out there and one of those choices involves learning how to make a movie.

The Hay River Film Society and Hay River Youth Centre have teamed up to host the Youth Filmmaking and Storytelling Camp. It’s open to youth between the ages of 12 and 18 and has been happening every weekday afternoon between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church since spring break began in town. The camp has been split into two weeks: April 3 to 6 (no camp because of Good Friday on April 7) and April 10 to 14.

Scott Clouthier, the youth centre’s executive director, said the first week went very well with everyone getting to work with some nice cameras.

“(They) got a chance to get their hands on some professional-grade camcorders and learn about the different settings and what effect they have on the image,” he said.

He also said the attendees learned about different types of shots and sizes of shots, along with how to make up a shot list.

After that, Clouthier said the focus turned to sound and how to use both boom mics — used to capture wide sounds. They also learned about lavalier mics, which are worn on the body, followed by editing techniques.

“They got to practice their editing skills by editing footage from a film I made back in 2016,” he said.

This week, the participants put what they learned to the test as part of a 48-hour film challenge.

“They’ll have two days to shoot an original five-minute short film, and then two days to edit with help from myself and other mentors,” said Clouthier.

He said the hope is to have a red carpet-type of public showing for the finished films in the near future.

The entire two-week camp has been free of charge, something Clouthier said is the case for all of the youth centre’s programming.

“That’s something that’s very important to us,” he said. “We were able to make this happen due to all the public support we’ve received, including private donations and a very generous donation we received from the Hay River Community Justice Committee.”

The church provided its space free of charge, he added, and both the film society and Western Arctic Moving Pictures donated the necessary equipment at no cost.