East Bay Media Teen Filmmaking Summer

Hi - I'm looking for some reviews of the East Bay Media Summer Teen Filmmaking Program (on Addison). My 13yo son is interested. If you have or know of a child who has done the program, I would love your opinion of it. Also the program is open to ages 12-17, which is a wide range. Did that work okay for your child? Thanks!

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My daughter attended the East Bay Media Summer Teen Filmmaking Program several years ago. She's passionate about film, self-taught in many filmmaking applications, and plans to apply to college as a film major. She's attended a few different summer film camps and classes over the years, and in no way can we recommend this one.

We were under the impression that the kids would have access to film equipment for this camp -- cameras, microphones, computers, etc. -- but the camp didn't have enough for the campers to share, and what they had was very outdated. Our daughter ended up bringing equipment from home, including a family laptop so she could edit her project. A simple "bring your own equipment" in the camp literature would have helped. None of this was communicated in advance.

We were given a list of topics and skills that would be taught during this film camp, but according to our daughter, many were not. She said that much of the day was unstructured, and campers generally sat around watching YouTube. The day went from 10am-2pm, which included an hour of unsupervised lunch break. She waited for instruction in editing (her favorite thing) which never happened. She went into this camp eager to learn new skills, but was so disillusioned by this experience that we almost couldn't convince her to try a different film program the following summer.

We chose this program after reading glowing reviews in BPN, which still baffle me. We would have been wiser to save our money and drop our kid in downtown Berkeley for several hours a day to make a movie with her friends and her own equipment. That's basically what she did that summer, except we paid for it. 

In hindsight I should have realized that this camp's outdated website reflects the state of its program. For an organization that claims to be a media center, it doesn't seem to have embraced any kind of modern media for its own use.