Yesterday, I visited the Sligo Middle School in Rockville, MD, where my book How to Write a Screenplay Using the Horowitz System™ – the Middle School Edition has been used in the pilot class of the advanced Lights, Camera, Literacy! program developed by Arla Bowers for the Montgomery County Public School system. The class was made up of nine advanced sixth graders who had spent the summer learning to make films, which are being screened today.
The film I viewed, a terrific horror film called The Death Box, was the story of a student – new to his school – who was being stalked by a ghost. The film was complete, with a beginning, a middle and an end, and focused on the hero’s fears, as represented by the ghost. I was thrilled with the film because the core of my system is the dance between the action journey and the emotional journey. The fact that these 6th graders had learned such a complex idea in a few short weeks was truly a testament to their intelligence and drive to learn.
The other film, which was being rendered while I was there, is called Friendship and Distress. It’s the story of a student who gets a summer job only to learn that her predecessor was fired unfairly. The two team up and get the first girl reinstated, and find a way for both of them to have summer jobs. I loved the idea of an alternate solution where no one had to lose, and that everyone could win in new and unexpected ways.
I hope to be able to print some of their journal entries from this process in a future post.
If you are a teacher or principal, and would like to learn more about this program, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.