Bright future: ACCS film students are picture perfectPublished 12:02am Thursday, April 11, 2013
NATCHEZ — Being at the right place at the right time is what Sarah Clancy learned makes a great photograph or video clip.
The Adams County Christian School 11th grader is just one of a handful of students who have been photographing and filming a variety of school and community events for an “Introduction to Film and Photography” class.
Taught by Mark LaFrancis, an author, poet, filmmaker, the former public relations director at Copiah-Lincoln Community College and former journalist, the class aims to teach students how to document events and edit their photos or video to produce a high-quality product.
The students have had a variety of topics to film and photograph for the class including landscapes, portraits, architecture and personality profiles.
But it was the sports events, such as football, basketball and soccer games, that Clancy said she most enjoyed.
“You really have to pay attention to what’s going on or you might miss a play and not get a good photo or shot,” Clancy said. “It’s all about being at the right place at the right time.”
Jordan Arnold, a 10th grader, has spent the last few weeks filming and editing a piece on the ACCS soccer team, which went to the second round of the playoffs in February.
Though he admitted he’s not the biggest soccer fan, getting to spend the majority of his time outside on a field made the project worthwhile.
“I’m kind of an outside guy and don’t like to spend a whole lot of time inside unless I have to,” Arnold said. “The soccer video was cool, except having to edit all the video inside.
“But since they did so well, we took video at a lot of their games and then made a highlight video that turned out good.”
In order to expose them to a variety of different assignments, the students have also been working on videos that profile certain people including a video in memory of Mike Ray who served as president of the ACCS School Board and died in December 2011.
Clancy and 12th grader Ashton Mason interviewed Ray’s wife, Dee Ray, who is also an assistant basketball coach, and his daughter, Maggie Ray, an ACCS student and basketball player.
An interview done for the video, Clancy said, was highly emotional for everyone involved.
“It was an interview full of laughter and tears,” Clancy said. “This was the most emotional interview we’ve done so far.”
After the students finish filming or taking photographs, they download the footage onto computers and begin the editing process.
The photos, LaFrancis said, are printed and placed on display boards that are put in the library while some of the videos are put on the school’s YouTube channel.
LaFrancis said he’s been pleasantly surprised at how quickly the students have learned the photo and video techniques as well as the technical aspect of editing and sharing the finished product.
“These students are already technologically savvy because they walk around with devices in their pockets that they’re already using to take photos and video,” LaFrancis said. “So it was just a matter of teaching them things like composition and some of the computer programs, but they’ve picked up on it very quickly.”
While Clancy said she’s not sure if photography is a profession she wants to go into after high school, she said the class has helped her learn more about a hobby she wants to continue pursuing.
“Professionally I don’t think I’ll continue photography, but I will as a side hobby,” Clancy said. “It’s like a big ‘aha’ moment when you get finished with the photo or video and see the final result of all the work.”