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Filming The Queen

by Marcelo Teson, Teaching Artist

Youth Arts Festival 2011 Featured School – Del Valle Middle School

My film class at Del Valle Middle School has taken a huge leap forward with The Queen, a mockumentary-style comedy about two girls vying for the Valentine’s Day Queen crown. The fun thing about this film was that all the dialogue was improvised based on a basic plot skeleton. Shooting days consisted of:
  • A quick review of what we were filming that day
  • Several exploratory rehearsals of the scene, and
  • Shooting in several takes to achieve the scene.
It’s been so awesome seeing the characters take shape as the students work with them and explore them.
By the end of shooting our actors were so comfortable with their characters and the process that they could comfortably improvise any kind of scene with them. We even hit a zone where actors were offering different improvisations and jokes per take, allowing the editors to choose the funniest bits and maximize the comedy of the film, something that is rare even on professional shoots. I have seen shy and nervous students become fearless with their explorations as actors and that fearlessness has carried over to the rest of their lives.
The Del Valle class has been a truly special group, and I couldn’t be prouder of them.
Join us on May 21st to see our film at Theatre Action Project’s Youth Arts Festival at the George Washington Carver History Museum, 1165 Angelina Street, Austin, TX 78702-2034 (map). The fun starts at 1 p.m. and it’s FREE!

About creativeactionaustin

We are based in Austin, Texas and reach more than 16,000 young people every year through our unique blend of theatre and education programs.Our programs expose young people to critical social problems and offer opportunities for them to creatively think about how they can be a part of solutions to these problems. Creative Action is a unique blend of art and education – for us, the two are intertwined. We believe that using the arts as a teaching method provides a fun, engaging and inspiring way to learn – it incorporates the whole mind and body.

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