The 2016 Academy Recap

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Our academy this year just flew by! It was a week full of teaching, learning, creating, teamwork, challenges, and great memories.

We started off the week Sunday evening with getting to know each other, and Andrew talked about priorities and how to keep God at the center of our lives as filmmakers. Everyone got settled in, and Monday morning we started the day off with devotions, and then dived right into teaching!

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Throughout the day, John-Clay covered classes on storytelling, camera, shot types, and more. Andrew talked about pre-production, Carol covered what the Art Department does (and how important it really is!), and Joseph showed the students the basics of audio. During the lunch hour, we surprised the students with a Skype call with Brett Varvel, and he talked to them about everything from camera gear to staying humble as a filmmaker. That evening, we had a lighting and an audio demonstration which were fun to watch! The students also worked on pre-production for a 30 second commercial for a fake client. Needless to say, it was a very full day!

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Tuesday morning I (Hannah) taught the students some more pre-production from the AD’s perspective, and we worked together on figuring out the schedule and plan for the day. The rest of the day was spent filming the student commercial. The “client” this year was G2 pens, and the students had a great time directing and heading up the departments for the film.

Wednesday started the first day of the 2016 official production! This year, our client was one of the largest trucking companies in the Midwest (Foltz Trucking). Our first day was crazy as we had to rearrange our schedule due to weather. We filmed almost entirely inside, and despite working out several kinks, we got all the shots and interviews we needed for that day!

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Thursday was a beautiful sunny day, and we worked hard to fit in all the exterior shots since the forecast called for rain again on Friday. We were up bright and early to get several golden hour shots, and we also fit in the outdoor trucker interview, and several drone shots. One of the highlights of the day was when we worked together to pull off a drone shot of a Foltz truck driving by on a back farm road at golden hour.

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Friday was our last day of shooting, and we finished our final interview along with several indoor shots at the lodge. While part of the team worked on the official production, the other members worked on setting up for student interviews. We filmed those in the afternoon, and then around 4:30pm had a surprise pull up for our students! As one student put it, “I’m in a limo – with balls. I never thought I’d be saying that!” We had a blast taking a ride around town, and bowling with everyone afterwards. We’re so grateful for the amazing team of students and teachers that we had this year!

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Saturday everyone said their goodbyes, and we had a staff meeting to re-cap the week and talk about next year. We learned so much, and are very thankful for God’s patience and blessings as we learn so much every year we have the academy! He always provides for our needs and even when we fail or worry, He still works through us to change us, bless others and bring glory to Himself.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

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Assistant Director

Hannah Kenney is assistant director and co-founder of the academy, and enjoys working with people. She likes to exercise both the right and left side of her brain by running the scheduling and communications, but also doing behind-the-scenes camera work and editing.

  • Ashley F

    Thanks for the great recap, Hannah! I’m glad the Academy went well! I was praying for you guys all week.

    • Hannah

      Hey Ashley! Thank you SO much for your prayers and encouragement. That means a lot to us!