The 2015 Academy (A Recap)

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There’s a certain bond that happens when working together on a film set, and you always look back with fond memories of all the moments you shared together.

This year’s academy was no different. It’s hard to put into words a week full of hard work, laughter, early mornings, good food and new friendships. In between teaching, student projects, and filming a promotional for a client, there was many great conversations and spiritual encouragement.

The week started out with classroom-style teaching all day Monday. Director Andrew Bartlett covered the different aspects of pre-production for promotional media. Director of Photography John-Clay Burnett did classes on cinematography and lighting. Art Director Carol Kiemle talked to the students about everything her department does, from makeup to props to costumes and more. All three teachers critiqued the student’s outlines and storyboards for a fictional “orange juice company” client. The students had a great time working in teams to come up with their stories!

Tuesday everyone was up and ready to shoot the student film for the “orange juice company.” We divided into two teams to tackle the shots, and each team did two setups. Afterwards, the teams worked together to get the last shot of the oranges falling slow motion into some water – it was a blast!

Wednesday thru Friday we assigned each student as a Production Assistant in a department for our promotional film. We were excited that our clients owned a lodge and we not only got to film there but also stay there for the week! We had a wide variety of shots to get including a mock wedding, early morning scenes, indoor scenes with a haze machine, and more. It was an intense, rewarding 3 days. We got everything finished and were even able to start some haze-scene-2

Goodbyes are always hard, and it was sad to see everyone go on Saturday. We had a great group of students and teachers are grateful for the team God put together.

Working on a film set not only builds relationships with other people, but also with the Lord. At the beginning of the academy, a devotional was shared about pride and humility.  It was a great reminder to keep Jesus first and strive to glorify Him in all we do. Throughout the week it was a blessing to refocus whether it was through personal devotions, praying as a team, or an impromptu hymn sing.


Personally, I learned that it is so important not to worry about all the details, but just to trust that God will work everything out for His glory. Things like flight delays or rainy weather the morning of your outdoor wedding shoot can be discouraging. But through it all I was reminded that the academy is God’s, not mine, and He’s got it all under control.

One of the best aspects about the whole week was getting to know all the students. Each one comes with their own unique personalities and talents, and working as a team was a blast! Watching them learn and enjoy the academy (all the while learning and growing myself) was a huge blessing. I already can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for next year!


Matthew 6:33 “ But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto 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.