Lights, Camera, Action Films 2017

This summer though Xcelerate, there were two separate weeks of Lights, Camera, Action camps. That means there are several films, created by the campers now available for viewing.

“Empty” – When a boy wakes up in an empty classroom, he begins searching for answers.

“Summer Star Wars” – A playful homage to Star Wars, complete with goat people and lightsaber fights. The enthusiasm was strong with this one.

“Escape” – A group venture into a haunted college turns deadly when an escaped convict enters the mix.

“No Strings Attached” – Two friends get more than they bargained for after stopping by a pop up antique shop.

North Aurora Days Address

It’s the first weekend of August, so this means that North Aurora Days has rolled around once again.

Depending on how long you’ve been following me professionally, you may know that I covered this festival with E Leal Productions last year, summer of 2016. We had high hopes for that film coverage, but nothing ever ended up coming from it.

Why? You may ask.

It’s kind of a long story, multi-faceted. For one, we bit off far more than we could chew with our coverage. We covered everything over the entire 3 days of the festival. This made it hard to put our shorter videos. There was just so much footage to go through and organize. We had about 10 minutes of video edited, and we still had a ways to go.

On top of that, we had a hard drive crash on us, so we lost a lot of footage. After that, time just was not on our side. The project sat, and sat, and sat.

I had hoped to at least put together a promotional video for the upcoming festival, but once again, time just was not on my side. This goal never came fruition. I continue to be disappointed by that fact.

To continue with the theme of time, we will be unable to cover the festival this year because of previously planned engagements. If anything, we’d love to enjoy the festival for fun, if we get the chance. It really is a fun time.

I have no obligation to give explanation for why we won’t be covering the event this time around, or why nothing came of the footage from last year. We went into the event ourselves. We volunteered our time for no one but ourselves.

I’m writing this post for myself, as a reminder to not take on more than I can handle. It’s a reminder that things can always happen to make situations go differently than they were planned.

Weekly Review: Spiderman – Homecoming (2017)

After being called on by Iron Man to aid in the events of Captain America: Civil War, Peter Parker finds himself struggling to return to being the friendly neighborhood Spiderman. With his eyes set on greener pastures, he manages to stumble on something big right in his own back yard.

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Xcelerate 2017: Week 7

Finally! After two straight months of kids’ camps, I’m officially done with Xcelerate summer camps in 2017. It’s been a long, long several weeks. I’ve had my hand in everything from ukulele to Minecraft to cupcakes and science. Some of these areas I was familiar in, and for some of these areas I was simply tossed in. In any case, it proved to be pretty challenging throughout.

This final week put me back in my most familiar camp, as well as a camp where I was familiar with the subject matter. I thought it was going to be a decently easy week, and in many ways I was correct. In other ways, I was very, very wrong.

I’ll start off by discussing the camp I was a part of that was new to me, but also familiar. The camp was called Digital Artists. It focused on Photoshop and Illustrator. I’m no master in Photoshop by any means, but I do use it occasionally, so there were things that I knew and things I didn’t. I have never used Illustrator before so that was way out of my league. On the surface, this particular camp was easy enough. There were other challenges to deal with though that were more personal for me.

Maybe I was just more sensitive to it because it was the last week of camps. I’d been dealing with kids, ages 7-14, for many weeks. It gets hard after a while. Sometimes the kids really just do not have a filter. Sometimes they say or do some pretty mean things. Sometimes it’s intentional. Sometimes it’s not.

The issue I was dealing with during this particular camp had to do with the kids’ respect for me as a teacher. I know I’m not the instructor. I’m just the Assistant Instructor. It was still pretty upsetting to have them simply ignore me whenever they had a question. They would raise their hand. I would walk over. I would ask what they needed help with. They would either completely ignore me or come out and say they didn’t want to ask me the question. In that regard, it was a rough week, especially being the final week. The end was in sight, and I was definitely feeling it.

Other than that, this week found me back in my most familiar camp. It was the second week of Lights, Camera, Action! We had some repeats from previous years. It’s always nice to see kids return because they enjoyed the time they had. Overall, it was a really mature group. That always makes things easier.

Following the new class outline, we separated the full class into two groups. They split themselves up based on what genre they wanted to do. One group wanted to do an action film. The other group wanted to do a scary film. Guess which group I got put with this time? Yep, another scary movie. They just gravitated to me with no prompting whatsoever. I must just give off that vibe.

Since this is my last week of the camps, the instructors I work with told me they’d do me a solid and not ask me to edit the film I helped make this time around. I had edited ‘Truth or Dare’ from last year and ‘Empty’ from the last camp. Not having to edit this one will give me a much needed break, and it will also free up my time to take care of my other mounting responsibilities.

If you’re interested in seeing the final films from the Lights, Camera, Action camps, be on the look out for an upcoming compilation post of those films in the next couple weeks.

Other than that, my time with the summer camps this year is done. We will now return to our regularly scheduled programming.