On Wednesday, January 11, the Concord Academy community was treated with the work from the students in the film program during the fall semester. Projects from Intro to Film, Intro to Animation, and Intermediate Animation were featured. They included walking sequences, sand animation, and original one minute stories.

When asked what he wants CA students to learn from taking a film class, Justin Bull, a film teacher, said that “[at] its most foundational level, filmmaking is storytelling, so my hopes are that students learn how to share their ideas and experiences through this mass medium.” Storytelling is clearly a vitally important aspect of filmmaking itself, and students from Intro to Film humorously expressed the challenges of tuning the E string on a violin, how students deal with stress, and that if you’re trapped in a bathroom filled with water, it’s probably all in your imagination. Ripley Bright ’25, a student in Intro to Film, said that “I’m really happy with the outcome of this semester, not necessarily for the quality of my work but how it has helped me discover a new interest that I may pursue in the future!” The class clearly offered an enjoyable experience that spoke to students in the CA community. The film department also offers higher level classes for students who want to continue with this passion.

Another evident theme across the films in Intro to Film was the collaboration between students, working together as actors, screenwriters, cinematographers, and editors. In response to the question of “why should someone take a film class,” Bull responded, “[it’s] a highly collaborative art that incorporates the best of visual and performing arts into one experience. The better question to ask, in my humble opinion, is why shouldn’t you take a film class?” Indeed, when working together to produce a film, students have the chance to play a character, learn to mix sound or add text onto the films, and learn to navigate a film camera. It attracts students interested in different artistic disciplines, people who enjoy working with technology and computers, and maybe people who just like to watch movies and try making one of their own.

Bull also noted that “[other] than being entertained, I would hope students walk away from a film assembly with a deeper appreciation for the wide range of perspectives and stories offered by their peers.” This was evident in the animation projects featured. In Intermediate Animation, August Sengupta ’24 and Alicia Zhang ’23 produced semester-long projects, telling a full story in their art and bringing CA into their fictional worlds. The community had a chance to observe their creativity and observe a glimpse into their minds and creative processes, and a more advanced level of filmmaking for people truly interested in that art form. 

Ripley also expressed that “[the] film assembly was super fun — especially to hear everyone laugh along to the projects I worked so hard on!” It provided an engaging presentation for CA students to see the art their friends and classmates spent a semester working on, and potentially inspired some to take a film class in the future.