Photos courtesy of Media Arts Center San Diego
Media camps offer creative skills and unique experiences
Is there anything more exciting than
a child’s wild, ambitious dreams? My 6-year-old wants to be a screenwriter when he grows up. He speaks so enthusiastically about his favorite shows that I feel compelled to assure people we really do limit screen time, take him outdoors and provide real-life experiences. For a little guy, he offers unusually insightful analysis of the movies we watch as a family. He refers to interesting elements in the films as “choices” and loves to point out plot twists. I thought it would be years before my son could pursue his passion and learn the finer points of filmmaking. Yet, he didn’t even finish winter film camp before asking about the spring session. Camps that teach digital media skills expose kids to the awesome benefits
18 • SanDiegofamily.com • April 2020
of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics). We know that STEAM encourages creative thinking, builds appreciation for the arts and provides new models for collaborative problem-solving. Digital media camps promote skills that kids are really excited to learn— like filmmaking, music production and photography. Read on for a closer look at the camp my son attended, along with other great arts and technology camps in San Diego.
Filmmaking The most impressive thing about Youth Media & Tech Camp at Media Arts Center is the abundant freedom offered to even the youngest participants. My son attended a winter session, where he and his fellow campers produced two short films from start to finish. The kids did everything! Story ideas
were developed entirely by campers. The instructor was there to coach them on the process—collaborative brainstorming, storyboarding and writing—but left the heaviest creative lifting to them. The kids took turns acting out the script and operating the camera. When it was time to edit, they used iMovie with minimal assistance, adding their own visual and sound effects along the way. My son said his favorite part of camp was learning to use a green screen. I’m impressed that he had such a cool opportunity. At the end of the session, campers treated families to a premiere at the onsite theater, Digital Gym Cinema. Everyone was so proud. I can’t recommend this program enough. Camps are open to kids ages 6–14 and are scheduled throughout the year during major school breaks. Learn more and sign up at https://digitalgym.org/camps.