The Coast News Group
Arts Community Encinitas

Filmmakers share their expertise with local students at free symposium

ENCINITAS — On Saturday, during last weekend’s Encinitas Street Fair, 100 college and high school students had the opportunity to spend a day with top local filmmakers.

The free Encinitas Student Film Symposium was held at Encinitas Community and Senior Center on April 23.

The day began with keynote speakers, and was followed by two live productions, one a dark drama and the other a light improvisational scene. Students sat around the stage sets, and professionals shared the directing, lighting, camera and acting choices they made to create the scenes.

The day was intensely collaborative. Students were pre-invited to arrive early and help set up the lighting for the sets. Student teams and professionals worked together all day, including a shared lunch break.

After lunch students participated in their choice of two workshops. Options included the expertise areas demonstrated before lunch, as well as screenwriting, editing, makeup and costuming, music composition and other specialties.

The day ended with a 45-minute Q & A session.

Francine Filsinger, event producer, said the Encinitas Student Film Symposium, held in 2014 and this year, is an extension of the yearly street fair, which focuses on the arts.

“Every kid said they felt so good to be around other kids they could network with who share the same passions,” Filsinger said. “It helps them see this dream of theirs is a very real reality, and the only thing that stops them is their own self-doubt.”

Filsinger is an actress, director and president of San Diego Filmmakers. Her connections brought students together with top film industry professionals.

Director Jordan Roberts and studio producer Brent Altomare were among the talent present.

Greg Lefevre, former CNN San Francisco bureau chief and correspondent, and current media consultant and trainer, led the producing workshop. His workshop utilized lecture, slides and student producer binders to provide an overview of a producer’s responsibility to keep a production on time, on schedule and on budget.

Lefevre shared how to look at a script to determine needed locations, actors and director. He also explained the infrastructure it takes for a project to work efficiently.

The workshop mirrored on-the-job scenarios. Lefevre said it was well-suited for the motived students who attended.

“The students are extremely talented,” Lefevre said. “The industry is going to be in good hands.”

The symposium also invited students to show their short films at the upcoming Encinitas Student Film Festival at the La Paloma Theater on May 15.

The student film screening will have a red carpet, event photographer and Hollywood feel.

Filsinger said she hopes the symposium is an inspiration and affirmation for student filmmakers.

The Encinitas Student Film Symposium was funded by city, county and charitable grants.