That one time we ran a filmmaking summer class for St. Ambrose


Once in a while, we get the opportunity to do something special. This can take many forms: a unique video project, a new area of marketing to work in, a new partner to provide resources to. And in this particular case, we were able to provide a unique experience to 20 middleschoolers.

This past August, we put on a filmmaking workshop for 20 middleschoolers from St. Ambrose Academy. St. Ambrose Academy is a NAPCIS accredited 6-12 Catholic school whose mission is to assist parents in the formation of their children by providing a classical education rooted in the Catholic faith. Basically, a bunch of great kids learning in a unique way to be leaders.

We've worked with them through the years on their marketing efforts including a complete redesign of their brand and website. As summer 2022 kicked off, Michael Kwas, sommelier, and Dean of Academic Success, History; Debate and National Honor Society for the school, reached out to see if we'd be interested in putting a workshop on. The parameters were open, we could do as little or as much as we wanted. With the world as our oyster (or errster, thank you Newsies), we went for it.

We designed a 5 day workshop where the students would be put through the whole client-production process:

We broke up the day into different several blocks within which we distilled what we know about the world of production. The students got to meet their 'clients', hear about their business and their video need. Next they came up with a creative pitch, pitched it to the client, refined and pitched again. At the second pitch they were thrown a curve ball that they had to react to: less budget, another product to advertise, less time, etc. Then they took the curve, updated their treatment and prepped for shooting. With pre-production out of the way, they filmed their projects in a day and edited in the next. Our final day we put the finishing touches on the videos and had a video premiere with the 'clients.' 

The kids did a phenomenal job and we couldn't have been more proud with how well they did. Below are the projects they created and the specifications they were given:

1. Toast Haven

Client - Tyler Kortekaas
What - A brand new breakfast restaurant opening up soon
The Curve - No budget, so you have to film with an iPhone and little other equipment.


2. Pink Flamingo

Client - Hannah Hess
What - Promote a new camera for an established party brand
The Curve - You only have the camera for the second half of the shoot day



3. Lawn City

Client - Max Olmsted
What - Lawn care company, wanting to advertise their services
The Curve - At the last minute, the thing they had to advertise was changed


4. Master Creative Company

Client - Ryan Freng  
What - A prop puppet company that has a new line of fantasy puppets for use in film and tv
The Curve - Their time was changed from 30s to a 15s, so they had to cram their content in to a much shorter timeframe



So how do you think they did? We had a blast and can't wait to do it all again.