The Mosaic Film Experience welcomed more than 100 Michigan high school students to the ArtPrize Hub on September 28 for the first-ever Mosaic Film Experience: ArtPrize Film Challenge. Students from Grand Rapids Montessori, Grand Rapids University Prep Academy, Southwest Community Campus, City High, and Innovation Central, attended the interactive field trip, which consisted of a mobile filmmaking workshop as well as time to explore ArtPrize 10 and begin creating mobile films.

Once the students filled the hub’s theatre, The Mosaic Film Experience education leads, Mallory Patterson and Randy Strobl, opened the workshop by introducing Mosaic Mobile, a short film competition for West Michigan high school and college students where entries are shot, edited, and entered via mobile devices.

All Mosaic Mobile films must be two to three minutes in length and must meet three requirements.  Entrants must “tell a story” as a theme for their film, include some form of art as a prop, and the words “it’s different now,” must be spoken or used in the film.

To help the students visualize what Mosaic Mobile is all about, last year’s Mosaic Mobile winner, “A Short Film: Tomorrow” by Mariah Barrera, was shown.

The film resonated with the students, some of whom recognized Mariah, who is currently a junior at City High. The short film demonstrated that even as teenagers, student’s stories matter and they can convey these stories without the use of professional video equipment. Mallory and Randy also discussed how using a mobile device to shoot a film presents a fresh perspective that can be lost with high-end cameras.

“You have the power to make a film in your pocket,” Mallory told the students. “Think about your experiences from the last 24 hours that can be turned into a story.”

A bit skeptical at first, the students hesitated to believe something important could have happened to them in merely a day. However, once a couple of stories were shared, they realized that what may seem like an insignificant moment, interaction, or feeling actually has incredible meaning and potential.

Mallory and Randy proceeded to walk the students through some the main elements of a story, such as characters, setting, plot, conflict, and resolution, outlining them on a whiteboard. They then used one specific student’s story to provide examples for the main elements.

The students then broke up into groups to discuss what they wanted to include in their films, brainstorming how to incorporate artwork and the phrase “It’s different now” to create a story.

Creativity and excitement flowed through the room as Mallory and Randy brought the groups back together and discussed the technicalities of shooting a film during the last 15 minutes of the workshop. Their main points included lighting, audio, and the use of different shots. They also reminded the students of the plethora of apps one can find on a smartphone, encouraging them to think outside the box.

At the end of the hour, the students brought everything they learned during the jam-packed session with them out the door and took to the streets of ArtPrize throughout downtown Grand Rapids. Although overcast and a little rainy, they were able to enjoy the artwork and the first gusts of autumn as they found some inspiration.

Eligible student films created during the Mosaic Film Experience: The ArtPrize Film Challenge will be entered in the 2018 Mosaic Mobile competition. The top Mosaic Mobile 10 films will be shown, and winners will be announced at The 2018 Mosaic Film Experience Event on November 7 and 8 at the Wealthy Theatre.

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