Riverside Teaches Storytelling Through Film

By January 24, 2017

by Liam Shine, Riverside apprentice and actor

Have you ever watched a Super Bowl ad with Frankenstein? If you have, you may have been watching a video made by the Riverside Film program, part of the small but thriving organization called the Riverside Center for Education.

The Film program is headed by Liam Mitchell, who began teaching at Riverside in 2015, after earning an MBA in Film Making at John Paul the Great Catholic University in San Diego. He has already has directed several Riverside films, each one shot by kids age 10-14.

Mitchell said he strives to make sure film is not a class, but more a group of friends who make movies and that he is a “knowledgeable mentor” who guides them.

“The difficult concept to teach is film language; only watching great movies from the past can you really know how to speak in this language. It is comparable to teaching someone to write compelling books, who has never read great books,” Mitchell said.

Since 2015, over a dozen kids have participated in several different film sessions, taking the shots that will make short movies.  The end phase is up to Mitchell, himself, to put together and edit the video.

“My post production process is drinking tea and doing layers of cuts,” he said. “First a rough cut, then back to the beginning, cut it again, then back again, add sound, repeat and add music. In between each cut, of course, being a night sleep or a nap to approach each time with fresh eyes.”

The Film program is currently working on a Hitchcock themed session, and will begin making a mockumentary in about a month.  It is also working on a stop-motion session, teaching the technique that was used to make the famous Wallace and Grommet shows and movies.

Mitchell describes his film history as dominated by short films.

“I’ve made mostly short films. Early on I made two short films with friends that were parodies of the Lone Ranger. I had a big Lego Stop Motion Project planned where I would make the first Star Wars movie into a musical. In California I worked on a web-series for my Thesis,” Mitchell said.

For more information about the upcoming film programs, please visit //rside.org/film/.


Monta Hernon

Author Monta Hernon

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