Updated: Jun 3
Do you have an artsy teen? Is your teen constantly making videos and wants to learn how to improve their skills? Does your teen have dreams of being the next Spielberg? Film School 4 Teens is a great way for them to get their feet wet and learn a little about the biz. It is a part of the 7th grade curriculum kit of Timberdoodle Co.
I received the Film School 4 Teens from Timberdoodle Co. in exchange for my fair and honest review. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. I will never promote or recommend a product I don't feel is useful or beneficial to my own or other families. I used this product with my 10 year old 5th grader and my 13 year old 8th grader.
Film Scholl 4 Teens will take your child on a journey of the entire film making process. There are 18 sections each covering a different concept from the people and items needed to start a film project to final edits and completing a film. So it makes a perfect 1/2 credit high school course
Things I Loved
I appreciated the small sections. It allows you to really focus on every aspect of the film making process. Often areas young people don't think about before they begin filming. I liked that with this program you don't get overwhelmed because everything is thought out in a straightforward methodical process. My kids appreciated having movie watching as homework. Though some of the movies weren't to their taste several of our favorites were on the list like "Wizard of Oz", "E.T.", "Princess Bride", and "The Outsiders". Another fun little addition was the fun film facts. It was so neat learning the fun little movie facts and trivia about movies and movie history. I enjoyed the pop culture references though some of them my kids didn't get. The quiz at the end of each lesson was very helpful to make sure my kids understood the lesson and are ready to move on.
Things I Didn't
The Q and A videos. My kids found them tedious. They didn't understand why they needed to watch other kids ask questions they didn't have and not be able to ask the questions they had themselves. It moves slow. While it helps the learning process my kids were anxious to get to actually recording things. If you don't order the workbook you will be printing off 100's of pages for your kids to complete the assignments. Sometimes the lessons felt a bit dry. We sometimes had to stop the video and refocus before moving on. There was not any film making for quite a while. While that isn't a bad thing per se it wasn't what we were expecting and my kids were really itching to get to hands on work.
Things To Consider
There will be some additional costs. The movie homework, unless you have an extensive movie collection you will need one or more streaming services or possibly renting some movies you may not own. While you can start with a camera phone you will eventually need to purchase a real video camera. Computer access and film editing software will eventually be needed and depending on the program the price will vary. While I don't personally have a problem with any of the movie choices some of the movies for the homework may be considered inappropriate by some families. For example "Raiders of the Lost Ark", "The Help", and "The Outsiders" have some content that are now deemed to have problematic content.
There were a few things we wished it included or were different like the Q and A being a live zoom class so you can get your actual questions answered. Making it more interactive like a real class. All in all though we really enjoyed Film School 4 Teens and think it would be an excellent stepping stone for those who are interested in a career in film making.
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