Infomercial Parody

By Instructor

By Lisa Ratner, Lead Instructor

As I prepare for Summer 2011 Stanford Filmmaking Adventures Summer Camp I am reminded of the successes of 2009. The project that always yielded the most creative and witty videos was the “Commercial.” The students’ task was to select a product and sell it to their audience. (An assignment quite familiar to professionals in the media world). Yet at Digital Media Academy the demand to produce high bucks is replaced with the enjoyable pressure to create high laughs at our End of Summer Camp Film-Festival.

First, we reviewed the 4 stages of film-making: Pre-Production, Production, Post-Production, and Exhibition. This enabled the students to really plan all aspects of the project before they filmed — an essential skill. Then the brainstorming began. The costume box was transformed from neat & tidy to the delightful whirlwind of a creative mess. Debates over wide-angle shots versus close-ups competed with the sounds of furious typing at the keyboard so the script would be ready in time for the production phase.

“Camera ready?” the assistant director calls out.

“Ready!” the cinematographer answers.

“Actors Ready?”

“Ready!” pipes a lion-dressed “salesman”

A kid from the web design class sneaks in to watch the action.

“Camera Rolling”

“Action!”

To me, the most fulfilling thing about being a film instructor is seeing the kids come out of their shells. When they perform in front of the camera, even the ones who seem “too cool” or “shy” simply can’t hold back and they shine brilliantly. I can see the surprise on their parents’ faces during the film festival. It is truly exciting.

Since last summer at DMA, I’ve been producing video tours and websites for a real estate company. I’ve been itching to return to DMA to see what kind of parodies these kids can make of video tours! It’s going to be a blast!

Do your kids long to be in film production?  Check out film school with Digital Media Academy this summer!