LA PUENTE, CA – Bassett High School junior Jose Acosta was inspired by a battle he had with a cockroach to craft a script with the main character dealing with a fear of roaches by fighting a man-sized version of the vermin.
Acosta learned how to transform the writing into a short film through the Latino Film Institute Youth Cinema Program offered at the high school.
“The program is a really good opportunity to get experiences you would only get if you took film school classes,” Acosta, 17, said. “I’m planning on joining the same class next year and I want to see how far I can go with this.”
The Youth Cinema Program, created by Golden Globe and Academy Award winning actor Edward James Olmos, brings industry professionals to Bassett Unified schools to teach filmmaking skills. Students learn how to bring words alive on a script from acting and producing, to learning how to handle video and sound equipment.
“I’ve learned how to become more confident in everything,” said Bassett High senior Giovanny Vasquez, who played the cockroach. “After wearing this costume, I’m not afraid of anything.”
Bassett High students participate in the film pathway as an elective in their regular school day, and occasionally film during the weekend and after school. Teacher Marty Sader – an actor, producer and writer – provides students hands-on experiences and industry skills in film.
“Teaching is rewarding and when you get to work with lots of creative minds and break things down for them, it makes you more aware of detail,” Sader said. “I like how Bassett High students have options to do different things, like photography, theater and film.”
The film pathway program is also offered at Van Wig and Sunkist elementary schools, and Torch Middle Achool. Bassett students showcased their films at the Creative Artists Agency at the end of May.
“Bassett Unified students can build a foundation in career industry skills at a young age, and can continue strengthening their abilities through middle and high school,” Interim Superintendent Debra French said. “Students are able to explore various career and technical fields at our schools in addition to completing their university and college admission requirements.”
062017_BASSETT_BHSFILM1: Bassett High School students film pivotal scenes for their short film that was showcased at the Creative Artists Agency at the end of May. Bassett Unified students learn how to produce a film through the Latino Film Institute Youth Cinema Program.
062017_BASSETT_BHSFILM2: Bassett High School students learn how to bring words alive on a script from acting and producing, to learning how to handle video and sound equipment through the Latino Film Institute Youth Cinema Program.