Pens to Lens
Pens to Lens may just be the best opportunity for your students that you haven’t heard of. Started by the CU Film Society in 2013, the Pens to Lens Screenwriting Competition:
...was established with the goal of creating an opportunity for K-12 Students to participate in the local filmmaking community by writing original screenplays for short films.
In 2013 the filmmakers of Pens to Lens made 9 short films, based on scripts written by local K-12 students (many of them featuring costumes, props, and actors drawn from the same pool of students) and in 2014 they made an astonishing 22 short films.
Now would be a great time to start thinking about submissions for 2015 as written submissions will be accepted February 1, 2015 through 11:59 PM on February 28, 2015. Winning submissions are then made into short films by local fimmakers and are shown at a red carpet event in August (advertised with posters designed by local graphic designers from CUDO).
If you think your students might be interested in getting in on the fun, they have written a student guide for the competition as well as a collection of teacher resources. Even if you aren’t planning on making the Pens to Lens competition an integral part of your curriculum, you might find their storyboarding template a useful tool to bookmark. They also schedule classroom visits with filmmakers and have a set of powerful equipment available exclusively to students who want to make movies.
A bonus resource for teachers and students looking to learn more about the types of shots used in filmmaking, check out the PBS Learning Media resource Building Video Literacy: Storyboarding.