September 6th-8th, the inaugural Spotlight On Hope Film Camp will be held at the prestigious School of Theatre, Film and Television at UCLA. This unique Green Screen and Special FX Film Camp was specifically created for cancer patients at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
When registering students for this completely free camp, award-winning independent filmmaker and camp instructor Ramon Hamilton told excited but exhausted children fresh from chemotherapy what they would experience at the camp, emphasizing to the youth that they will be using professional filmmaking equipment and software as they come up with a story, write the screenplay, shoot, direct, act and edit a short film. In just one morning at the HOPE Resource Center at Children’s Hospital, the camp quickly filled up and a waiting list is already in place.
“The camp will be different from most of our programs in many ways,” explains Hamilton. “After speaking with social workers at Children’s Hospital, we realized that the camp needed to be highly contained so it will take place over one weekend rather than over several weeks like most of our programs.”
It is not only the camp itself that is so unique, the way the camp came to be is also quite special. While attending the Riverside International Film Festival in April of 2012 with his most recent film, SMUGGLED, Hamilton met Cassie Nguyen, a college student interning with the festival who had been assigned Hamilton’s film to market and promote for the festival. Nguyen loved the film and was very interested in the overall mission and work of Think Ten Media Group because of the company’s commitment to making films about important and pressing issues and its educational programs.
Nguyen eventually became an intern for Think Ten Media Group and she and Think Ten Media Group Co-Founder Jennifer Fischer saw an obvious way for Nguyen’s passion for working with children who were cancer patients and/or survivors to combine seamlessly with the mission of Think Ten.
Nguyen herself is a brain cancer survivor and a very vocal ambassador and advocate for the American Cancer Society, as well as a mentor for the Heads Up Conference where she mentors teens and young adults that are brain tumor survivors or patients. She and Fischer immediately knew that a filmmaking class for children with cancer had to happen. Nguyen was so excited about this possibility that she would not be deterred by financial challenges and raised the funds entirely on her own for this inaugural camp. Fischer and Hamilton did their part to cut costs as much as possible for the program, so the Spotlight on Hope Film Camp would be completely free to patients, and were ecstatic when the UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television agreed to host the camp.
“Not only will these cancer patients have the opportunity to make their own films and be engaged in something that will hopefully take their minds off of their treatment schedules and challenges, but they will also get the opportunity to do so on real sound stages at UCLA,” explains Fischer.
Nguyen also came up with the name of the camp, which Hamilton and Fischer love. There is no question that this special weekend will be full of “movie magic” and will absolutely place a “spotlight on hope.”
Spotlight on Hope Camp Details
Who: Cancer Patients from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
What: Free Green Screen and Special FX Filmmaking Camp
Where: School of Theatre, Film and Television at UCLA
When: Sept. 6th from 6-7:30 p.m.; Sept. 7th from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.; Sept. 8th from 3 – 6 p.m.
Sept. 7th is our designated media day. Press are invited to come and see the filmmaking camp in action. (Please RSVP)
Multi-Award Winning Filmmaker Ramon Hamilton has been teaching filmmaking to youth and adults for nearly ten years, most recently through Generation Arts, the digital arts education division of his production company, Think Ten Media Group. Generation Arts, in a typical school year, can reach hundreds of youth each week through its partnerships with LA’s BEST, the largest after-school care provider for LAUSD, and partnerships with the City of Santa Clarita, various Santa Clarita Valley school districts, the SCVi Charter School and various Los Angeles high schools, such as the Renaissance Academy in East LA where Hamilton mentored nearly 40 students through an Artist Residency this past Spring. Hamilton has also taught filmmaking to mentally and physically disabled adults.
For more information, please contact Jennifer Fischer directly at 661-295-1906 or 323-980-6347 or email her at email@example.com.