The 360 Filmmakers Challenge inspires the next generation of virtual reality creators by encouraging high school students to produce 360° films that make an impact. This is a story about “The Drama Community,” winner of the Complete 360° Award.
What makes your community special? Teddy, a senior at Menlo-Atherton High School in Atherton, California, set out to answer this question in his 360° film “The Drama Community,” which shows the ins and outs of producing high school theater.
“[The drama community] is special because it’s an outlet for someone to get out of their comfort zone to be silly with others, and as it happens you develop closer friendships with people with similar interests,” Teddy says. “You also learn about commitment, communication, responsibility, teamwork, taking direction from others, and applying your creativity.”
Teddy says that his peers often ask what it takes to put on a play, so he used the 360 Filmmakers Challenge as an opportunity to show the hard work that makes a high school theater production possible. “I found this project to be the perfect opportunity to put people into the shoes of an actor, techie, director, etc. and give them a 360° experience of what it’s like on stage and off stage, and to explain the actual process and how our community works together,” he says.
“The Drama Community” takes a tour through the various stages of production from Menlo-Atherton High School’s fall play, “You Can’t Take It with You.” Teddy narrates scenes of the production process, which include the actors’ pre-show warm-up, the lighting and sound crew as they work in the production booth, and the busy week leading up to show time, all while emphasizing the dedication and teamwork required to create a compelling final production on stage.
The 360 Filmmakers Challenge was the first opportunity for Teddy to work on a film using 360° film equipment. With the support and encouragement of his teacher, Mr. G, Teddy says he felt free to “not hold anything back” in his film. “This project has taught and told me to always go head-on towards my goals,” he says. “It’s taught me to always be persistent in what I want and what I envision, and if I follow through, I’ll succeed.”
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