I don’t know if anybody who reads this blog is still in high school, but if you are and you want to take your high school’s film course, just to try it out, DON’T. DEAR GOD PLEASE DO NOT, FOR YOUR OWN SAKE. I don’t want to throw any shade on the field or film kids as a whole, but the public school version of a film education is just group project hell. The deadlines are tight, resources are scarce, you need to be co-ordinated and streamlined on a level that transcends the capabilities of any group of 17-year-olds and inexplicably, even in the second-level class of a niche elective, your group will have a 1:5 ratio of people who refuse to do anything.

My high school had a film class that was open to grade 11 and grade 12 students. I had just transferred in from another school for eleventh grade and looking to diversify from the 2 (two) art classes that were open to me beforehand. TV and Film 11 was a pretty enticing option- It looked kind of like a more efficient version of art that let you practice composition and other techniques that could be used in illustration without having to commit to spending 3 hours drawing each detailed panel.

My first 11th grade project was ultimately the purest expression of this. I was paired up with 2 other people to make a 60-second film entitled “Dab-bate Club.” It was an incredibly poignant story about a student debate club that was inexplicably won by a young upstart through wacky hi-jinks such as water-bottle flipping and The Dab® . The then-ironic references became dated in../ about a month, but the film itself was timeless in the way only truly terrible projects can be. The German exchange student I worked on the project with was even elevated to minor celebrity status for it, somehow? It was exclusively because of a scene where my other classmate deadpans “LOL” after the nailing the aforementioned CGI bottle flip, and he, apparently nailing his role of adjudicator, says “Good Point!”

But after that, it was mostly downhill.

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