Huntington juniors Jennifer Low and Caitlyn Palermo are two of the top young filmmakers on Long Island. The two teenagers have been studying in the high school’s video arts program for several years and now they are set to take the next step in mastering their craft.
Ms. Low and Ms. Palermo have both been selected to attend the Manhattan Film Institute’s Directors Gold summer program in Greenport. The session will run from July 7-21.
“This intensive two-week program will entail screenwriting, directing and editing an original film,” said Heather Swan, an art teacher at Huntington High School who leads the district’s film program.
“Imagine that you have a chance to direct a short film with the guidance of professional filmmakers,” states a program overview. “Imagine that under the watchful eye of Tony Spiridakis, who has directed Academy Award-winning actors Timothy Hutton and Richard Dreyfuss, you will develop your shooting script weeks before you even arrive at film camp. Imagine prepping your films as soon as you arrive with producer-director Shannon Goldman. Imagine being critiqued in the editing room by actor-director Tony Goldwyn. Imagine rehearsing with your actors, shooting on location, building a shot-list with your cinematographer, as you direct, edit, then screen your film at the Greenport theater on the last day of film camp. Can you imagine all that? Well, we will do more than imagine it. We will provide exactly that. You will have made a short film that was developed, directed, and edited by you, all under the supervision of a caring and world-class faculty. We feel confident that your two-week experience at MFI summer camp will be transformational.”
Ms. Low and Ms. Palmero will develop scripts with a mentor before the program begins. They are expected to arrive on the first day with a solid first draft of a “3-2-1” script to shoot. Three pages, two characters and one location. They will learn to focus on character, story and actor performance. Actors will be casted from the Manhattan Film Institute’s actor’s camp.
The Huntington duo will learn to direct and rehearse with experienced actors. There will be tutorials on camera, sound and lighting and editing. Ms. Low and Ms. Palermo will be able to shoot their films with an experienced Manhattan Film Institute cinematographer and will edit under the guidance of MFI editors. The films will be shown on the big screen at the Greenport movie theater on the final day.
“I am really looking forward to going to the Manhattan Film Institute this summer,” Ms. Low said. “I can’t wait to learn more about film and expand my knowledge.”
Summer program participants will be housed at the Silver Sands bay front motel and beach cottage resort in Greenport, which is the headquarters for the program. Ms. Low and Ms. Palermo along with the other student directors will eat their meals at the Silver Sands and attend evening meetings there.
“I am honored to be among the 25 selected to attend this amazing program,” Ms. Palermo said. “I cannot wait to learn from these industry professionals and advance my skills in all aspects of film.”
Located on Peconic Bay, the Silver Sands features a quarter mile of private sandy beach and magnificent views of Shelter Island.
The day will begin at 8 a.m. with breakfast and continue with workshops. Evenings will include rehearsals, writing sessions, screenings and lectures. Two celebrity screenings are planned for the two-week program.
Ms. Low and Ms. Palermo went through a formal process that included being interviewed prior to being accepted into the prestigious summer program. They are both already counting down the days to its start.