NEW PORT RICHEY – A group of Mitchell High School students formed a video game club last year and, within months, had created an award-winning short film and started working on a high-tech video game.
And that’s just the start for the Mustang Film and Game Creation Club.
“They learn how to make things and make them work,” said Leith Taylor, a technical and vocational education teacher in multimedia / digital media production at the school. “They are learning how the real world works.”
It was his students, Taylor said, who specifically asked for a club where they could produce their own movies and video games. Student Christian Hernandez, a YouTube artist and filmmaker who plans to become a director in the future, was instrumental in this effort.
“I’ve always had an interest in drawing, and at first I thought I would draw for the cinema,” said Hernandez, 17. to live ?’ I wanted to make films. “
Hernandez organized and led the club’s participation in the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office Making Good Decisions competition, a competition that challenged students to plan, script, produce and act in a short video that discusses the importance of healthy choices and a responsible lifestyle.
The fledgling club finished first in the competition, stringing together various video challenges that elevated and refined their skill level. Responding to clues and concepts provided by club organizers, they script, perform, and produce short films using Apple’s Final Cut Pro and Adobe programs.
“With all of this at our disposal, we are developing a better work ethic and growing as producers,” said club vice president Gavin Growe, a 17-year-old. “It’s about getting things done on time and of high quality. “
Other club members specialize in video game design, using Adobe Photoshop and Unreal Engine, a cutting edge design platform.
Currently, students are designing the programming and graphics parts of a game centered around a challenge – a challenge that encourages players to complete tasks that will allow them to escape from rooms filled with traps.
“I try to play video games every day, and I’ve been doing it since I was little,” said Tiffany Johnson, 17. “Thanks to this club, I am learning more about graphics, drawing and models. I like the idea that by making my own games, people will appreciate something that I have done.”
“I like having the opportunity to create something, to design something,” said Lindsey Chapman, 16. “And since I joined the club, I have had the experience of working as a team. It’s easier and easier for me to talk in a group. The settings.”
Mitchell’s substitute teacher Nicole Trapp, club advisor and game designer, agrees teamwork is key to success at Mustang Film and Game Creation Club.
“These students come together through teamwork to put a piece of work together, piece by piece, to create the whole design,” said Trapp. “This is the skill they will take with them no matter what they do.”