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Mamaroneck Summer Film Program Unspools in Summer

Most high school students spend the summer watching movies, but Mamaroneck's Jeffrey Robinowitz will make a movie, along with other students participating in LMC-TV's summer workshop.

The program, which operates out of Studio 2, located on Library Lane in Mamaroneck, offers high school students an introduction to filming and the opportunity to have their work aired on the community access channel. The logistics of the summer workshops - which cost $400 per week or $1,100 for three weeks and $2,100 for six weeks - have evolved over the course of 10 years, beginning as one six-week program that met five days per week, eight hours per day.

Now they have divided it into two separate three-week workshops. "It worked and people had fun, but it was pretty grueling," executive producer of LMC-TV Erick Lewis said. Now, the kids, who range in age from 12 to 17, come in from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. - five days a week.

Just last year, when Robinowitz did his first workshop, there was a movie-making workshop and a news broadcast workshop. This year, both are movie making.

"It's great because it's a small group, maybe a dozen kids and everybody who is there really wants to be there and really wants to participate in the program," said Robinowitz, a sophomore at Rye Neck High School who did the movie-making workshop last year.

While the logistics may have changed, the formula has stayed the same. All the participants sit down, they brainstorm and then they write the script. The days are divided between filmmaking in the morning and brainstorming in the afternoon.

"It was a lot of fun making the movie," Robinowitz said. "The product, it's not amazing. But it's more about the journey rather than what's at the end of it."

During the course of the workshop, each participant rotates through jobs associated with the different stages of production.

"Everybody gets a chance to do what they would like to do, and if they don't want to do it, they don't have to," Lewis said. At the same time participants shoot the film, some shoot a documentary of the making of the film.

"That allows everybody to be active at once," Lewis said. After the workshops, which will run from June 27 through July 15 and July 18 through August 5 this year, LMC-TV shows the student's work in a big event at their studio in Mamaroneck High School in September.

"It's fun just having the movie and watching it every once in a while," said Robinowitz, who doesn't see himself pursuing a career in film making, but will return for another workshop this summer.

This year, Dena Schumacher will return for a fifth year as an instructor, while Matt Sullivan will be doing his first. "I'm very excited to be teaching the class," said Sullivan, who is a graduate of Mamaroneck High School and recently moved back from California. Both Sullivan and Schumacher are LMC-TV staff members, as well as independent filmmakers.

"The great thing about community access channels is that they allow people to have a voice," Sullivan said. "And that's what we're hoping to do with this program is give kids a voice so that they can go out into the world and say what it is they have to say."

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