Peninsula Village Wraps First Film Camp

Peninsula Village residents finish pilot film camp program, the first of its kind in any adolescent residential treatment facility.

Knoxville, TN, December 30, 2007 --( Peninsula Village residents recently took part in “The PSA Film Camp,” a pilot program initiated by Susan Kemppainen, Learning and Organization Development, and the Children’s Theater of Knoxville, and made possible by a grant through the Fort Sanders Foundation.

Children’s Theater of Knoxville (CTK) was co-founded by Jenny Ballard, who works as a media consultant for Covenant Health, and Zack Allen. CTK is a non-profit organization that relies on grant funding to offer programs such as classes and workshops.

The goal of the camp was to produce two broadcast quality PSAs (public service announcements) while learning and using basic life skills gained and honed through the filmmaking process. After making sure all legal, Integrity Compliance and HIPAA guidelines were met for working with Children’s Theater, Steve Petty, Peninsula Village administrator; Bob Pegler, manager of community relations and recovery services, and Barbara Blevins, Parkwest CAO (Peninsula is a division of Parkwest) gave the green light for the camp.

The target group for the camp was 8-10 teens, which is equal to one cabin of patients. For the pilot camp, the female residents of the Coyote Cabin were chosen to participate.

The camp started on Oct. 24 and ran for five days. Kemppainen, Ballard and Allen led the group at Peninsula Village. Each day began with a series of listening and focusing exercises, along with physical and mental warm-up exercises, since these life skills are at the heart of the filmmaking process. Education in practical skills of filmmaking was mingled with education in creative skills, all focused on reinforcing positive behaviors and life decisions. Day one focused on introducing the teens to the fundamentals of filmmaking. On day two residents got their first “hands-on” film activity of the week by shooting “practice PSAs.” The cabin was split into two smaller groups, each with a lead instructor. Each group was responsible for creating and shooting two PSAs, dealing with the target issues identified on day one. The “practice PSAs” were edited from their raw format to finished products on the evening of day two. Day three began with the teens viewing their finished products, giving them better understanding of the brief PSA format, while still providing them with a tangible accomplishment to celebrate. Day three was also spent brainstorming about the in-house and public PSAs and learning the basics of the storyboard drawing process. Storyboarding gives a filmmaker an outline and guide for producing a project such as the PSAs. The actual storyboarding process was completed on day four, with the remainder of the day spent shooting the PSAs. The last day, day five was spent finishing up their PSA’s.

The camp exceeded expectations. It was the inaugural event for CTK and the first of its kind in an adolescent residential behavioral facility. Two excellent PSAs were created, developed and produced by the girls; and, the camp achieved the goals of introducing theatre arts/film production as a way of approaching life skills such as communication, negotiation, working in teams, and decision making. “The film camp has achieved a secondary benefit to the participants-giving them a career choice to consider. Several of the girls have expressed interest in pursuing a career in film production,” Kemppainen said.

Peninsula Village is anxious for the camp to be an on-going program, hoping to have six such camps in 2008.

Peninsula Village
Kim Nicley