Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Film, game club at Mitchell High helps students hone useful skills

NEW PORT RICHEY — A group of students at Mitchell High School formed a video game club last year, and within months had created an award-winning short film and begun work on a high-tech video game.

And that's just the beginning for the Mustang Film and Game Creation Club.

"They're learning about making things and getting them to work," said Leith Taylor, the school's career and technical education teacher of digital media/multimedia production. "They're learning how the real world works."

It was his students, Taylor said, who specifically requested a club in which they could produce their own films and video games. Instrumental in this effort was student Christian Hernandez, a YouTube artist and filmmaker who plans in the future to become a director.

"I've always had an interest in drawing, and at first I thought I would draw for the movies," said Hernandez, 17. "But as I learned more about the movie-making process, I thought, 'People actually do this for a living?' I wanted to make movies."

Hernandez organized and spearheaded the club's participation in the Pasco County Sheriff's Office Making Good Decisions contest, a competition that challenged students to plan, script, produce and act in a short video that addresses the importance of healthy choices and responsible living.

The fledgling club finished first in the competition, following up with various video challenges that have raised and sharpened their skill level. Responding to cues and concepts supplied by club organizers, they script, perform and produce short films with the aid of the Apple Final Cut Pro and Adobe programs.

"With all of this stuff at our disposal, we're developing a better work ethic and growing as producers," said club vice president Gavin Growe, a 17-year-old senior. "It's all about getting stuff done on time, and high quality."

Other members of the club specialize in video game design, using Adobe Photoshop and the Unreal Engine, a cutting-edge design platform.

Currently, students are designing the programming and graphics portions of a game that centers on a challenge — one that encourages players to perform tasks that will allow them to escape from trap-laden rooms.

"I try to play video games every day, and have since I was little," said Tiffany Johnson, 17. "Through this club, I'm learning more about graphics, drawing and models. I love the idea that, through creating my own games, people will enjoy something I made."

"I love having the ability to create something, to make designs," agreed Lindsey Chapman, 16. "And since I joined the club, I'm getting the experience of working in a team. It's getting easier for me to talk in group settings."

Mitchell substitute teacher Nicole Trapp, a club adviser and game designer, agrees that teamwork is the key to success in the Mustang Film and Game Creation Club.

"These students come together through teamwork to put together a work, piece by piece, to create the whole design," Trapp said. "This is the skill that they will take with them, whatever they do."

Film, game club at Mitchell High helps students hone useful skills 02/03/17 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 8, 2017 5:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pasco deputies: Wife set estranged husband's bed on fire with him in it


    NEW PORT RICHEY — James Brennan Jr. woke early in the morning Thursday to find the foot of his bed in flames.

    Eva Brennan [Photo Courtesy of the Pasco County Sheriff's Office]
  2. 20 great images from around the globe for July 21 to July 28


    Photos of the week for July 21 - July 28: A child bidding farewell to a beloved manatee, racers competing at the Brickyard 400 and the Tour de France, migrants desperately fighting for their lives in the Mediterranean and migrants tragically losing their lives in San Antonio, an athlete and an adorable little kid, a …

    Incoming White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, right, blowing a kiss after answering questions during the press briefing in the Brady Press Briefing room of the White House in Washington, Friday, July 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
  3. Rubio, Nelson look on as McCain delivers blow on health care


    Watch the dramatic moment when Sen. John McCain strides into the chamber and delivers the blow.

  4. Video: Officer told Venus Williams she caused fatal crash (w/video)


    FORT LAUDERDALE — Video shows a police officer told tennis start Venus Williams she likely caused a crash that fatally injured an elderly man but didn't cite her, saying it appeared the actions of a third driver left her in a bad spot.

    In this Jan. 28 file photo, Venus Williams answers questions at a press conference at the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia. [AP photo]
  5. Florida 'Dreamers' worry Obama-era protection will disappear


    Andrea Seabra imagined the worst if Donald Trump won: "I thought on the first day he would say, 'DACA is done' and send immigration officers to every house."

    Mariana Sanchez Ramirez, 23, poses on the Tampa campus of the University of South Florida.