Crash Course – MoPic at Rock Valley College
Making a movie from start to finish in 8 weeks
By Jerry LaBuy, M.F.A.
When I was first brought in to teach advanced filmmaking classes at Rock Valley College, a community college in Rockford, IL, I was particularly excited to see a course called COM 297 on the schedule that everyone just called “MoPic.” MoPic is officially called Motion Picture Production, but nobody really calls it that. It is an 8-week intensive and hands-on filmmaking class for our advanced Mass Communication students. It is part of our 10 course Media Production certificate, which provides a solid base of knowledge and projects for our students who may be transferring to a 4-year school upon completion or directly entering the workforce. MoPic had no set schedule or plan when I began teaching it in 2008. It had been many things before my involvement, but I knew what I wanted it to be. I wanted the students to see all the steps I had used as a professional filmmaker for development, pre-pro, production, post, and distribution so that they could replicate and apply that to their own work. It took a couple of semesters to work out the specifics exactly, but it has grown into one of the most real-world and effective classes in our department.
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