A lot of things changed this go around at the SkillsUSA National Digital Cinema competition for 2023. Last year we began the process of altering the rules to the Digital Cinema competition to be less of a 48-hour film contest and more of a celebration of the students and their films. We really wanted to bring some of the benefits of a film festival to SkillsUSA. This is something we had been wanting to do for quite some time, and the day had finally arrived.
The biggest change was that now students were able to take their time and make their films while in their home cities. This allowed the students to spend much more time and to put their skills to work towards a project that could be used to get into a great film school. We were not disappointed, the entries this year were far better than anything we had seen in years prior.
With all the students and teachers arriving in Atlanta, it was now time to screen them all in front of the students and guests. This part was especially fun because none of the years prior were the students allowed to see anyone else's movies.
The students loved it! They all got to see everyone's films, and it really set the tone for fellowship and friendships to emerge.
With the students not having to produce a film on site, there was plenty of time to teach and workshop their projects. We brought several teams up in front of the entire group where we worked through their scripts, allowing the students to alter their original shooting scripts.
We then gathered together in a large group and demonstrated how a large film crew stays on schedule, and how to shoot a particular scene. The students quickly developed a bar fight scene, and a positions were filled with each student.
Finally, it was the last night of the competition. We all got dressed up for the premier of that last few films. We walked the proverbial red carpet and had our pictures taken with each team. It was a great ending to the best SkillsUSA we've ever chaired.
Congratulations to every team from every state! The films were light years beyond what previous years have been. We're tremendously proud of each and ever one of you.