On Thursday, December 21, professional stunt coordinator Manny Siverio visited Solebury School to oversee safety and teach students some of the skills required in their recreation of a scene from the original movie, The Fast and the Furious. With over 500 films and TV shows to his credit, Manny (shown, left) offered sage advice and tricks-of-the-trade that transformed our students' production exercise into a unique and safe learning experience.
Solebury's Scene by Seen class is a hands-on introduction to producing and directing, taught by Doug Claybourne and Laura Napier, an award-winning producer and writer/director team. In the class, students learn multiple filmmaking techniques by staging and re-shooting scenes from film while discussing the producing and directorial elements, the aesthetics, and the philosophy of the individual director and/or producer during the making of the feature film. For this particular lesson, sophomore Filippo Meozzi (shown, red cap) directed the shoot performed by our student actors, juniors Gabe Parsons and Chanler Sharpe.
Why The Fast and the Furious for this lesson? "Each trimester my co-instructor, Laura Napier, and I let the students choose scenes from a film that I produced or assistant-directed to recreate in class," explained instructor Doug Claybourne, who served as executive producer of the film in 2001. "This group knew immediately what movie they wanted." A veteran of the industry, Doug has produced or assistant directed some of Hollywood's most unforgettable films, including Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now, The Escape Artist, The Black Stallion, Rumble Fish, Peggy Sue Got Married, War of the Roses, The Mask of Zorro, and many more.
"We want to give the kids real working knowledge of the film industry," Laura said. "By the time the course is over, the students have filled each crew role, acted in scenes, and worked with pros like Manny. They are getting real, hands-on experience."
"I think working with Doug has been a fantastic learning experience and has inspired me to do so much more with film," said Filippo. "Doug is a great resource to have and he has great connections within the film community such as his colleague, Manny, who helped me learn how to frame physical interactions between the actors in the shot. Doug and Laura's class has inspired me to write my own short film, and I am currently working on a script with two of my friends who are also in the class."