An Inside Look into Chamblee’s Film Club (SkillsUSA Georgia)


Photo courtesy of Joseph Rodriguez.

Etta Potthoff, Reporter

The film is an art that is valued by all, and while the majority of us enjoy the final product some are more interested in the behind-the-scenes of nuanced filmmaking. Chamblee’s Film Club, a sector of SkillsUSA Georgia, is made up of a creative group of students who are passionate about filmmaking.

SkillsUSA officer Sydney Grove (‘24) explains the technicalities of the club format.

“SkillsUSA is a club that is at a bunch of different schools, but each chapter is different, so it focuses on a different technical skill. A lot of them are business-related or medical-related but the chapter at Chamblee is focused on the production of short films.”

The club posts its short films on YouTube, and most of the time they enter their works into various film festivals. At the moment, they are working on a project for the DeKalb Tech Festival. Shruti Nainwal (’24) mentioned an upcoming California trip/competition scheduled in March.

“We’ll have to produce a film in a given amount of time and we won’t know the prompt. Usually, [the film] is less than five minutes in duration.”

The creative filmmaking process requires several different talents. Sound editor Joseph Rodriguez (24’) discussed his perspective regarding the overall process that collaboration requires.

“I do sound, but we take more time on script writing than the actual filming. We do put a lot of effort into thinking about what we want to do, we usually just gather around for a certain meeting, and we’ll discuss ideas, and then we’ll bounce off those ideas, and then it just creates itself.”

The club recently completed a full short film and submitted it to a horror festival. Junior Megan O’Donnell gave a synopsis.

“It has an element of mystery and horror to it. Basically, there’s this girl and she goes missing. Everyone is now saying that they knew the girl but, they really didn’t.” Fearing she would spoil it, O’Donnell ended her description there.

President Nadira Peterson (‘23) gave insight into the group dynamics and how she allows each member to voice their opinions.

“I would say that we try to be a fully collaborative team, which can be kind of difficult because there are a lot of people, but I try to have everybody get their own little say on our films.”

Peterson describes the creative process:

“I try to use Sydney’s input a lot because she’s also in theater. I feel like she just has a kind of mind for how shots would look. I also try to consult our [other] officers, so Megan, Shruti, Ethan, and Aaryan. I try to ask them, ‘do you guys think this looks good?’ If it doesn’t, we try to workshop it so that the shot actually looks good.”

These film talents tell us that they are growing stronger as a club. Film Editor, Ethan Orellana, summed it up: “I feel like just this year we’ve come to a lot farther in cinematography, in terms of the equipment and the material and what we’ve been trying to do for SkillsUSA. So I’ll definitely be doing it next year.”

If you are looking to expand your creative palate, look no further, said Orellana. “It’s on the fourth floor, room 4144 in the AV lab. We would love new members, that’d be awesome.”