For one week in July, The Ingersoll-Blackwelder house, 10910 S. Prospect, was transformed into a movie set when 14 teen filmmakers arrived to make a television pilot. The teens were participating in a workshop offered by Fresh Films, an organization based at Augustana College in Rock Island, that provides teens around the country chances to gain experience in film through summer programs that pair youth with industry professionals.
The teens used the local historic Victorian house at the setting for a spooky TV show about a young woman who inherits her grandmother’s inn then discovers she has the power to communicate with the ghostly guests that inhabit it. The pilot will be reviewed by executives from Amazon Studios and Disney Channel Original Movies, and the young filmmakers hope it will be picked up. The pilot will be available on the Fresh Films website in fall.
In addition to filmmaking the teens participating in Fresh Films workshops also engage in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) careers that are part of the film industry. Sandra Biedron, owner of the Ingersoll-Blackwelder home is a physicist and engineer, and was thrilled to have the teens filming here in Beverly/Morgan Park.
“I love how Fresh Films is melding the excitement of film with science and technology,” Biedron said. “There are many careers like VFX, sound engineering, even lights and camera that need STEM skills.”
The teens will develop career skills as they work on a Hollywood-style film set alongside professionals, getting a chance to experience working in lighting, audio, camera and producing. Now that filming has wrapped, the teens are participating in four-week internships with Chicago companies.
Fresh Films, a not-for-profit arm of Dreaming Tree Films, has been offering teen filmmaking projects since 2002. For more information, visit www.fresh-films.com.