By Daniela Jalteco
The East Los Angeles College Amateur Film Group nurtures interest in film and facilitates the exploration of the various avenues in the film industry.
The film group is funded by the Associated Student Union and started a year ago when Vice President David Mancila and other members came up with the idea of starting a film club.
They wanted to create a club for people interested in the film industry to help them learn about acting, directing, producing, cinematography and other film aspects, as well as networking within the film industry.
“We want to have a space for students to be able to express themselves creatively, but also build the skills that they will need later on for their career,” Mancila said.
The film group serves through four different functions, also known as the four pillars: field trips, making projects, discussing visual media and organizing events on campus.
Mancila said they organize field trips for the members so they can explore and see what the film industry is about.
The group creates events for the school in which they have film screenings.
Members pitch ideas for film projects and work on them together. They also discuss visual media to examine how other film directors create films, as well as techniques used and individual styles.
The group has half a dozen projects planned, one of them which is a nearly-finished 30-minute short horror film that is currently in post-production.
“The club’s slogan is ‘There is no stupid idea,’ and that’s what I like about it, that they are very open to ideas, very accepting and everybody is involved,” AFG member Gabriel Martin Del Campo said.
Del Campo, who is part of an Australian football team, pitched an idea about documenting his journey and his training throughout the season until the finals for the United States Australian Football League. The group members would also document him to see if he makes the cut for the U.S. national team.
That idea is now a project that the group members are actively working on and filming.
“The club has a welcoming environment, full of friendly, aspiring film artists. (There is) a lot of interaction and opportunities to not only learn, but get help to accomplish their goals,” president of AFG James Cruz said.
Those interested in joining AFG do not have to be experienced or necessarily knowledgeable in the film industry. The only requirement is to be an ELAC student in order to join the club.
Interested students just have to attend any of the club meetings, which are held every week on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in F7-111.
Any interested student can also message the club’s Facebook page at ELAC Amateur Film Group.
“I want people to know there is a club out there where they can share their ideas without having to be scared and that there are people here who can support their ideas,” Cruz said.