Friday, June 17, 2005

The talent is in Gooding

Hollywood cinematographer to lead film camp


Students set up a shot at last year?s WSC film camp.

For aspiring Spielbergs or just habitual film buffs who have always wanted a chance to sit in the director's chair, Western States College's second annual film camp is being held June 27 to July 2 in Gooding.

Leading the weeklong filmmaking camp will be Vito Giambalvo, Los Angeles-based director and Emmy-nominated cinematographer.

Giambalvo has worked in many areas of the film and television industries. He has written scripts for classic American sitcoms such as "The Jeffersons," and worked alongside the real Spielberg operating cameras for the major motion picture "Minority Report," starring Tom Cruise.

The Western State College film camp, originally launched by Giambalvo and WSC founder Michael Clair, is a five-day intensive course offering students the opportunity to produce their own short films. Students of all ages will learn the nuts and bolts of film production—from lighting to casting, directing to editing.

"It's like a boot camp," said Clair, who recalls days last year that started at 9 a.m. and sometimes would not finish until after midnight.

Students will be broken into small groups of five to seven pupils with each group given the challenge of creating a 10-minute short film, often a comedy or action short.

Students are not required to bring their own cameras.

"We have all the gear," said Clair, referring to the plentiful lighting, sound and video equipment donations he received from a Los Angeles television production studio in 2003.

After writing an initial script, students will immediately begin shooting their films.

"It's guerilla film making," said Clair, who credits Giambalvo with many of the camp's unique approaches.

Movies created at the camp will be entered into no less than three film festivals, giving students a legitimate chance of being accepted into festivals such as Telluride and Sundance, which both accepted WSC films last year. This year, Clair plans on expanding into European festivals as well.

Thanks to his Web site,, Clair's camp has seen increasing national popularity in the past two summers. With students arriving from as far away as the East Coast, several Gooding families have volunteered to provide housing for far-flung students.

The price for the weeklong camp is $395, and 20 spots are available this summer. In addition to this weeklong program, WSC also offers a slower paced, five-week filmmaking seminar. For more information, call Clair at 208-733-7695, 208-934-4881 or e-mail at

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