Grandin Theatre Film Lab Showcase holds 7th annual showcase

Published: May. 30, 2023 at 10:33 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Many of us have sat in the seats of the Grandin Theatre to catch a movie. But what was on the big screen Tuesday night, was the work of 17 high school students in our hometowns for the 7th annual Grandin Theatre Film Lab Showcase.

“The students write the screenplays, they get the actors together, they shoot the movie, they record the sound, they set up the lights, they edit it, they’re doing the whole nine; we’re just there to help them along the way throughout the process,” said Tyler Lyon, program director for the Grandin Theatre Film Lab.

The Grandin Theatre Film Lab began in 2016 and students work all school year for this final project.

“It feels great. It feels like it’s really supportive. It feels like I need to make another film afterwards. It’s very motivational, and I love doing it. And this is the part I love the most,” said James Lee, who just graduated from North Cross School and has spent four years in the program.

For Lyon, it means a lot to know how hard the students have worked to get here.

“Every time that you’re on set within, you see the the light bulbs going off in their head, and you can just, like, physically see them learning something new. And it’s really exciting to have them go through the entire process. And finally get a night like tonight to celebrate all that hard work and see it all come together,” said Lyon.

For students in the program like Lee, the skills they learn go far beyond the classroom.

“It was very useful to learn how to do these skills and how to adapt. And every single year picking up a new weapon in my arsenal to use and I think that’s really important. What it taught me is just how to progress and learn new things,” said Lee.

Lyon enjoys being able to prepare students for their futures.

“Film Lab really teaches students to be resilient. And they face a lot of challenges with scheduling, with planning, with shooting, with editing and it just helps them build soft skills as well as technical skills that you need to be competitive in today’s world,” said Lyon.

Film Lab is searching for applicants for next year’s class. Any high school student in the Roanoke Valley is eligible to be involved. For more information, head to the website here.