BestFest Student Films Festival offers two free filmmaking workshops Sun., May 21, and Sun., June 4

BestFest Student Film Festival, a project of Best Video Film & Cultural Center, will offer a series of two unique workshops for local high school student filmmakers. Each workshop covers an important but often misunderstood aspect of capturing a scene, led by a local professional expert from the industry.
Under the heading “Lights!” and “Camera! Action!,” the workshops will be held at 3 PM on Sun., May 21 (Lights!), and Sun., June 4 (Camera! Action!).
Each workshop will last 60-90 minutes. They are free for high school students and reservations are highly recommended.
BestFest Student Film Festival showcases films by area high school students. The festival is open to all high school students from New Haven, Connecticut, and adjacent communities (East Haven, West Haven, Hamden, North Haven, Woodbridge, and Orange). The first BestFest was held on Dec. 10, 2016.

Rebecca Abbott, professor of communications and 2010 excellence in teaching honoree. September, 2010.

• “Lights!” (May 21, 3 PM): Rebecca Abbott will cover solving common lighting challenges for a location shoot, from traditional solutions to cheap tricks for fixing lighting problems. Learn about balancing daylight and interior light, filling in shadows, tackling power concerns, and more!

Rebecca Abbott is Professor of Communications at Quinnipiac University and an Emmy-award winning independent filmmaker. Abbott’s documentary subjects range from aeromedical rescue from mid-east war zones, to the history of jazz music in New Haven, to the impact of war on Veterans and the role of arts in healing. Ireland’s Great Hunger and The Irish Diaspora, narrated by actor Gabriel Byrne, is her latest film.
• “Camera! Action!” (June 4, 3 PM): Jay Miles will detail the traditional (and non-traditional!) strategies for where to place the camera in order to best cover a scene, and address the particular challenges of location shooting. Learn about shot selection, coverage, inserts, wilds and more! Miles will also touch on some of the key elements of directing actors. From rough rehearsal, to the rhythm of calling “rolling, action, cut,” to giving notes and making adjustments. Learn about all of these strategies and more!

Jay Miles

Jay Miles has worked in TV, video, film and commercial production for over 20 years, including shows for NBC, ABC, FOX, the Discovery Channel, HGTV, Versus and DirecTV. He has taught media at East Haven High School, as well as at Quinnipiac University, Fairfield University and the CT School of Broadcasting. He has contributed to such magazines/Websites as Film Threat, Moviemaker, and, as well as on panels at events including iTVFest, the annual UFVA conference and the All American High School Film Festival. His first book, “Conquering YouTube,” combines the professional and practical tips that he has used on major shoots with the approaches that he employs to help numerous beginners reach for the stars with their own successful projects.

For more information, call (203) 287-9286 or email BestFest Student Films at BestFest Student Films can also be contacted through Twitter at @BestFestFilms. Information is also available at

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