Filmmaking classes offered at Rancho Santa Fe Community Center

The Rancho Santa Fe Community Center has gone a bit Hollywood this summer, bringing the art of filmmaking to local children through a partnership with the Los Angeles-based company FRESHi Films.

At last week’s summer camp Jason Medbury, a filmmaker and stuntman with FRESHi, gave the students an introduction to everything that goes into making a movie. Students pitched their movie ideas, drew up storyboards and selected their cast.

In addition to the summer camp, Friday filmmaking classes for grades second through fifth will come to the center in the fall as well as a “Baby Speilberg” animation class for kindergartners. Starting in November, they also plan to add a video game design class.

All of the filmmaking going on in Rancho Santa Fe will lead up to the first ever Family Film Festival in January.

“We’re really excited and we hope to get everyone engaged in this family event,” said Pamela Meistrell, community center director.

They then shot film around camp and learned how to edit, add special effects, as well as create a musical score and mix sounds.

“They also did stop motion animation using toys, play dough and even each other,” Medbury said.

At the end of the week, parents came into the class so the children could share what they had learned and debut their completed movies.

“They loved it,” said Marianne Witmeyer, the community center board’s vice president of programs, whose son participated in the camp.

She said the boys all loved that the instructor was a “real-life” stuntman.

The fall program will be released soon and registration is now available online. To check out FRESHi classes or other fall programs, visit