Lights, Camera, Action for SMCC New Media students at Boot Camp

The Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) Communications & New Media program debuted nine Boot Camp student films on campus last week.

Video Boot Camp is a nine-credit, six-week intensive course where students create a seven- to ten-minute short film. Throughout the six weeks, students work in small production squads and take turns directing, shooting, and acting.

Professor Corey Norman said the short-term, high-output boot camp is as close as it gets to real-world experience.

“This event is the culmination of the student’s hard work. And by culmination, I mean we just uploaded the last video seven minutes ago,” Norman said. “So we work right up until the deadline. That’s what can happen on an actual movie set.”

Video Boot Camp students agreed that the timeline made things stressful, but the ability to finish a project under those circumstances, was rewarding.

Student Kayla Harding felt invigorated by the short-term nature of the class and project.

“It’s been very fun, and we’ve learned to work under pressure and resolve issues that come up in real-time,” Harding said.

Another student, Joy Lemont, said her favorite part of the process was the final build stage.

“The best thing about this class was genuinely making mistakes and learning what not to do,” Lamont said. “It was nice to see it all come together because most of the time, we didn’t know if it would.”

Professor Norman said making mistakes is an essential part of the process for filmmakers.

“No matter how hard we try, there is going to be a mistake on every single project,” Norman said. “This boot camp brings you through all of the phases. Students often go back after making mistakes, reshoot things, learn from them, and create better material.”

Norman said that while this is a fantastic business with many fun moments, it’s also demanding work.

“It’s fun and games, but it is probably one of the hardest working professions out there. Our average set days are 12 plus hours. There are an immense amount of organizational and interpersonal skills that come into play,” Norman said. “This course is a lot of hard work, but SMCC students gain an experience like no other around Maine.”

Event photos can be found on the SMCC Flickr page.

The 2022 SMCC Boot Camp Films Include:

Shin Splints: The S stands for Super 

  • Writer/Director/Editor: Gabe Hirst
  • Photography: Hirruy Hagos, Zach Wheaton
  • Sound: Elora Griswold, Zach Wheaton

The View From Eastern Promenade Road

  • Writer/Director/Editor: Elora Griswold
  • Photography: Elora Griswold, Gabe Hirst
  • Sound: Hirruy Hagos

Forced Famine: Tigray, Ethiopia

  • Writer/Director/Editor: Hirruy Hagos
  • Photography: Gabe Hirst
  • Sound: Elora Griswold

Dead Girl Walking

  • Writer/Director/Editor: Ashlynn Wescott
  • Photography: Andi Hammond
  • Sound: Emma Jordan

The Word of Munch

  • Writer/Director/Editor: Emma Jordan
  • Photography: Ashlynn Wescott
  • Sound: Andi Hammond

It’s About Time

  • Writer/Director/Editor: Andi Hammond
  • Photography: Emma Jordan
  • Sound: Ashlynn Wescott


  • Writer/Director/Editor: Kira Kennedy
  • Photography: Joy Lemont
  • Sound: Kayla Harding


  • Writer/Director/Editor: Kayla Harding
  • Photography: Kira Kennedy, Kayla Harding
  • Sound: Joy Lemont

Year Walker

  • Writer/Director/Editor: Joy Lemont
  • Photography: Kayla Harding
  • Sound: Kira Kennedy