Warner Bros. has partnered with the Los Angeles Unified School District and nonprofits Young Storytellers and Ghetto Film School to create two in-school programs, Story Lab and First Cut, in an effort to cultivate the next generation of storytellers and filmmakers.
The programs are spearheaded by the studio’s social impact platform, WB Good. The initiatives have already had a test run through 10-week programs piloted in 16 middle and high schools across Los Angeles. The partnership offers students the chance to gain awareness of career opportunities in the entertainment business and storytelling skills that could be a stepping stone to work as writers and filmmakers. More than 30 teachers and 1,500 students took part in the pilot programs that will continue in the 2018-19 school year.
“These programs allow Warner Bros. to use our strengths and resources to make a real difference by inspiring and empowering the next generation of storytellers,” Warner Bros. chairman-CEO Kevin Tsujihara said. “We have incredible partners in LAUSD, Young Storytellers, and Ghetto Film School, and working together, we’re literally changing these students’ lives. I’m very proud of this initiative and the great work of everyone involved.”
Story Lab, developed in partnership by Warner Bros., Young Storytellers, and LAUSD’s Arts Education Branch and Division of Instruction, delivers original curriculum to sixth-grade middle school students that focuses on core storytelling skills while reinforcing confidence, empathy, and personal voice through self-reflection and creativity. Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment lent the use of its DC Super Heroes as a tool to get students to think about heroes in their lives and their own “super powers.”
First Cut, launched by Warner Bros., Ghetto Film School, and LAUSD’s Arts Education Branch, aims to teach filmmaking skills to high school students by providing teachers with a range of curriculum options and materials. The goal is for participants to shoot a short film from start to finish.