LA’s underserved youth are left to fend for themselves without a network of support. And those who care are left without a clear way to help. But what if this story could be rewritten? With Kids In The Spotlight, it can. One movie at a time…
Script-to-Screen At a Glance:
- 10- or 15-week workshops throughout the year
- Week 1-5: Screenwriting classes (using Final Draft)
- Week 6-8: Acting classes
- Week 9: Casting classes
- Week 10: Film Production (one 12-hour day)
- Week 11-15: Editing Classes (using Avid, Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere)
- The programming year culminates in the KITS Film Awards – part movie premiere, part awards show – akin to the Academy Awards
Kids In The Spotlight’s flagship Script-to-Screen program uses film as a vehicle to change the life trajectories of youth who feel overlooked and forgotten. A trauma-informed modality, Script-to-Screen offers youth career exploration into the entertainment industry while folding therapeutic experiences into the program’s vocational training, using the power of storytelling to help our youth face their pain and find their power. KITS young filmmakers (age groups 12-17, 18-24) write, cast, and star in their own short films under the mentorship of industry professionals, from writers and actors to directors and their crews.
The program prepares youth for entry-level jobs and media arts internships, opens the door to a network of industry peers and mentors, and builds our youth’s self-confidence to pursue higher education and career paths they may have otherwise deemed unattainable. Therapists and representatives from the Department of Children and Family Services say that because we empower foster youth to tell their stories their way, our program is one of L.A.’s most effective tools for teaching local youth impacted by foster care to take ownership of their lives.
Independence and resiliency are as important, if not more so, than hard skills gained through KITS programs. In the words of KITS alumna Aliah W., “Kids In The Spotlight showed me that my voice is powerful and gave me the confidence to connect with the rest of the world.”
With every film, partners like you help to fund, you change the trajectory of young lives. Through our programming, KITS services benefit engaged youth by lifting their voices and creating visibility for their experiences. Our participants absorb hands-on career exploration in film as they express individual and collaborative creativity through the Script-to-Screen program, where they gain industry professional mentors in writing, acting, casting, and production.
WRITING CLASSES [5 weeks]
Working as teams in writers’ rooms, students learn how to pitch stories, write short scripts, and create plot development. After a table read in front of industry professionals, students use the feedback for final rewrites.
ACTING CLASSES [3 weeks]
Participants work on using diction, articulation, active listening, body movement, and emotional connection to develop and build their characters.
AUDITIONS & CASTING [2 weeks]
Students audition for the roles they created and serve as casting directors for any outside roles they want to fill with older &/or younger actors.
PRODUCTION DAY [12-hour day]
Directors and their crews (of up to 40 volunteers and partners) serve as mentors for the behind-the-scenes roles as the young filmmakers bring their stories to life in front of the cameras, as well, in a single shoot day.
KITS FILM AWARDS
The program year culminates in a celebration where our youth take center stage in the spotlight. They receive the Academy Award-worthy treatment they deserve (hair, make-up, wardrobe, limousine rides, a red carpet experience, film premiere with celebrity guests and KITS Film Awards for best actors, screenplays and films) at venues like Paramount Pictures Studios and Regal L.A. Live.