The American Film Institute (AFI) has just launched a beta version of a new website dedicated to teen filmmakers: ScreenNation. To quote from their About page:
AFI ScreenNation is an online video posting-and-sharing community from the AFI Screen Education Center, targeted at middle- and high-school students.
Young people aged 13-18 produce and post their own videos, made in the classroom, in clubs and after-school programs, and beyond. Links for these videos will be posted all over the web, including social network pages, blogs, websites, emails and instant messages. AFI ScreenNation users can browse and view, forward, rate and tag and post comments.
AFI ScreenNation will showcase work produced by students in classrooms utilizing the AFI Screen Education filmmaking process, proven to help kids master core curriculum subjects, excel in 21st Century skills, and learn how to learn. In addition, the site launched with videos posted by students involved with a host of featured partner programs, organizations, schools, districts and festivals — a veritable portal for video as a tool for learning and personal expression.
The site will include tutorials and video challenges in addition to content from teenage filmmakers.
It is easy to think this is just a late attempt by an old-media stalwart to act hip, but in reality, AFI has been on the cutting edge of technology for ages. When QuickTime 1.0 came into being, Sony and Apple helped form the Advanced Technology Program at AFI Hollywood, which is where the two of us were originally introduced into this field. Their “The Cutting Edge” salons hosted by Scott Billups is where we learned techniques and formed our chops, and was the inspiration for Motion Graphics Los Angeles (MGLA). Lately, they’ve been the host of an interactive media incubator which has been very active, the Digital Content Lab. And there’s nothing like having “AFI” on your resume inside Hollywood. So if you know (or are!) a teenage aspiring filmmaker, hook them up.