Spring 2008 Events and Other Fun Stuff

Happy spring, Mobile Film School Friends and Fans!

We’ve got more great news and updates for you all to enjoy today! We love keeping in touch with you and hope you’ll share our great mission with others down the road.

Here are the highlights of this newsletter:

Scroll down for more info!

March Documentary Workshop in Del Valle

The Mobile Film School's third digital filmmaking workshop took place from March 15-22, 2008 in Del Valle, Texas, a rural community located south east of Austin. In partnership with the Del Valle ISD, fifteen students, ranging in age from 14 to 18, participated in a one-week documentary workshop, clocking in over 100 hours. Industry instructors and guest speakers included:

  • Jim Hart (Screenwriter) – Story Structure,
  • Bill Crawford (Owner, Mapache) – Interviewing Techniques,
  • Kate Dawson (Independent film editor) – Editing, and
  • Barry Coffing (Owner, MusicSupervisor.com) – Music for Film.

Click here to see the Animoto photo slideshow from the workshop.

Workshop Firsts:

Del Valle was the first community to allow all their students to participate in our workshop during regular school hours, serving as a model for other districts to follow.

In addition, Del Valle was our first community where we implemented a culinary instruction component to enhance our workshops. Del Valle High School culinary instructor, Dayle Hickman, taught seven culinary students about healthy food preparation & culinary industry service techniques as they prepared three meals a day for our workshop participants. Because of the amount of hours the Del Valle culinary students worked (60-80), the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation awarded them credit for an internship and presented them with a certificate of completion.

Community Impact:

The Del Valle students’ short documentary, ’Til Death Do Us Part?, focuses on the state of marriage and divorce today, told from the personal experiences of the students and their parents. Due to the intensely personal subject matter, the students developed strong peer bonds. Since the workshop, the group has reformed their Film Club, which had disbanded due to lack of film knowledge. The Monday after their screening, students were already planning their first film project.

In partnership with the Austin School of Film, who provided post-production equipment, software, and support.

We’d like to thank the generous partners and sponsors of this workshop:

  • Carmelo's Restaurant
  • Cliff Bar Company
  • JS Distributing
  • MusicSupervisor.com
  • Omega Broadcast Group
  • Sweet Leaf Tea
  • SONY
  • TricksterFilms

In Association with:

  • Del Valle ISD
  • Texas Restaurant Association Foundation

This program is made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in ’Til Death Do Us Part? do not necessarily represent those of Humanities Texas or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Lisa at AFI/Dallas International Film Festival '08

Lisa and the Mobile Film School hosted a student pitch session at the AFI/Dallas International Film Festival on Friday April 4. The Mobile Film School’s Student Pitch Sessions are presented during film festivals and teach the art of pitching film ideas to industry professionals. This provides a valuable experience for not only the students who pitch but the entire audience.

In addition to holding the student pitch session, Lisa participated in a panel entitled “A New Generation: Teen Filmmakers Today”. The panel explored how digital cameras and laptop editing have made it much easier and accessible for young filmmakers to bring their visions to life. Questions raised during the panel included: Are young people still learning the storytelling techniques and creative fundamentals that have informed movie making for decades? And, are the choices that student filmmakers have to make different than the ones made by previous generations?

The panel moderator was Mark Bell, Editor in Chief of Film Threat and panelists included Lisa McWilliams, Executive Director Mobile Film School; Patty Schubert, Garland High School International Baccalaureate Film Department Head; Joe Brittain, Teen Filmmaker from Garland High School; and Jorge Arzac, Student Director/Writer

MFS Manor workshop film on KLRU

Our Manor film In a Place Like This will be showcased on April 17th at 7:30 on KLRU’s Docubloggers program. For more info about this program and to watch past featured films, go to this site.

PowerFlickers Short Film Showcase

On May 3rd, 2008, MFS will be screening short films by regional filmmakers at the PowerFlickers Short Film Showcase during the Pecan Street Festival in downtown Austin. This year we will be screening at the newly renovated Ritz Theatre, thanks to our hosts at the Alamo Drafthouse. To volunteer or for submission information, contact Kristina Mann (Kristina@mobilefilmschool.org)

Going Green Earth Project

Texas State University SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) Chapter is hosting the Going Green Earth Project, sponsored by Dell, where people come out and enjoy food, drinks, entertainment, but most importantly bring in old computers and electronics to recycle. The event will be held in Sewell Park in San Marcos, TX on April 22nd, 2008. MFS staff and participating MFS alumni will be doing the behind-the-scenes video for the event. This is a great opportunity for MFS alumni & volunteers to continue to use and improve their film and media skills!

SIFE is a not-for-profit organization supported by individuals, foundations, and corporations whose mission is to build collegiate SIFE Teams who teach free enterprise in order to better individuals, communities, and countries. SIFE's purpose is accomplished through the SIFE Team's outreach projects where students and faculty involve the community in the free enterprise system, providing the students with an opportunity to teach others what they have learned.

For more information please visit this site.

Music Video

MFS alumni are working with MFS staff, interns and volunteers to create a promotional music video for local artist Jason Marbach, a Texas musician who plays shows all over the Southwest. Production is expected to commence in April of 2008 for completion sometime summer 2008. This is another great opportunity for MFS alumni & volunteers to hone their film and media skills!

To find out more about Jason and his music, visit www.jasonmarbach.com

Mobile Film School is the “Non-Profit of the Month” at Whole Foods!

To compliment the events of SXSW here in Austin, Whole Foods invited MFS to be highlighted as their non-profit of the month last month. Thanks again to Whole Foods for including us!

MFS Radio Interview on Sunday 03/09/08

See our website soon to hear Mark Schoenfeld interviewing Lisa McWilliams on the radio program, Inside Austin which aired on Sunday 3/9/08 on MAGIC 95.5, MIX 94.7, Talk Radio 1370 AM! This is our second anniversary catch up interview. Lisa was interviewed for the same time slot last year. It was exciting to see how much has happened in one year.

Alumni News

  • Four Elgin Alumni, Adam Williams, Devin Soto, Tyler Mann, and Tomas Segura, participated in the SXSW M.A.F.I.A. through the Austin School of Film last month.
  • Adam Williams and Tomas Segura also starred in an Elgin High School play called Johnny Belinda, which they performed on April 4th and 5th. Adam received an honorable mention for his part in the play.

Call for Interns/Americorps*VISTA Position

MFS is looking to fill an Americorps*VISTA position for technical assistance. This is a PAID position.

For more info about requirements, compensation and how to apply, see: http://ctcvista.org/apply/vista. To start the application process, scroll down to the listing for Mobile Film School, check the box next to it and submit your name and email address at the bottom.

VISTA member Service will take place July 2008 - July 2009 Please do no apply if you will not be available to serve during this entire period. Deadline: May 1st! Earlier is better as positions will fill up.

MFS is also looking for unpaid interns for the following positions for the summer and fall semesters:

  • Technical & Web Development: Website content management, development, and design; maintaining and networking office computers & printers; troubleshooting technical problems; assist in the development, beta-testing, and implementation of business management software.
  • Production/Editing: assist in development, production & post production of in-house promotional videos, video projects, workshop behind-the-scenes videos, and faculty podcasts for website.
  • Event Management: assist in coordination of people, volunteers, services, planning and scheduling of various promotional events.
  • Workshop Development: assist in faculty, staff & student coordination, pre-production organization (equipment, locations, catering, scheduling), workshop production management, curriculum development, press & promotion, processing student applications.
  • Marketing & Promotion: assist in development & coordination of promotional events & workshops, develop promotional materials such as monthly newsletters and press releases, promotion packets & materials, and update and maintain online networking communities.
  • Community Outreach: assist in developing our Alumni, faculty, staff and Board database, updating current status of everyone’s work and contact information, organize & communicate industry opportunities to all alumni, faculty and staff
  • Administrative: implementing research projects, answering phones, responding to information requests from industry professionals, staff and the general public, assist in event and workshop operations, and performing routine clerical tasks such as running errands, data entry, photocopying, filing and faxing.


  • Ability to work 12-20 hours per week (in at least four-hour time blocks) at our office in downtown, east Austin, TX. Applicants not located in the Austin area must acknowledge in their cover letter that they are prepared to reside in the Austin or surrounding areas for the entire duration of the internship. We are unable to provide assistance in obtaining housing or transportation.
  • The internship is a volunteer position and is NOT paid.
  • Demonstrates professional interest in film, education and nonprofit industries.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Current enrollment in an undergraduate or graduate degree program is preferred but not required. Interns are not required to receive course credit, but may be eligible.


Send a formal cover letter and résumé to Kristina Mann, Director of Business Affairs, at:

Mobile Film School
PO Box 6158
Austin, TX 78702-6158
Fax: (512) 906-2424

Email: Kristina@mobilefilmschool.org

(Please email cover letter and résumé as either a Microsoft Word or an Adobe PDF document.)

How You Can Help :)

We have so much going on around this time of year, and we could use your help! Here are some ways you can pitch in:

  • Mobile Film School has recently partnered with Giveline.com and Goodsearch.com to give you an easy way to help with our ongoing fundraising. Giveline.com is an online store with merchandise ranging from appliances to DVDs, and by requesting Mobile Film School while using this link a portion of what you buy will be donated to Mobile Film School.
  • Goodsearch, www.goodsearch.com is a search engine powered by Yahoo that donates 50% of its ad revenue to member charities. Just input Mobile Film School in the charity search engine, and make Goodsearch your search engine!
  • As always, we appreciate any monetary donations. You can easily donate on our website through this link.
  • We have plenty of volunteer opportunities on our website, so if you want to get join the journey and help us out, click here: http://mobilefilmschool.org/contact or email Kristina Mann, Director of Business Affairs: kristina@mobilefilmschool.org