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steven frenzel evanston chicago film presentation event

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Steven’s [Writer’s Workshop] presentation was a great way to engage my students—many of whom had concerns about themselves as writers and how to best go about improving their writing. The value of the presentation lay not only in its engaging nature but in the clear connections that Steven made between what the kids saw on the screen and how the writers went about crafting those scenes. The tips were practical and clear and the results of each were easy to notice in the various film clips. Steven’s presentation was a hit with my students and would be an excellent jump-start to any writing program; it keeps kids involved and interested and sends them away with some new tools for their writing toolboxes.

Katey Sherman – Loyola Academy, 8th Grade Language Arts

I have invited Steve Frenzel into my classroom three times over the past two years. His writers’ workshop presentations through film absolutely hook my eighth graders. We know that kids first learn to tell a story through images. What better way to introduce or review writing and editing skills than through movies? Based on our brief meetings prior to each presentation, Steve incorporates the same terms, literary devices and writing processes that my students know and use. Steve’s extensive knowlege of film making and background information on the directors, actors and screenwriters adds an extra level to his presentations. My students love seeing the movie clips and the writing process is reinforced at the same time.

Susan Glines – Emerson Middle School, National Board Certified Teacher

I had the opportunity to work with Steven and his company for our “Short and Shivery” unit, wherein students were asked to use techniques to build suspense in order to write a short and shivery story for Halloween. Steven prepared a 40-minute presentation that included clips from a number of Hollywood films, as well as classic, cult, and modern. Steven met with me in advance to custom-tailor the focus of his film presentation to better suit the needs of my class. Although his own judgement would have been more than fine, I appreciated the individualized planning and collaboration. The clips he selected were equally high interest yet age-appropriate.

Students loved the film clips and seemed to learn a lot about suspense techniques. Steven emphasized the importance of sensory details in the film clips, a key component that showed up in many of the successful short and shivery stories. Steven’s passion for and expertise in film analysis shines through in his interactions with the kids. Even after the bell rang, several kids approached Steven to ask follow up questions about the films and their techniques. I feel the presentation raised awareness for suspense techniques, piqued interest, and reached students in a way that a traditional lecture could not have.

Eric Senne – Wilmette Junior High, 7th Grade


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