Features Philly Film — 20 February 2012 » Written by
Meet Central High School’s film club

I’m pleased to introduce Cinedelphia’s first high school-aged intern, Central High School student Tom Molz, who would like to introduce you to the institution’s Central Broadcasting Network…

CBN: A Film Club for a Few Fans

Central High School is known for many things, chief among them are academic excellence, a diverse student body, and terrible sports teams.  As a student, I can assure you that all the above is true.  Along with Central’s diversity comes a feeling that you’ve been accepted into a simpler version of real life, which gives you the experience and training needed to live life independently outside of school.  Like Central, the world opens many doors for you, letting you choose the path you want to take in life.  With dozens of clubs at Central to choose from, albeit half of them are cultural clubs (honestly, how many Asian clubs does one school need?), one club is often overlooked and underrated:  the Central Broadcasting Network.  Or as it is more commonly known, CBN.

CBN could be one of the most useful clubs at Central, but it fails to get the support it needs.  Every week we broadcast a 5-10 minute news update on all the school’s current events and important announcements.  Out of the hundred or so classrooms in the school, it’s good to know that we get our messages out to about ten of them.  Too many teachers ignore the announcements airing on their television sets or simply unplug them out of respect for that all-important morning advisory that too often gets rudely interrupted by us.  Of course, this pleases no one in CBN, least of all the head of the whole organization and mastermind behind “Tie-Dye Fridays”, Mr. Burns (If I had a nickel for every time he came storming into the CBN advisory going on a 20 minute, R-rated rant about the idiocy of other teachers, I’d be rich enough to buy Central, tear it down, and build a Starbucks in its place).  Our news reports constantly make an effort to build support for CBN, but the school too easily ignores us.

However, there are a few in the school that see CBN for what it truly is:  a film club that allows aspiring filmmakers to develop their skills.  A small group of 20 or so sophomores and freshmen meet every week to discuss new film ideas that we can shoot and present to the school, or rather, the ten classes that actually watch.  Once an idea is presented, we begin the production that includes scriptwriting, casting, shooting, and finally editing and presenting.  We try to distribute at least one film a month, each film lasting around 5 minutes or so.  During the entire process, from brainstorming, to shooting, to finally being widely known as “that guy on that video”, every member of the CBN team learns something new that can help them should they choose to pursue a career in film.

Shooting these films requires a bit of financial support as well.  With constant bake sales to support various other clubs and sports teams, we decide to take a more original approach to our fund-raisers.  Every month or so, either for special occasions such as holidays or simply to celebrate the DVD release of a popular film sure to attract students, we hold our own bake sale right out of our own classroom.  Selling brownies, cupcakes and the like with a free movie showing right next to these delicacies is an easy way to attract any teenagers’ attention.  With new blockbusters and classics of all sorts (most recently Groundhog Day on Groundhog Day; clever, right?), CBN is not subjective when presenting films for all to enjoy and we welcome any and all types (as long as it’s appropriate).  With around a $40 profit every viewing from the sweets, our hard work eventually pays off.

Even though CBN is widely underappreciated, we work hard to please as many as we can.  We accept anyone and everyone willing to further their interest in a career in film or journalism.  CBN is a club built around a love of film, behind the camera education, and the friendships made during a film production.

Official site.

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About Author

Tom Molz

I am currently a sophomore in Central High School, Philadelphia. I am unashamedly obsessed with movies and just about everything nerd. Whether it’s a classic or new release, I don’t care as long as it’s good. I can be shy at first but once you get to know me, you’ll find I’m pretty funny and reasonable. Favorite director: Steven Spielberg. Favorite Film: E.T.

(1) Reader Comment

  1. A year or two ago I heard that Central was amongst the 15 or so schools in the Philadelphia area to be accepted into the Greenfield Youth Film Festival but due to lack of proper equipment and instructor support, the students didn’t make it very far. As a judge in that festival and a former CBNer, I’m really disappointed to read this story.
    Tom, I think you know that Central’s alumni is very active and supportive. It may not hurt to reach out to the AACHS and see if there’s anything they can do.

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