Program: “Learning to Examine Film: Teen Video Shorts”

Does your library have a teen video club or do they hope to create one? Did your library participate in the 2012 Teen Video Challenge? Does your library plan on promoting and participating in the 2013 Teen Video Challenge? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this programming idea would be great for your library.

“Learning to Examine Film: Teen Video Shorts”

The goal of this program is to promote the Teen Video Challenge and to help improve the video making skills of teens that are interested in participating in the challenge.


  1. Visit, where all of the videos submitted in the 2012 Teen Video Challenge by teens in New York State are listed.
  2. Explain to the teens what the Teen Video Challenge is.
  3. Explain that the theme for each 2012 video is “Own the Night.”
  4. View each individual video and then discuss it as a group. The goal is to critically analyze each video and learn from it. See below for points to consider when analyzing each video.
  5. Have the teens vote for their favorite videos at as part of the 2012 Teen Video Challenge – NYS Viewer’s Choice Award.

While constructively critiquing each video, here are some points to consider:

  1. Does the video bring the message across? Was the script written well?
  2. Can the viewer hear the sound? Is the sound balanced?
  3. Are the actors using good diction?
  4. Was the video filmed well? Was it filmed creatively?
  5. Did the teens use any special effects? If so, were they effective?
  6. How effective were the costumes?
  7. What was the best feature of this video? What could have been done better?

Helpful Information:

  1. Each question can be expanded upon.
  2. There may be more to learn from one video than another.
  3. Some vocabulary words may need to be defined.
  4. In order to get to all 24 videos, you can either divide the program into more than one session, choose only certain videos to show, or set a time limit to each video discussion.
  5. This program can be used as an introduction to making short films. Choose and present 3-5 videos that you feel have the most value and learn from them.
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New York State Library

Summer Reading at New York Libraries is funded in part through the Federal Library Services and Technology Act, with funds awarded to the New York State Library by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. The New York State Library is a program of the Office of Cultural Education in the New York State Education Department.