We are Holden

For their first film project in Digital Humanities, student are introduced to the skills they’ll need to develop over the course of the year, while creatively pushing them to interpret some of the themes and details, both large and small, in their summer reading book for A.P. Literature: J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. Students were expected to demonstrate control over the elements of basic filmmaking, including shot composition, shot selection and variety, art direction, camera movement, workflow, and non-linear editing; make deliberate artistic decisions that contribute to the effectiveness of a scene, including props, make-up, lighting, wardrobe, etc.; read for specific details that inform the content of a scene while contributing to the work’s overall theme and/or the author’s point of view; cooperate in a group to support one another in the process of close-reading as well as learning the craft of filmmaking; and creatively interpret text while artistically making deliberate decisions that convey that interpretation to an audience. In production crews, students were assigned a specific section of The Catcher in the Rye. Then, they created a short film that creatively, accurately, and convincingly delivers the important content of that section to the audience, and they must do it without dialogue. All student films were then cut together into a single long adaptation of the novel using the motif of the red hunting hat to unify the piece.

Created by: The Class of 2015

Differing views of Gertrude

In Digital Humanities, students use “Hamlet,” read in their A.P. Literature classes, to demonstrate mastery over not just film production, but the digital research skills they’ll need in college. This project asks student groups to demonstrate all the same tools as a traditional research assignment: creating a hypothesis about a character that assists in explaining the play, researching that topic using state-of-the-art databases licensed through LAPL and the Cal State college system, select evidence from the play to support their ideas (here, performed rather than quoted), and present their work into a cohesive published product.

Created by: Max Quill and Mitch Steinberg


For their first major film project, students base an original short film on the radical skepticism of Descartes, exploring it further in their Philosophy classes. “Momentum” — a resistance to change — explores the issues surrounding the creation of one’s own reality, only to find the solace of that world not only fleeting but indistinguishable from any other constructed existence. Following the feature, the filmmakers explicate their work, grounding the piece within the tradition of Descartes’ metaphysic.