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The course is being taught by writer/director/actor/educator, Patrick Toole.

Filmmaking Workshops Offered for Youths

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GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. - Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative and Berkshire Community College are offering summer filmmaking workshops for youths and teens.

A filmmaking intensive for 15- to 19-year-olds will be held June 24-June 28 and one of 11- to 14-year-olds will be held July 8-12. These week long workshops will meet daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at BCC’s South County Campus, 343 Main Street, Great Barrington.

The purpose of the workshops are twofold: for kids to experience what it’s like to work on a real movie crew from creation of an idea to the final edit of the project and for the group to produce a high quality short film championed in every aspect by everyone in the group. The kids will work collaboratively - performing as actors on camera, running the lights, the camera and the sound, as well as editing and marketing the film's premiere to the community. On the final night, parents, friends, and the public will be invited to attend and the young filmmakers will participate in a Q&A with the audience. Each participant will walk away with a copy of the film and the experience of creating a professional quality film together.

Specific topics covered will include: story structure, screenwriting, character development, cinematography, sound recording/mixing, lighting, editing, sound design and marketing. The course is being taught by writer/director/actor/educator, Patrick Toole.

All equipment will be provided. Cost for the week-long workshop is $325. Students will need to bring lunch. Register online; class size is limited.

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Flu Shot: It's That Time Again

By Dr. Everett Lamm

With flu season around the corner, your health care providers, employers, pharmacists and others are sounding the annual reminder: "Get your annual flu shot." We encourage this for you — and for the people around you, too. We see evidence every year of the benefits of the flu vaccine, and we also see the risks of skipping it.

The flu vaccine has dramatic impacts on public health. However, since strains of the flu may vary from year to year, the vaccine must be received annually. Although the vaccine doesn't guarantee a flu-free winter and perfect health, medical research has convincingly shown that the flu shot reduces flu severity and reduces sick visits, hospitalizations and intensive care admissions. For infants and the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, the flu shot is essential protection against serious illness.

Although Massachusetts has historically ranked high in its overall immunization rates —  50 percent of all residents received vaccines in 2015-16 flu season — that percentage dropped from 55 percent the year before. The lowest rates of vaccination are in residents 18-49 — 40 percent for the 2015-16 season, but vaccine rates for all age groups (except young children) dropped slightly as well.

Some people have medical reasons for being unable to have the shot, but others go without by choice. Why? They may feel confident in their own good health and their body's ability to ward off illness. They may be skeptical about vaccines in general. However, skipping the flu vaccine means taking an unnecessary risk – for yourself and others whom you care for or work with, or who may be more vulnerable than you to illness.

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