Mr. Rodriguez Brings Film Studies Back To Gables


Gabriela Blanco

Since he began working at Gables last year, Mr. Rodriguez has proven to be an avid lover of films and cinematography.

With a variety of electives ranging anywhere from Fashion Design to Constitutional Law, Coral Gables Senior High offers a diverse selection for students with all types of interests to choose from. Aiming to give film-buffs and movie lovers a sanctuary, Gables is reintroducing its Film program this school year. 

Thanks to second-year teacher Mr. Rodriguez’s background in film and a year of preparation, the program is now up and running for its first year back. Alongside teaching Theory of Knowledge, Creative Writing and being the Catharsis advisor, Mr. Rodriguez stepped up to revive the program last fall and has worked towards it ever since.

“When I was hired last year, Ms. Van Wyk had said to me that there was a film program here, you know, years, years before. And because of my background, she wanted me to revive it and I of course jumped at the chance,” Mr. Rodriguez said.

This new elective covers all aspects of filmmaking, taking students through the whole process including writing, producing and editing. Cultivating numerous new skills, the elective will allow students to work on complex platforms such as Adobe Cloud and Final Draft to explore screenwriting and video editing. 

Additionally, the course covers the history and analysis of film through the Introduction to Filmmaking Textbook, DVD sets and of course, movie screenings. The prospective filmmakers will be analyzing the dynamics of movies and what makes them so captivating. Throughout the year, students will apply this knowledge to work together to produce their own films.

“As someone who has always been into movies and how they’re made, hearing about a new film elective had me jumping at the idea. I knew right away it was gonna be my number one elective pick. I can’t wait to see where this class takes me and learn everything I can,” junior Alejandra Dellano said.

At the end of the year, Mr. Rodriguez’s students will be able to analyze every aspect of a film and debate them with further insight. The argument will go beyond “I liked it” or “I did not like it” and expand into the why. Using cinematic language, these students will be able to converse about movies with a critical eye, create connections to the movies they watch and view them in a new light.          

“I’m looking for students who need an outlet to come out of their shell more than anything, I think it will help those types of people,” Mr. Rodriguez said.

In the future, Mr. Rodriguez strives to expand the film program and offer higher levels of the class as well as International Baccalaureate Film and Screenwriting. The end goal is to foster the creative minds of students and have the class become an outlet for them to bring their ideas to life. The beauty of the film studies elective is that it is designed to work with the students and their ideas, while simultaneously helping them step out of their comfort zone to create something they are proud of.