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Final Screening at The New School…A Success!

Benjamin Kasavan answers a question at our Question and Answer session

Thank you to everyone who attended our final screening on June 21st.  It was such a wonderful conclusion to our first ever community externship program at The Video Lab.  We were so excited to present our films to such a large and engaged audience.

Special guest speaker Simin Farkhondeh, Education Coordinator at Democracy Now!

Our guest speaker was Simin Farkhondeh, Education Coordinator at Democracy Now!.  She gave us powerful insight into the importance of activist media work.  Hopefully our films will be shared with other students so that they are inspired to make media that creates change in their communities too.

Jovon Gilliam introduces our films for the evening

The films for the evening were introduced by Jovon Gilliam, a student who has been with us since we started the program at Eyebeam in March.  Jovon has a natural talent for entertaining the audience and he was a fantastically eloquent host as he introduced our films for the evening.  You can view them all here.

We finished our evening with a Q&A session.  Media makers Melissa Friedling, Tahir Hemphill, and Ana Barsan set the tone for our final discussion, asking students questions about their processes. You can view  the Q&A session here.


TEAM NYC School Closures: Helpful tool

An organizational tool that we found really helpful during this process was… to create a Google Document that would keep track of our footage! Simple, yes.  We outlined what footage we had already logged and captured, we also made note (in pink) of the footage that would be captured that week and who would be getting the footage (audio, video, photography, archival.)  In the doc. we listed photographs, archival footage, b-roll and interviews that were collected, almost like an online filing cabinet.  Everyone had access to the document so whenever they gathered something new they could add it.  This also really helped when it was time to edit our footage because we had a lot…  Here is what our CLIP Organizer ended up looking like:


Happy Editing!

Update: School Closures

Today, we are doing more editing and I am personally looking for some stock footage to include in our documentary. I’m looking for footage for of kids walking through hallways, socializing, in classrooms and empty school buildings. A few problems I’ve encountered  are watermarks over the footage and the footage is OLDER. What i mean by that is some of the footage is from 1994.  BUT we can still use them because its still what we need 🙂
Other than, everything is going well and we have a bit more editing to do before we are completely done but I know for a fact that Everything will be done in a timely manner. Another thing we might include are pictures

Such As:



-Nicco Kirkland & Imani Joshua

Team NYC School Closings hard at work!

Yesterday Tevin worked in Final Cut on the opening scene (intro) to our documentary on school closing.  Before he put it together in Final Cut he was wrote out a StoryBoard to help organize his ideas. 

scene 1: Blank screen-bell rings-song plays ( soft instrumental piano)-words fade in on the screen about school closures- blank screen fade out to an interview

scene 2: fade back to blank screen-words fade in-fade out to interview ( teacher)

scene 3: fade into blank screen-more words-fade out to interview ( student)



Imani sorted through some quotes to open the documentary film.  She settled on one from John Dewy; “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”  Imani was also hard at work creating title cards from the documentary which ranged from the title of the doc. to statistics regarding school closures in NYC.


We have a great deal of editing left but it is all coming together slowly but surely. Looking forward to seeing everyones work next week!  



Over the weekend I’ve been interviewing a couple of people for their opinions on school closures in New York City. I interviewed a former student of Ross Global Academy who was there when the school shut down, Caitlyn, and I asked her what it was like to basically be abandoned by the public school system.

These are a few questions I asked her:  

1: Name/Age/School you attend
2:What does a good education mean to you?
3:How are you doing in school?
4:Is getting a good education important to you?
5:In your current school are you and your parents really involved?
6:Tell me about the process that the school went through when it shut down?
7:What happened to all the kids?
8:Is there a way to prevent School closures
9:Why do you think schools even close down?
10:Whose fault is it? Students/Teachers/Principles/parents/Governments?
11:When RGA closed, do you think it was a positive or negative experience?
12: Do you feel abandoned in anyway?


Please come to the New Voices screening to see our final projects!


This week Shola went out of the country so Alex took over to be mentor in our group. In the group so far Amanda is drawing pictures of protestors and political cartoons on the police as b roll for the people with audio interviews. Jovon didn’t attend meeting on thursday but will meet with Alex on saturday to get b roll. He has interview Ex- polices and police. As for me fanny, i am finding b rolls on google that would fit with the interviews and also editing Our interviewee in union square park.

We look foward to making this video happen. I hope everyone likes it on the day of the screening