Blog

Springtime Surfing in the Northeast

Posted on May 13, 2012 · Posted in surfing

NEW YORK, NY – Spring is here, which means the neoprene hood is off. Booties, gloves, and another millimeter of neoprene are next.

Producing and Teaching for One LENS

Posted on April 30, 2012 · Posted in production log

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – In 2011, the NGOs Global Nomads Group (GNG) and American Field Service developed an exchange program between students from Southeast Asia and the United States. The goal of the project was to develop cross-cultural literacy through participatory filmmaking. As an employee of GNG, I participated in this project as a curriculum consultant, teaching artist, and as one of the producers for the program’s video One LENS: Cultivating Cross-cultural Literacy through Film and Digital Stories. The video followed one of the three pairs of schools that participated in the program–students from the Malaysia Federation for the Deaf and the Indiana School for the Deaf. The video, Deaf People Can Do Anything Except Hear, is a product of one of the workshops that I directed with that same group of students.

One LENS: Cultivating Cross-cultural Literacy through Film and Digital Stories

One LENS: Deaf People Can Do Anything, Except Hear

Behind the Scenes: Market Life in Haiti

Posted on March 23, 2011 · Posted in production log

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Blog Published March 23, 2011 on studentsrebuild.org

During pre-production for this winter’s Haiti trip, I jokingly prodded Grace by asking her “wouldn’t it be great if we made a video about the ‘carrying stuff on you heard phenomenon’ we see in Haiti all the time?” Hence, the idea behind the video was born.

In Haiti, things don’t always go according to plan. The day we were scheduled to visit Port-au-Prince’s downtown markets to film for the video, just so happened to be a day where political tension filled the air.  The people were awaiting the final results of the two presidential candidates (which didn’t go over too well last time). We decided against placing ourselves in danger and instead opted to film at a Haitian market in the neighborhood of Pétionville, a safer neighborhood near where we were staying. With a little bit of research and some help from AFH design fellow, Schendy Kernizan, we found the perfect market to produce our piece.

The Route Frére market is a small yet lively market in the heart of Pétionville. Here, you can find many of the same products that we find in our local supermarkets (like fruits, veggies, and meats), in addition to other goods unique to Haitian culture. Our small crew of five: Brandon (videographer), Grace (talent), Baselais (translator), Marseille (driver), and myself (video producer); decided it would be of best practice to introduce ourselves to the vendors at the market prior to busting out our arsenal of cameras and microphones (in general, when you are taking pictures or videos, it is appropriate to ask people if you can take their photo prior to pointing a camera at them. This is especially important in foreign countries). For the most part, most of the people we approached agreed to be a part of our video.

Once we began filming, all things went smoothly. So-much-so, that by lunch time we almost had all the material necessary for an edit (this was almost unheard of!), yet one sequence still eluded us – we wanted to film Grace attempting to carry a basket full chickens on her head (to her dismay). After lunch we re-grouped and returned to the market to capture our final scene. It was a bit odd interrupting market vendors and asking them if we could take their place for a few minutes (understandably so). We were turned down a couple of times, so to break the ice, I put my camera down and asked a young man if I could try carrying his merchandise on my head. He allowed me to do so and once I placed that basket on my head the market exploded with laughter. (Making a fool of myself always seems to be the perfect ice-breaker in tense situations). Soon thereafter we met a woman selling large wooden spoons from a large basket on her head. We decided to purchase a spoon and capture it on film.  We moved on to another section of the market and met a young man named Jamie whose job was to transport coconuts for market vendors. He allowed Grace to carry his basket for him and again, as the locals watched her struggle the basket on top of her head, laughter ensued throughout the market.

At the Rout Frére market, we didn’t score any of the two-tiered chicken head-baskets we were hoping to capture, but we did create a fun little educational video to give the world a small perspective into life in Haiti. More importantly, I got to take home one cool and oversized wooden spoon!
Below is the video. Enjoy!

Cruising in Lahaina

Posted on November 26, 2010 · Posted in surfing, travel

LAHAINA, Maui – On vacation and cruising on the longboard.

Behind the Scenes: Telling Diandine’s Story

Posted on November 17, 2010 · Posted in production log

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Blog Published Nov 17, 2010 on studentsrebuild.org

Diondyne-interview-1Due to the negative press, rumors and realities of Haiti, the GNG production crew had its initial reservations about filming at the Boliman Bran Camp, a Haitian tent city,  where our student profile subject, Diandine, lived. Contrary to our expectations, the experience proved to be one of my most memorable moments from this fall’s Students Rebuild video productions.

Upon our crew’s arrival at the Boliman camp, Diandine led us through the 1400 household maze of tarps and tents to get to her home. We were immediately greeted by the curious smiles of women and children that quickly dispelled any misconceptions we might have had about our safety. When we arrived at Diandine’s shelter, she introduced us to her family and neighbors, and proceeded to invite us inside her home. She pulled aside the sheet they used for a door and led us into the muddy tarp covered area. As soon as she opened the “door,” I could feel the blazing heat from the sun, which was magnified by the plastic tarp that stood between us. She showed us the area in the tiny room’s dirt floor, where she slept beside her mother, step-dad and sister. The dense layer of mosquitoes inside were immediately drawn to my flesh, so much so that the prickles made it difficult for me to be present as she told us her story, but it was even more difficult to believe that Diandine ate, bathed and slept in this room.

Throughout the tour of the camp, and pretty much anytime I saw Diandine, she always had a big, bright, contagious smile on her face. It was inspiring to see the obstacles she has to overcome – first hand, and also know that she was ranked second in her senior class at Ecole Ellie Dubois as well as fluent in three languages (Creole, French and English). I think her situation, academic success and positive attitude helped put the situation of Haiti into perspective for me. And I hope it will help viewers of her profile do the same.

Rainforests of New York

Posted on April 19, 2010 · Posted in production log

NEW YORK CITY – I filmed and edited this video for the organizations Rainforest Relief and New York Climate Action Group’s joint campaign Rainforests of New York.

In a span of two days our crew biked to sites in New York City, which use tropical hardwoods for benches, boardwalks, decking, ferry docks and subway track ties. Although Mayor Bloomberg has called “tropical deforestation an ecological calamity”, the city remains the largest consumer of tropical hardwoods in North America. The video was edited in time to broadcast online for Earth Week 2010.

The New York Times featured the video in their City Room blog.

Credit: Camera + Editor

Rally for Juan Manuel in Oaxaca City

Posted on January 14, 2009 · Posted in production log, travel

OAXACA CITY, Mexico – Today I filmed members of Section 22, a local teacher’s union, and The Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO), a local activist group, as they marched outside the the offices of the 5th District Judge to demand the release of Juan Manuel Martinez Moreno from prison.

On October 16th 2008, Martinez Moreno was imprisoned and accused of the 2006 murder of American Journalist Brad Will. Today’s marchers claim he is innocent and point towards eye-witness and forensic evidence that has been reported by Mexico’s own national human rights commission and the independent group Physicians for Human Rights. The demonstrators believe Martinez Moreno is being scapegoated by the Mexican government in order to appease U.S. demands that someone be prosecuted for the murder of the American, as a prerequisite for funding to Mexico under the Merida Initiative.

In the video clip below, Martinez Moreno’s sister Lybia reads the family’s statement requesting his release.

UPDATE: Juan Manuel was released on February 18, 2010. Here is an inspiring account of the campaign to free him and what remains to be achieved.

BLOG-FEATURED-EZLN

Dancing til’ sunrise with the Zapatistas

Posted on January 1, 2009 · Posted in travel

CARACOL DE OVENTIK, Mexico – After announcing our arrival at the Office of Good Government, our video crew was allowed to enter the Caracol de Oventik (in Chiapas, Mexico) to participate in the 15th anniversary of the Zapatista uprising and 25th anniversary of the creation of the EZLN (National Zapatista Liberation Army).

img_6124We joined thousands of masked campesinos of the Tzotzil and Tzeltal Maya indigenous communities and also hundreds of international Zapatista sympathizers that were present to celebrate the autonomous movement’s accomplishments.

Once the sun set the comandantes spoke, and at midnight the norteño bands began to play in what was a cornucopia of congo lines, coffee drinking, masked faces, and arroz con leche. Those that survived the 6 hours of dancing were greeted by the sun and another day of autonomy where the mountains kiss the sky.

This clip was shot at sunrise (6am):

(more…)

4-Day Hunger Strike for Brad Will

Posted on October 22, 2008 · Posted in production log

NEW YORK CITY – My footage of members of the organization Friends of Brad Will participating in a 4-day vigil and fast was aired on the headlines of Democracy Now! today. The activist are going on hunger strike from October 21st until October 24th in front of Senator Hillary Clinton’s offices in New York, as part of an international “Week of Action in Remembrance” of their murdered friend Brad Will. The purpose of the action is to bring attention to the Mexican government’s cover-up of the U.S. journalist’s murder and to show opposition to Senator Clinton’s support for U.S. funding for Mexico’s military operations under Plan Mexico (the “Merida Initiative”) .


And here is a short video I edited with the same footage:

Kuna Yala, Panama – Flood Aid

Posted on June 16, 2008 · Posted in production log

KUNA YALA, Panama – While working on a multi-media collaboration with the Kuna Indians of Panama. Our crew visited the two recently flooded villages of Gangandi and Mandiyala, and produced this clip as part of a successful fund-raising event to help aid their recovery.