24 November 2010

I've been helping the Echo Park Film Center teach a Filmmobile class at this undisclosed library over in East Los. I've been having a lot of fun with the students (who all live close by, and have told me stories about sneaking into the nearby cemetery to play soccer) and it has been an incredible experience teaching with the same people who once taught me the very same things. I'm not actually supposed to photograph inside the library or any of the students (liability?), so here's just Paolo and Sharmaine looking at some test footage and the back of a student's head. It takes me a bus and a train to get there, and then I walk down one of East L.A.'s major arteries (ain't gonna say which), past a casket factory, a couple headstone dealers, a florist, and a pool hall. There's also an abandoned cinema across the street. I'm planning on taking my film camera next week and taking some shots of all the things I have mentioned. It's all beautiful.
We had twenty minutes of down time while everyone's footage got transferred, so I asked Paolo if I could do a writing exercise with the kids. I spent last week making nine journals from quartered drawing paper, using some of my favorite National Geographic spreads as covers, hand binding them whenever I had time.

After handing them out (the journals, with their pull-out covers caused some commotion) I asked the kids to think and maybe write about:
    ⁃    What did you learn about yourself while shooting your film?What did you learn about your subject matter?
    ⁃    Would you still make your film about the same thing?
    ⁃    Do you like making movies so far?
    ⁃    What was your favorite part about shooting for your video this week?
I didn't read what they wrote (I used to resent turning in my English notebooks during high school), but I was pretty delighted to see a lot of them actually thinking about the questions and writing. I suggested they use the journals to take notes during editing (something I once made fun of Matt for and now respect), and even gave some of the students thinking assignments, which I dutifully wrote in their journals.

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