by Trayce Gardner
CALLING TO THE UNIVERSE !
Hands up! That's me.
I asked a lot of people for feedback on this website as it was developing. I directed them to look at it on a larger screen, not a cell, where many of the design elements are lost (i.e. animations, colors, columns, etc.).
People warned -- "But that's how people will look at it -- on their phones! You have to make it cell-friendly to get clicks ! "
THIS SITE IS NOT (SO) CELL-FRIENDLY!
In cell format our pages are re-sized. Some slides with text are near illegible (meant to be viewed on a larger screen). We are working on creating PDF links for the pages.
Like a (good) film, part of the impact of this site is delivered in its visual presentation. It's meant to be seen (not stripped to its most basic and flipped through rapidly!).
AND OUR BEGINNERS
IS MEANT TO BE DONE!
Write a (2-5) pg, (2) Character Script
Based On Resources You Already Have
Project the Lesson on a large screen like a PowerPoint presentation before a small group of friends, family, or students
Print out copies of our PDF version for each participant to write their notes
Volunteer to facilitate and lead your group in reading aloud the lesson and answering the questions
Send your questions and feedback to our Q & A Blog
Make Your Own Class!
Create Your Own Writing Team
I'm the founder of the People's Hollywood Project
(Our re-branding of Brooklyn Young Filmmakers)
I'm no expert. Mostly I'm self-taught thru working various positions on short film projects; taking community classes (who remembers Film Video Arts?); attending festivals, conferences, and support groups; and having occasional mentors.
I stumbled into teaching people who knew less about filmmaking than me, with the goal of helping them go beyond me in their learning and development.
I learned the power of peer teaching and counseling in my first career in East Oakland, CA. Just out of college, I stumbled into doing peer counseling and community organizing when I got a CETA funded job at a rape crisis center. This was followed by a position at a shelter for battered women.
Out of this work grew so many questions for me about our attitudes, how we counseled and how people heal and grow. I ended up starting and running for two years a family violence prevention demonstration project for men and couples on court referral.
But alas, the structure of non-profit social work was changing to where you needed to be credentialed beyond a BA to get livable funding. Then if yours was a small project (without big friends) you had to split your time between delivering repeated, measurable services and doing continuous fundraising.
Is this boring enough for you? It was for me.
(Then I came to NYC to study acting and discovered filmmaking)
NYC FILM INDUSTRY & US
New York City's $9 billion a year Film & TV Industry today was seeded in 2004 by the passing of City and State filmmaking tax credits.
That same year Steiner Studios (the largest studio facilities in the country outside of Hollywood) opened in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, five minutes walk from the office Brooklyn Young Filmmakers had then in the Whitman Community Center in public housing.
In 2005 we organized community forums to start a discussion about the need for a low-cost Community Filmmaking District.
Working-class adults would be taught how to make low/no budget films as a DIY hobby. A support network of existing local resources would be developed (i.e. community organizations, schools, businesses, artists, and churches). Participants would learn how to promote their film projects-in-development in the local community and seek help from diverse neighbors who otherwise they might never interact with.
(I’ve lived in a Rent Stabilized apartment in Fort Greene for 21 years, watching as the neighborhood gentrified. So there’s personal to this!)
Fifteen years later we're launching the People's Hollywood Project.
MY DESIGN & INTENT
(Full Of Detours!)
I’m trying to hook working-class adults not use to online learning; or doing lots of (non-casual) reading; or on their own (!) doing mental/artistic exercises and starting discussions.
Let’s say someone recommends our site to Carmen (or Marcus). Between things, when Carmen has five minutes, she takes a look at our site. We've got to hook Carmen fast with something, and make her curious enough to come back again when she has more time.
In a live class, even though there is a syllabus, the class is meant to go off on tangents as the teacher gets her students to open up about what they know and don't know, and what they care about. So I’ve loaded up – in the middle of content -- lots of links to outside articles and videos. It’s me saying:
“Stop! Have a detour. If you don't understand (or aren’t interested in) what I'm talking about follow this link to another teacher who has more info or a different approach."
Say Marcus is a history buff, and only a little interested in my info, but he ends up loving the video I link to, and that video leads Marcus to other resources beyond ours, that's ok – it’s great! We want to help train Thinkers. Thinkers have to make their own choices about what they research and how fast they go.
I'm hoping the colorful, retro (and at times cartoonish) collage style I've used will come off as a dialogue -- rather than static text -- and be visually appealing and fun for adults who might be hesitant to try an online Lesson (especially for something they think of as complicated like filmmaking).
This site is so ME. I'm offering up my own creative attempts and processes and likes in hopes and of starting dialogues Over these last two years (!) of building this site and growing my concepts,
Claire and Peter have, each step, been my main bounce-off people.
Claire was the first actor I recruited for THE CREW Series workshop.
Peter joined our workshop through our meetup outreach for volunteers
(listen to his music with nyc sounds on our landing page https://www.peopleshollywood.nyc/ )
Now we look forward to this site helping us recruit other volunteers and resources so we can grow a People's Hollywood! and meet strangers who might become colleagues.
If this site is about anything, it's about the unexpectedness of creativity, and the value of persistence and passion, studying and animated open discussions, team building and faith.