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For our Spanish-speaking friends, Al Día also wrote an article in Spanish about the summer program: Verano, luces, cámara, acción.
UPDATE: Read a translation of the article below! (Thanks to Juan Felipe Cardona, an intern with the Philadelphia Museum of Art)
Summer, Lights, Camera, and Action!
By Angelica Herrera-Al Dia
Translated By Juan Felipe Cardona
The story of “Patán” describes how a young honors student becomes involved with drugs after the recent death of his mother, and because of his father’s neglect.
This is one of the three different stories that were developed and realized this summer-with cables, microphones, lights, cameras and the ”action” of twenty young students between fourteen and eighteen years
“When you are behind the camera, you don’t see things the same way [as if you were in front of it]“, explains Francisco Sandoval-the director of cultural programs at Taller Puertorriqueño. “You find yourself in charge of scene takes, editing, casting, and everything else that the process involves.”
Sandoval, one of the collaborators for the “Delphi summer media program”, explains that the students work on their films through the course of six weeks. We teach them everything [involved in the process of making a film], from how to make a script out of a general idea, to the format in which they should write it-[ultimately leading to the application of cinematographic techniques.]
“I love to observe as they film or edit. [What is most interesting is to see their progress from the ground up”, proudly boasts Sandoval.
This program-the result of collaboration between Taller Puertorriqueño, the Big Picture Alliance, The Philadelphia Museum of
Art, and the Esperanza Academy Charter High School-is comprised of three stages. The first is [the creation of] a video limited to three minutes in length based on a monologue-where the students are allowed to explore the Museum and use it as the setting for their video. “It’s important to expose teenagers and children to beautiful art that is not normally part of their everyday life. It helps them develop emotionally and continue to progress in their lives with a more positive outlook”, remarks Sandoval.
The second stage is the making of a video of the same duration, which the students produce individually. As for their final task, the
students work in teams of five or six partners in the creation of a community group project. Tasks are democratically assigned to team
members, diving up the work evenly.
“It’s amazing… you become very proud of how easily they learn and grow, and through the anticipation of seeing their creations screened for the public (…) we get to see how the program stimulates their development in different ways”, replied Dwight Wilkins-a
representative of the Big Picture Alliance and editing teacher for the program.
The culmination of all their hard labor ends this August sixth with the exhibition of the students’ films at Nueva Esperanza Academy.
With movie titles such as “Mundo Mágico [magic world]” and ”Restaurando Justicia [restoring justice]“, the students convey their
concerns and feelings about the issues they feel are important.
The most important part of the program is that it teaches the students to work together, to interact with each other effectively, and about the importance of responsibility.
According to Sandoval, that the only thing that is asked of the students each day is their enthusiasm and commitment to work in the
program. “One of the most rewarding aspects of working with teenagers is how easily one is influenced by their energy, imagination, and optimism.”
“There are Argentineans, Colombians, Puerto Ricans, African-Americans, and they can all learn from each other. They interact and develop ideas that they find interesting while they learn about the different aspect of other cultures”, adds Sandoval.
“We could be here forever making movies…, but seeing the positive change in these teenagers is the “real” trophy of this program”,