Wednesday, April 04, 2007

"You could send a DVD to Afghanistan and, like, change something:" a good time to be an ambitious student in Louisiana

Louisiana is less of a media backwater than ever. And one reason for the growth is Chris Jay and the Robinson Film Center.

The Robinson's first reason for being is to have a place to see cool independent movies - things not carried by the mainstream theaters.
But to broaden their usefulness the Robinsons are building a community of people who love the literature of film. And one way to do that is to help youngsters understand movies - by creating them. Jay, the zealous entertainer/educator, has gone to schools in every neighborhood with equipment and witty instruction.

Then there's the LaFilmFest, which reaches out to students across the state. Writes Jay, "During the outstanding 2007 Louisiana Film Festival – Student Division, I filmed one-on-one interviews with about a dozen of the student filmmakers in attendance, with the help of Perennial Media’s Chris Lyon and Luke Lee. The students opened up about their processes, their thoughts on filmmaking, etc. I edited together 3:00 or so of the funniest (and occasionally most insightful) moments from those interviews, and Youtubed the resulting video.

Continues Jay, "The reality is, the LaFilmFest is growing by leaps and bounds. We’ve gone from 14 submissions to 71 submissions in 2 years. But I’m still having trouble building an audience for these films. Our average audience consists of 30 student filmmakers, 50 parents, and no one from the general public. Year after year, that’s the pattern. So, with this video, I wanted to give the public a chance to virtually meet these incredible young filmmakers."

Btw, award-wining and super-competent Shreveport filmmaker Jabari Thomas is the second respondent in the video. His judgement: "Film is nothing But patience. It doesn't take 2 days or a month, it takes a year to 2 years to make an actual movie."

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