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Urban Gardening: Regrowing Lettuce Stumps in Water

I asked my students if they thought it possible to regrow stumps of lettuce that were destined for the trash. The stumps were declared garbage—they wouldn’t be used for juicing, compost, vegetable stamp prints, or anything else. Some students thought there was at least a possibility of some activity and some students simply wanted to see what I had up my sleeve. Having been my students for a while, they knew I didn’t ask a simple question. Continue Reading

Yoga for Inner-City Children

Afterschool Yoga for Inner City Children

My students reside in low-income parts of Brooklyn, NY, where options are limited and exposure to the arts is rudimentary, if it happens at all. The Executive Director of my school insisted that he wanted my students to have what the schools in Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights have in their schools. I have to admit that’s a tall order! We have neither the budget nor the staff, the infrastructure nor the support, so I was tasked with pulling a rabbit out of a hat to fulfill that lofty ideal. Continue Reading

Digital Devices Class Final Assignment


Our final assignment in the Digital Devices class was to create a 60-second movie using our digital devices, be they smartphones, tablets, point-and-shoot cameras, webcams, scanners, or any other portable video capturing device we had available. The idea was to encourage us to create art with available tools and not handicap ourselves by believing we need a Canon 5D Mark III with a crane and army of assistants to create films and documentaries. Continue Reading

Digital Devices Class

My most recent skill-enhancing class, Digital Devices, was easy because the instructor was encouraging and personable, there were great classmates, and valuable supplemental information was freely shared. We learned a truncated method of making short movies, how to use Audacity for audio editing, how to use VideoPad for video editing, and how to storyboard our movies.

I was already familiar with much of the material, particularly making short movies, so I was able to grasp and retain the information. There was still material to absorb and experience to gain, so I treated the class as if it was the most important assignment on my agenda: I gave it my all. Continue Reading

Understanding the Control Room

Control Room6 The TV Studio is not one large, laser-lit playpen where all the creatives act their parts, the technicians in headsets signal “time,” and the suits search for hypebeasts in the studio audience to base a reality TV show on. It’s a structured two-room environment that must be orchestrated efficiently by a talented team of artists and operators for a successful production.

The first room is the studio floor, where the cameras and set are, and the talent performs in front of the cameras. The second room—less glamorous and equally-important as the studio floor—is where the technical and production magic happens.

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Understanding The Studio Wall Box

This tentacled outpost struck icy fear in the hearts of my classmates (and myself) the first time we saw it. That’s reasonable, after all. Not many people see or know much more of audio than earbuds and volume knobs, and this contrivance is a bigger beast to tame. It’s a frightening mess with a dozen color coded cables sprouting forth, snaking to other mysterious parts of the studio, connected to other pieces of equipment that we had to learn.

The Studio Wall Box Continue Reading

Professional Cameras and Monitor in the Main Studio

We didn’t use DSLRs and camcorders for the Basic TV Studio Production class. Instead, we used professional equipment: Panasonic WV-F565 Color Video Cameras, Sony DXC-D35 DV Cameras, two Teleprompters, a studio monitor, overhead lights, and a dual cyclorama (there are two sets of fabric installed: blue (for chromakey) and black). We learned to use equipment similar to what would be used in an actual work environment—which was a major benefit—because applicability of lessons to the “real world” is important.
Basic TV Studio Production Continue Reading

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