This Summer I worked with Betsy Fowler’s 2nd and 3rd grade class at Roots and Branches Public Charter School in West Baltimore to help the students complete their student-created film: Trouble in Tornado Alley. The class wrote the story and lyrics, and designed the background, though they needed someone to film and edit their production. I spent 3 days filming at Roots and Branches school, and had a great experience working with the 22 children. I also had lots of good laughs with these little witty adults. During our second day of shooting, their teacher, Ms. Betsy, explained we were creating a “low-budget film” and that was why we had to make everything by ourselves. A little one picked up on the conversation saying "Actually, it's more like no-budget".
Low-budget or no-budget, we kept things very simple: a DSLR and an iPhone. I spent several hours editing the opera in AfterEffects, and every time I went through the footage, I couldn’t stop smiling. I was also surprised that none of the students got nervous in front of the camera. At the end, I burnt a DVD for each student as a gift, hoping this would be a record of a memorable childhood experience.
Went up to Toronto with Ms. Betsy for 5 days. It was still very chilly in Toronto, but we managed to check out all the museums and galleries we possibly could.
Our favorite was the Jean-Michel Basquiat show at the Art Gallery of Ontario. It was the first time for me to see his original works of large-scale paintings and drawings. I also enjoyed a cozy walk along the beach and hugging the “HUG ME” tree on Queen St. West.
I'm not sure if graffiti should be seen as adding to the art scene of the city. But the graffiti alley in Toronto is definitely a tourist attraction. In the one mile walk, I've seen lots of emotions.