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.