Monday, October 12, 2009


(Up by the end of 10/12/09 - Happy holiday!)

Monday, October 5, 2009


Students retreat into their thoughts

September 30th, 1st Session of "INTRO TO SCRIPTWRITING: Blueprint for Making a Film" Class


“Definitely shows me some of the mistakes I made in writing my first script – or better said attempting to write my first script. I know what to change now, like where you put the character’s name, the margins and font you use. What really opened my eyes though was the detailed descriptions of the scene. You need to give whoever reads the script a vivid ideal of what you will see in the shot – a description of the physical location as well as the character.” – Sean

“I’m a medical student. I look forward to my first attempt at something in an artistic style, it’s not my background. I’ve learned there’s a lot more to the writing than what the character is saying or doing. You also have to think of where they are in space and time.” – Aton

“It’s very different than any of the other writing I’ve done. It’s interesting to look at some of the limitations that script has as opposed to story writing. Such as the “briefness” factor. With script you need detailed descriptions of character and location to build the story, but you need to be very brief. Doing that will be a challenge.” – Cameryn

“I think I’ll be able to put my ideas onto the paper now. This class gave me some really good ideas about how I start from where I am.” -Sreekauth

“I’m conquering a challenge. I’ve put off writing for such a long time, but I now feel I have tools. This class is making me feel like I can get rid of that word -- 'Can’t'". - Adrian

(for a full listing of the "MAKE A FILM" Class Series: page 5)



In my last Monday, October 28th posting, I started the scriptwriting lessons by giving you a student script to analyze, Paula Philip's THE WAITING ROOM (3rd Draft):

This script was chosen as the film project for the Spring 2009 "MAKE A FILM" Class Series. As a teacher, I assumed the role of producer and director and led the class through a detailed critique of the script. I asked the student writer and all the other students, how would you solve the problems I outlined? Taking their suggestions into account, I then gave them a detailed vision of the story I wanted to make. ( See the October 28th posting for both the questions and the vision: up.html

I told them, "What I want to show you is how a director thinks. All the considerations and influences and decisions. As a writer, the more you understand how a director thinks (and an actor) the better writer you'll become." With Paula's permission, I became a co-writer on the script. This is my revision of THE WAITING ROOM:

Now you have the two script versions to study. Look at Paula's 3rd Draft, then look at my rewrite. Use a highlighter and mark all the changes you see -- in dialogue, in character description, in props and set. Think of it like one of those kid's picture puzzles -- These Two Pictures Look Alike -- But Some Things Have Been Changed in the Second Picture. Can You Find All the Changes? -- Different from doing a kid's puzzle, you should also ask, "Why did those things change? What purpose did it serve?"

(If someone learns to be sensitive to the characters they create in a script -- do you think it will make the person more sensitive to the people in his own life?)

Next Monday I'll detail some of the things that changed with my version of THE WAITING ROOM, and give you the why. You might not agree with my choices, but by thinking about them, it will make you rethink your own choices and realize how many diffrent ways you can take things.

-- Trayce

Monday, September 28, 2009


Students in a BYFC Scriptwriting Class

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf’s a flower.” - Albert Camus

I turned a calendar page a few days early and found that quote. As a winter depressive, it’s hard for me to think of falling leaves with joy. Autumn is a good time though for writing. It’s a time to retreat. Comedy, horror, sci-fi, you know what you love. You have your starting idea, you have your characters. You’re excited and you’re lost. You don’t know what to focus on or how to take the next step. Maybe you bought a camera and you’re dreaming about making your big idea into a film. You need to retreat from your ambitions for a moment. Big ambitions can cover up big fears.

Take time for learning. Real learning is hard to do after you’ve been pushed out into the world and have to watch your back, hurrying to the time clock and counting the dollars. Maybe you are not yet at the age where you’re legally allowed to go where you want, or maybe at your age you’re not physically capable of going wherever you want. You have people depending on you, or people who think you incapable. Maybe you feel like a fallen leaf about to be swept aside. Only through a retreat within yourself can you find the flower.

Our next “MAKE A FILM” Class Series starts on Wednesday with the “INTRO TO SCRIPTWRITING: Blueprint for Making A Film” Class. (for a complete class series listing: See page 5

On a practical level students in the first class session will learn proper script format and how it shapes the way a story is told. Visit the BYFC website for a lesson on how scripts are formatted Then download free screenwriting software at .

Students in a BYFC Scriptwriting Class

Next students will be introduced to the tools a Scriptwriter is given to tell a story visually: actors, gestures, little and big acts, props, set pieces, wardrobe and sound. (The storytelling visuals of camera and lighting are mostly left to the Director.)

The last part of the first class session is devoted to retreat. How do you retreat? From your ordinary world. You have the skeleton of an idea for a script. The next part is not a lot of writing – It’s a lot of “Prewriting” It’s brainstorming, talking with friends, interviewing, researching, drawing, mapping and in general Being Open To The World. Most people don’t know how to do this (in any part of their lives) or the value of doing it.

How do you find the living story -- the one that turns characters into people that the audience will think they know and find themselves caring about. Don’t do it! Watch out! How could you be so stupid! A writer is thrilled when the audience talks back to the screen.

The assignment I give students at the end of the first class session is to write a one scene, one location script with no more than 2 to 3 characters. And if they want the script to be considered in the future by Brooklyn Young Filmmakers for producing, it has to be makeable on a low-low budget.

In my post last week, I put up a link to Paula Philip's student script "THE WAITING ROOM", which was produced by our Spring 2009 "Make A Film" Class. After she brought the 1st draft to the second class session, which only had the 3 characters: Kimberly, Hilary, and the Nurse, I told her she could add additional characters if she wanted. This is a link to the 3rd draft that she brought in:

Paula’s storyline with its twist and strong emotional confrontations immediately got cheers from the other students in the class. But I gave the following critique:

1) The characters are one dimensional and have no sense of life beyond the immediate situation they have been put in. I told students that this will become apparent once you cast actors and they start asking questions about their characters. Why they do what they do and where did they come from?

2) Whose point-of-view are we following? Is there anyone we’re suppose to be rooting for? What is the message of the story?

3) The opening exchange between Kimberly and Hilary about the perfume gives readers an immediate hint of what is to come. How do you keep this exchange – but bury it in a larger context so the audience won’t immediately be suspecting the true situation?

By the 2nd class of our MAKE A FILM class series, Paula’s script was one of three we were considering for shooting. In the end her script was selected, in part because we were able to secure an appropriate location to shoot it.

In addition to being primary instructor, I took on a new role, director of the short film we were going to shoot. I told students that when a director becomes involved in the project the script enters a new phase of development. A film is a director’s vision. That means as a scriptwriter you have to be flexible and open to make changes in the script to make it match the vision of the story the director wants to make. The director might like the basic storyline of your script, but not all the characters or the details or the events.


Three different professional writers could take your student script and turn it into sci-fi, comedy, or tragedy. If you want your script produced you have to go with the version the director likes (or else produce the film yourself).

As Director, I told the class my vision for the film and what I wanted changed in the script:

1) We need to make a film that Brooklyn Young Filmmakers can show as a “TEACHING STORY”, so I do not want any of the characters to seem completely awful. If they are, then no one in the audience will want to admit that they can identify with any of the actions or motivations of the characters. Back Stories need to be created for Kimberly, Hilary, and Michael, so you can believe that they all started out as regular human beings wanting normal things – but something went incredibly wrong and they ended up in this horrible situation, maybe doing some things that are wrong. And I want story arcs created for all three, so you believe that they each learn something by the end.

I 86’d the character of the videographer who appears at the end of Paula’s script. I do not what the viewer to step out of the story to observe the characters. (Not that this could not be made to work. I just did not want to go that route.)

2) I want the Nurse character to be changed from a female to a black male. I want the Nurse to be a stronger figure, both comforting and protecting, rather than just an observer. Personally, as a black female, I like the idea of the black working class male showing more dignity and caring than the white upscale male. And it will make the story more saleable to a part of the audience we want to reach. Plus there’s a student in our class who would be great in the part (Charles Hightower, an MTA worker – he auditioned in front of the class and got the part.)

3) I want a mother and child added to the characters in THE WAITING ROOM for these reasons: a) It will give a visual reality to the underlying topic – having children b) We can cast participants from our host location, Brooklyn Child & Family Services c) It will help the gynecologist’s office seem populated

You as a reader now know the major script changes the Director has requested. As a writer, how do you revise the script? Come up with your own answers, then tune in next Monday, October 5th, to see the revised WAITING ROOM script.

Students from the Spring 2009 MAKE A FILM Class working on script revisions. Paula Philip, the student writer is 2nd from left

- Trayce

Sunday, September 20, 2009


(Check out below for free Scriptwriting Lessons!)
Brooklyn Young Filmmakers intergenerational Community Filmmaking Project brings together diverse neighbors, friends, and even family members for a creative, technical, and intuitive act – making a film. Learn how to create a believable story and a physical world for that story, then as a team capture the vision you have created through camera, lighting, production design and sound.
Learn how to plan your own shoot and
How to call upon your own community for help
Find out about the diverse jobs in the film industry that might suit your personality and abilitieshow to get started and what you have to sacrifice for the pleasure of doing something you like
Already a filmmaker or a retired professional?
Then join the class and bring your skills
Your vision to share in a meaningful environment.
Students from our Spring 2009 "MAKE A FILM" Class
studying what it all begins with - the Script!


1st Class:

INTRO TO SCRIPTWRITING:Written Blueprint for Making a Film(Development)FLM 100 Wednesdays, September 30, October 7,14,21,28, 6:00-9:00pm15 hours ($90)

Open to adults of all ages and teens 16yrs and older

25 Chapel Street, 4th Flr(

At NYC College of Technology Continuing Ed Division)

A,C,F – Jay St/Borough Hall 2,3,4,5 –Borough Hall M,N,R – Court Street

To Register: Call the Continuing Ed: (718) 552-1170

For more info on the classes contact Brooklyn Young Filmmakers (718) 935-0490
(note: our blog is currently more up-to-date than our website)

A comprehensive introduction to screenwriting and how a script is used by all departments as the “blueprint” for making a film. Students will write their own short scripts while studying the four short films that Brooklyn Young Filmmakers has produced in its last four class series*. Students will also read and discuss the student script “THE EX-FACTOR”, which we shoot in the third class.
(Note: Students in this current class will have the opportunity of having their scripts considered as the script selected for production in the Spring 2010 “Make A Film” Class Series.)

Want a free Scriptwriting Lesson?

Paula Philip's script "THE WAITING ROOM" was produced by the Spring 2009 "Make A Film" Class.

Read Paula's original student script (2nd draft) :

Make you own notes about what you like or don't like or don't understand. Then check out our blog every Monday for new lessons:

September 28th

A critique of the 2nd draft of “THE WAITING ROOM” and ideas on how to further develop the script. Feedback by Paula Philip, the student writer, about the critique and revision process. Plus an introduction to script format and where you can find free scriptwriting software online.

October 5th

Posting of the revised script with Director’s notes. Plus notes on Production Design.

October 12th

Understanding the script: Director’s notes to an actor.

October 19th

Sample Storyboards and a Shot List

October 26th

Lessons from “THE WAITING ROOM” Shoot

Paula Philip (a Clinton Hill resident) and Trayce (BYFC Director)
point to still photos of the waiting area in
Brooklyn Child & Family Services ( ,
the Fort Greene location Brooklyn Young Filmmakers
secured for "THE WAITING ROOM" shoot.

(Find out October 5th why we decided
the furnishings and wall coverings already up
in the waiting area in Brooklyn Child & Family Services
didn’t work for “THE WAITING ROOM”)

2nd & 3rd Classes in the “MAKE A FILM” Series:

GETTING STARTED IN FILM: Intro to Production Assistant & Organizing a Low Budget Shoot (Pre-Production)

FLM 200 Wednesdays, November 4,11,18,25, December 2, 9, 16, 6:00-9:00pm 21 Hrs ($120)

A primer on how to make a low budget film and the basics of getting started as a production assistant, using the script “THE EX-FACTOR” as a case study. Students will help workshop the script to develop a shooting script, storyboards, and production design, and then participate in Community Auditions for actors and a Community Scavenger Hunt for wardrobe, props, and set needs. (This class is offered through the Continuing Ed of NYC College of Technology. To Register call: (718) 552-1170.)

MAKE A FILM Class (Production)

FLM 300 Wednesdays, January 6, 13, 20, 6:00 – 9:00pm (plus-out-of-class assignments) & Weekend Shoot 25 Hrs ($120)

Students who take FLM 100 or FLM 200 will be eligible to take this class offered directly by the Brooklyn Young Filmmakers at the location we will be shooting at in Fort Greene. The camera and lighting departments will be headed by a film professional with students assisting. To register for this class contact Brooklyn Young Filmmakers: (718)935-0490


December 5th, Brooklyn Young Filmmakers


The Brooklyn Young Filmmakers Community Filmmaking Project is made possible in part by the Brooklyn Arts Council DCA Regrant Program and Councilwoman Letitia James

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

THE WONDERFUL THINGS ABOUT EVEN TRYING -- Community Filmmaking Entry 7/8/09

THE TIME HAS ARRIVED! At the end of this month Brooklyn Young Filmmakers is shooting “THE WAITING ROOM”, a short narrative film. You can be involved in Community Filmmaking! We're auditioning now. The New York Times Fort Greene blog, The Local, recently published our casting call for actors (you don't have to have acting experience if you fit the role): Check it out, and if it’s not for you, pass it on to your neighbor.


The 1st Annual FGInfoX Stoop Sale Day

Bungee Office Chair, like new, donated by a neighbor to BYFC's stoop sale

(Costs $140 at the Container Store!)

(plus we'll put your name in the film credits!)

And we've got INK for you!
It can be yours with a donation to our film project (BYFC is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit):
(2) HP Q6511X / Canon FX3 for CFX-L400,L3500,L4500 / Office Depot for use in Dell 310-5400 / Office Depot for use in Brother TN-430, compatible with HL1240 printer / Image Max CCI-06A for use in HP 5L,6L, compatible with C3906A / Better Value for HP 1100 printer ……Make us an offer. It’s valuable stuff we can’t use.
(To make an offer email: / (718)935-0490)

All things though cannot be measured in stoop sale dollars. The Fort Greene Information X-Change Stoop Sale Day represented Brooklyn Young Filmmakers taking its community organizing ideals out to the community in a whole new way and with a new neighborhood partner, Fort Greene SNAP. Here’s some of the other wonderful things we got out of the day:


We figured a great way of advertising a neighborhood stoop sale day was online. I asked Andy Newman of The Local, for use of the software or template that he uses for the blog’s crime map. It’s Google Maps, baby! ( ) When I told Henrietta this at SNAP (where she runs the community computer lab) it was just a little over three weeks before the stoop sale day. In-between everything else she does, Henrietta learned how to create this great Google map of the different sites in the neighborhood for our stoop sale day:,

Henrietta at SNAP, “Yeah, I conquered Google Maps, and I help turn others into conquerors!"

(Note: She only wears her cape in night hours when the moon is crescent)

Our FGInfoX Stoop Sale Day got an announcement in TIMEOUT NY that sent readers to the BYFC and SNAP websites for a link to the map. Plus neighborhood blogs publicized the map. The map got over 1,000 views, and in the pursuit of used treasure, a lot of people who never heard of our non-profits looked at our websites.

I stopped by a neighbor’s house on Vanderbilt the day before the stoop sale to pick up a box of donations. She greeted me with “I love your map!” I was surprised by Kathleen’s enthusiasm about the map since as coordinator of the annual South of the Navy Yard Artists Stroll she had created an online map herself. I asked, why was our map better than the one she had created.

“Because it’s interactive with those great pop-ups! We’re definitely going to use Google maps for our SONYA Stroll map next year.”

I didn’t understand fully what she meant until I took time to play with the map. There are pop-ups by all the site balloons telling you some of the things the site is selling. It is cool! Since the stoop sale day Henrietta and I have talked about what we want to do next year – Remember this was the 1st Annual! -- Henrietta i
s already tripping on possibilities, “We can put in links to and show pictures of some of the more interesting items being offered at the stoop sales!”

As an internet primitive, I feel like Dorothy at the start of the yellow brick road – only we are at the start of our online adventures.


Our board and volunteers definitely loved the hanging out and storytelling and bartering with passersby and the neighbors. (We relaxed so much that day we forgot to take pictures!) I think we all need to be surprised by and marvel at and feel comfort with people we don’t know, if we are to keep fresh for viewing the wide world beyond us. The day was wonderful for this, but what didn’t get played out much this first time is that we also want it to be a day for information exchange about your local non-profits. (Though seven filmmakers from the neighborhood walked up the BYFC stoop sale and signed up to help in different ways.)

Most of our volunteers had never been to a stoop sale before. Several of them were students from our current “MAKE A FILM” Class, and they proved themselves to be great production assistants, as we got an early start on teamwork before our shoot later this month. Running any kind of event, you’re going to follow the same steps for making a film – planning, set-up, running the event, and breakdown.

We sent David and Anthony, a couple of black working class guys in their late 20s, around to blocks where they had never been with stacks of the stoop sale map flyers to give to some of the other sites that had registered. When they got back David said
, “Once we told people we were with Brooklyn Young Filmmakers, they were like our friends. It was something, people’s thankfulness. They were like, ‘You’re doing things to not only benefit you, but to also benefit us.’ ”

Also liking the idea very much was A.R.T. NY on S. Oxford, which registered and was on our FGInfoX Stoop Sale map. They have been liking the idea so much – that they had already been doing it for the last five years (!) on a small block size scale. I only learned this after the stoop sale day when I talked to Jerry Homan, A.R.T. New York’s building manager. ( )

A.R.T. NY houses a number of arts organizations, many of which have costumes and props they want to get rid of each year. The building’s non-profit tenants have been doing an annual stoop sale and letting their block know in advance so individual households can come out on the same day and do stoop sales. Jerry said, “ The stoop sale is definitely great community relations and we love the idea of doing it as part of a larger neighborhood-wide FGInfoX stoop sale day. One way we have increased foot traffic to our stoop sale is by advertising with the nursing home next to us and the church around the corner. Their staff and members always enjoy coming out.”


Joan, my next door neighbor gave us the great Bungee Office Chair we’ve got for sale above. And when her eye caught on the brand new unopened ice tea maker we had for sale (donated by another neighbor who got it as a present and hates ice tea) Joan gave us a sweetened cash donation (she's got her name in our film credits!). Joan and her son sat with us for a while, and after she had gone in, not ten minutes later she comes out and offers all of us (4 board members and three other volunteers at the time) ice cold bottles of refreshment. (And yeah, it was the first Saturday in many Saturdays with a warm sun and no rain -- did I say we were blessed?)

I was talking to Joan about our excitement over the online map SNAP had created. Joan started talking about her own online experiences with promoting her work. She proudly told me that an organization she started has been review on and of the 150 reviews that have been written about the organization, 145 have given the organization the 5 star rating (that the highest!). Four gave it 4 stars. When I looked at the one reviewer who gave it the lowest rating, I saw he starts by saying he had never visited the organization -- but was suspicious of it because it had received such outstanding reviews! What is the organization? It’s the all women run . After Joan told me this I could see my neighbor was a habitual comfort spreader.


Even though making money is not the every thing of our FGInfoX Stoop Sale Day, we take it as a challenge – how do we make more money? Remembering the people who bought the more high-end items (anything $10 and up), it is clear they were on a mission.

One woman had been going from stoop sale to stoop sale looking for a floor lamp -- just the right floor lamp – and the only lamp we had was it! A pair of men’s roller derby skates fit perfectly on the feet of a guy who had been longing to participate in a roller disco in Williamsburg ( ). I didn’t think there was a big market for the slightly rusty mini stilts I myself had gotten at a stoop sale, taken to our office and then to two stoop sales (finally accepting I was not going to learn how to walk above the world). But that is part of what makes stoop sales great -- the odd find that someone might really want. And this year the first person to handle the stilts stepped right up on them and stilted over to our cashier.

The woman who pulled up in a loaded small car, headed directly to the old wooden paint splattered easel I had donated (never used it, but loved the Van Gogh look of it). She was moving the last of her things from our neighborhood to Bay Ridge where she had more room for her painting. She asked, “How much?” . I said, uh, $10. She looked at it critically, “ I can’t fit it in my car.” I said we can unscrew it and break it down into a couple of pieces. She said, “Ok, and here’s $20 because it’s worth it and I want to support BYFC.” As we unscrewed the slightly rusty screws from the base so we could fit it in her small car, she said, “It’s definitely got history. I know I’ll get right to work on it!” After she put the pieces in her car she came back over to me. She said, “This is really embarrassing, but can I ask for $5 back from the $20 I gave you. I’m starving and I don’t have any more money. I need to eat something before driving to Bay Ridge.” I said sure and gave her $5 back and Mildred, a BYFC board member, gifted the hungry artist one of her famous magic brownies.

Someone donated to Brooklyn Young Filmmakers some exceptional vases and decorative bowls that we didn’t sale. We needed some serious seekers who were looking for what we had. Next year our FGInfoX Stoop Sale Day Map will link to pictures of these beautiful finds. And next year maybe we’ll be able to tell the two guys who were driving round in an old Mustang from stoop sale to sale where they can find record albums.


C’Allah, a BYFC board member who lives in Whitman Houses, passed out stoop sale map flyers in public housing. He said a lot of people asked, "What's a stoop sale?" and then they most said, "Why isn’t there a stoop sale in public housing? Why do we have to go all the way over there?!"

They were totally right to feel slighted, but there was nothing we could do about it this year. Individuals can’t sale on government property. We approached the Fort Greene Park Conservancy and asked if public housing residents could do a stoop sale on beautiful recently rebuilt plaza at the corner of Myrtle and Washington. We were told that other than the Greene Market on the Dekalb end of the park, there was no selling allowed and no room for discussion.

We had tried the Willoughby Senior Center which is on the campus of public housing, but is run by a program under the Dept of Aging, not the New York City Housing Authority, and has freedom to do things NYCHA facilities can't. The Willoughby Center had hosted Brooklyn Young Filmmakers film screenings as part of the SONYA Stroll in May. But they have a very small paid staff that is already over extended and they had done the two day SONYA Stroll as volunteers. It was too soon to ask them to volunteer another weekend day.

Next year we want things to be different. I recently met with Paul Palazzo, Chair of the Fort Greene Association, and he said, "People in the community were talking about the FGInfoX Stoop Sale Day and liking the concept. But it needed more advance calendar time for households to sign up to do a stoop sale and more publicity to get people going to the stoop sales. The FGA can help get the word out earlier next year about the 2nd Annual FGInfoX Stoop Sale Day."

One of the wonderful things about trying is you make friends and you learn.

Above is the Google map for the 1st Annual FGInfoX Stoop Sale Day. Imagine more red pins (for non-profits) and more blue balloons ( for indivdual households) and green balloons (for other events), until almost every block in Fort Greene has one. Now you're talking the 2nd Annual FGInfoX Stoop Sale Day!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

COMMUNITY CASTING CALL FOR ACTORS & CREW: Sign-Up This Saturday At Our FGInfoX Stoop Sale ----- Community Filmmaking Entry 6/24/09

In July 2009 Brooklyn Young Filmmakers will be shooting "THE WAITING ROOM" , a short narrative film. We are inviting local residents to be involved in our “Community Filmmaking”. This weekly blog column will keep you updated on our next steps, introduce you to the volunteers and students already involved, and let you know how you might get involved.

Waiting for Things To Grow
The Children's Garden
at the new Ingersol Houses Community Garden


SATURDAY, JUNE 27th, 11:00am-4:00pm
Come Out & Support the Growth of
Our Community Filmmaking Project
(which is similar to yard sales)
“Yard sales are where you go to find something you didn’t know you wanted.
Yard sales are where you go when you want stuff to find you.”
– Richard Rubin

Brooklyn Young Filmmakers and Fort Greene SNAP are organizers of the Fort Greene Information X-Change Stoop Sale Day on Saturday, June 27th, which will give small volunteer-oriented neighborhood non-profits like ours a unique way of promoting our work – while running a stoop sale to fundraise for a special project. The special project Brooklyn Young Filmmakers is fundraising for is our next Community Filmmaking Project -- "THE WAITING ROOM". At our stoop sale -- in addition to bargaining with you over our wonderful junk -- we will be screening outdoors (in a special little bubble - come check it out!) the three films we have produced and telling you about our next Community Casting & Crew Call (see more info below) .

Other participating neighborhood non-profits include Brooklyn Child & Family Services and A.R.T. New York (and a number of the arts non-profits housed in its S. Oxford facilities). Individual households in the neighborhood are also participating. For an Online Map of the FGInfoX Stoop Sales (Brooklyn Young Filmmakers will be on S. Elliott Place, between DeKalb & Lafayette):


But what a great experience you’ll have! )

Pointing at photos of the location we will be transforming for "THE WAITING ROOM": Anthony Wright (who has written a script BYFC is considering for a future production), Paula Philip (writer of the original script "THE WAITING ROOM") and Trayce Gardner (co-writer of the shooting script) from BYFC's "MAKE A FILM" Class.

Brooklyn Young Filmmakers is producing “THE WAITING ROOM”, the story of a couple whose relationship is shattered when secrets and betrayal are revealed in a waiting room. We will be shooting this low-budget short film at Brooklyn Child & Family Services on Rockwell Place (near Fulton & Flatbush) on Saturday, July 25th (alternate date: August 1st). Primary rehearsals and production meetings will be held on Tuesdays evenings, July 7, 14, 21 (& possibly 28th).

Our production team will be made up of BYFC students (who range in age from 16 yrs to 58 yrs) from our “MAKE A FILM” Class Series (where the script was developed), emerging filmmakers, and community members – maybe you.
Deadline for actors to apply:
Monday, July 6th.
Deadline for cinematographers and gaffers to apply: Friday, July 10th.
No pay for actors, small salary for cinematographer and gaffer. Meals provided during the all day shoot.

FEMALE / 25 yrs / Caucasian
Hilary: A nice person who is also attractive, smart, and a young executive in the fashion industry. She is newly pregnant (not-showing) with her fiancĂ©’s baby.

FEMALE / 40s / African-American
Kimberly: Director of a green non-profit organization. Independent and dignified. Distressed from her inability to have children. Married for eight years to Michael.

MALE / 40s / Caucasian
Michael: Ambitious, stylish investment banker. Married to Kimberly, desperately wants an heir.

MALE / 50s / African-American
Nurse: A tall big guy with a gentle-yet-firm-in-control demeanor.

FEMALE / 30s / African-American**
Mother: Content pregnant woman who plays with her two year old son. (Actor does not have to be pregnant.)

MALE / 2 yrs / African-American**
Little Boy: Happy bright little boy who plays with his mother.

(**Only participants from Brooklyn Child & Family Services can audition for the “Mother” and “Little Boy” roles.)

To apply you must fit one of the character descriptions and have a Fort Greene / Clinton Hill address. Send us either an acting resume or if you have no experience a short summary of any kind of performing or artistic experiences you have had and why you are interested in acting. Everyone must send a photo. Resumes must include a phone number.


You must have a Fort Greene / Clinton Hill address, a resume and a reel of work (can be online) .

All applicants apply to:
Mail: Brooklyn Young Filmmakers
c/o 62 S. Elliott Place, 2B,
Brooklyn, NY 11217

(This Community Filmmaking Project is made possible in part by support
from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs,
administered by the Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC))

Gardens grow on the campus of public housing
& small dreams come true

The children make a bird house, Home Sweet Home

The gift of a lily shows the new plants how to grow


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

THE EARTH MOVES IN PUBLIC HOUSING: Good Grows Across the Street from New High-Rises -- Community Filmmaking Entry 6/10/09

In July 2009 Brooklyn Young Filmmakers plans to shoot a short narrative film. We are inviting local residents to be involved in our “Community Filmmaking”. This weekly blog column will keep you updated on our next steps, introduce you to the volunteers and students already involved, and let you know how you might get involved.

What are you seeing? Sure, some happy kids shoveling wood chips at the new Ingersol Houses Community Garden -– But what is that lumpy shape on the left? Above the shoulders of the first two children! Has some intergalactic species landed in Fort Greene?!......No?……Ok, it’s only an international species: The Tree Huggers .

The Tree Hugger Project, created by two Polish artists, was the featured environmental art project at the 2008 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Poland. The sculptures, made from twigs, branches, vines, sticks, and other natural materials, are meant to remind us that humans are still very much part of the natural environment. One of the installations at the conference was “Lonely Tree, Lonely People”. A line of woven tree hugger sculptures stood in front of a tree and passers by were invited to join the long line -- and think for a moment about what it would feel like if there was only one tree left to hug. You can look at pictures of the lines: .

The special Tree Hugger installation above is called “The Red Balloon – A Homage to Marc Chagall”. To see the tree from the other side to get the red balloon part: ( ). Trees are a wonderful thing. I like to hang from trees. I like the image of a black man hanging from a tree being replaced; replaced by the image of a family hugging a tree in pursuit of a rising red balloon.
But anyway, how did the Tree Huggers get to Ingersol Houses?
Well, the creation story is that the Tree Huggers were installed in Fort Greene as the kick-off for Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project (MARP) new public art initiative ( . The installation above is in the new Ingersol Community Garden, which is located on Myrtle Avenue ( two blocks up from Flatbush between Prince and Navy). The second Tree Hugger installation in Fort Greene is near the campus of public housing on the green island triangle at Myrtle and Carleton. Go take a look!

Kate Briquelet, a reporter for the New York Times Fort Greene blog, shot a video of the garden groundbreaking ( .
She stands deep in the wood chips with Blaise Backer, MARP Director

Clap!-Clap! And Three Ra’s!!!!!!!
Ra! For MARP
Ra! For the Ingersol Tenants Association

Ra! For the NYCHA Ingersol Houses Grounds Keepers

Brooklyn Young Filmmakers Center is happy to continue* with our applause for other local organizations that are bringing creative activities to the campus of Fort Greene public housing. These activities are pleasing both public housing residents and their neighbors from the surrounding Fort Greene community, and creating a mutual comfort zone where all can meet and dialogue.

The Ingersol Community Garden crew
paint signs and haul wheelbarrows

For more Ingersol Community Garden pictures:

* Two weeks ago we applauded South of the Navy Yard Artists for adding a site on the campus of public housing to their annual SONYA Stroll (a tour of artists studios and public spaces featuring their artwork):


I got a late start on the morning of Saturday, June 6th. At 10:20 am I pulled my bike up next to a line of bikes leaning against the iron fence next to the new Ingersol Community Center on Myrtle. In the wide green lot that the iron fence surrounds, a table was set up under a portable awning. Spread across the field, involved in different tasks, I counted ten people. I was happy, until I looked closer. I realized that there was only one black person. She looked like she was a retired person, everyone else was younger.

I checked in at the table and was put on the task of helping to drill and screw the planks to make raised garden beds. When I had a chance, I went over to the other black woman and spoke to her off to the side.

“Hi. A beautiful day, right. This is a beautiful thing. But you’re the only one! You’re from Ingersol, right? I live on S. Elliott, hey. This is such a good thing! Where is everyone? Do you think they’re going to come?!"

I learned that the woman I was talking was Edie Tucker (she’s in the picture above of the four women – the one holding the round decorative stone).

Edie: I’m glad to see you! I was wondering when someone else would come -- you know what I mean.

"Everyone here is nice, and it's great they turned out to work. But we need some folks from here-here. You know if they don’t turn out, the talk around here tomorrow will be, 'Oh the white folks are even taking over our yard now to make their garden.' "

Edie: Oh yeah. But we have been meeting and talking about this. I’m hoping people start coming out as it gets later.

We both went back to work. I enjoyed shoveling the compost, then wheeling it over to dump in the new beds. I love community gardening in a big city. We need physical grounding in both our bodies and spirits that only earth can provide. We all need this grounding if we want to be able to make meaningful changes in our lives – especially if we have scant economic resources and are up against so many odds.

As I shoveled and chatted with whoever was working at my side, new gardeners continued to join us. Color flowed in of all ages; kids, kids with parents and senior citizens. Ingersol Houses was well represented when I left a couple of hours later.

You can only know how beautiful this all was, if you know the anguish that residents in Fort Greene public housing have experienced. They watched helpless as their inexpensively priced stores that were conveniently located across the street, were torn down and replaced by luxury high-rises. The shadows that these new imposing structures cast over public housing can give you the feeling that, some time soon, everything’s going to be taken over.

Working in the Ingersol Community Garden was like saying: “Hey, wait. Something grows in public housing that everyone can care about. We don’t feel like we live shadowed existences when we put our hands into the soil and plant our future."

I spoke after this first gardening day to Meredith, MARP Director of Community Development, who along with Joanne, a co-worker, have been the MARP foot soldiers moving this project along.

Meredith: We’ve been working with the Ingersol Tenants Association for a while trying to get this going. Then we got a grant and the donation of wood and compost from the New York City Housing Authority. We’re dreaming that this is the first of many community gardens on the campus of public housing. There are so many green fields between the buildings!

The Ingersol Tenants Association has been committed to the project from the beginning. And Hiram Mendez, the Ingersol groundskeepers superintendent, and his staff, are our “Super Stars”! They drove their truck to the Bronx and picked up the load of compost. They then drove the truck as close to the Ingersol garden site as they could and dumped the load of compost on the ground. Next they used their tractor in a number of back and forth trips to move the compost to the garden site.

Well there you have it, how the earth was moved in public housing.

It’s nice when you have your own backyard and can sit outside in the most casual clothes on a hot night, barbecuing and storytelling. But when you don’t got, there’s community gardens. I helped to start a garden on a vacant lot years ago on Dean Street when I lived in Park Slope, and I worked for two years with the community garden on Dekalb, between S. Elliott Street and S. Portland. New York’s community gardeners are also community activists who see gardens as a bridge between people.

I grow a garden in front of the building I live in on S. Elliott (see last week’s blog entry for a report on my visit to the Fort Greene Park Greene Market to look for plants -- and my subsequent shock: ). I know growing a garden that’s right on a public street is as big a passer by pleaser as having a baby or a dog.

C’Allah and I have started talking about how wonderful it would be this summer to screen Brooklyn Young Filmmakers films in the Ingersol Community Gardens. I’m gonna bring up that idea at: the next Ingersol Community Garden meeting this Saturday, June 13th at 10:30am. Hope you can join us. You can call MARP for more information (718) 230-1689.

( I am reminded of our high hopes for bringing people together when I watch the awesome "The Sound of Music at Central Station in Belguim" video: )

Myself and C’Allah Coombs, a BYFC board member and
Whitman Houses resident, help to move the earth in
the new Ingersol Community Garden

BYFC SCAVENGER HUNT: Do a green thing by donating saleable items that you are not using to Brooklyn Young Filmmakers for resale at our June 27th stoop sale to help us fund our July film project (that’s one way to get your name in the film credits!). We are now accepting donated items for our sale. If you would like to make a donation, contact us at: (718)935-0490.

NEXT WEEK: The BYFC Community Casting Call for "THE WAITING ROOM"