Wednesday, June 3, 2009

SO WHAT IF IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT --- Community Filmmaking Entry 6/3/09

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.

"SO WHAT IF IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT" -- Find out what happened when the BYFC Director visited the Fort Greene Park Green Market -- Below under MEETING US

“Hey, what’s In the Box?!”

“Is it something I would want – that nobody else has?”

Find out June 27th!

SATURDAY, JUNE 27th, 11:00am-4:00pm

“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 is organizing the Fort Greene Information X-Change Stoop Sale Day on Saturday, June 27th, to give small neighborhood non-profits (including Brooklyn Child & Family Services , and Fort Greene SNAP a unique way of promoting their work while running a stoop sale to fundraise for a special project. Proceeds from Brooklyn Young Filmmakers own stoop sale will help us with our Community Filmmaking shoot in July. (At our stoop sale we will be screening the three films we’ve produced and doing a reading of the script we will be shooting in July!)

We are also inviting Fort Greene neighbors to come out that day and hold their own household stoop sales that we will publicize as part of the FGInfoX Stoop Sale Day. (We encourage participating households to donate up to ten percent of their proceeds to a special project of their block association or to one of the small neighborhood non-profits participating in the FGInfoX Stoop Sale Day, but it’s not required.) If your household wants to do a stoop sale on Saturday, June 27th, you can contact Brooklyn Young Filmmakers to have your block included on the FGInfoX Stoop Sale Day map. We will start distributing the map throughout the community the week before the stoop sale day. We also are advertising the FGInfoX Stoop Sale Day in newspaper and online community calendars.

Our hopes are beyond raising money. We plan to heavily flyer and promote the FGInfoX Stoop Sale Day to residents in Fort Greene public housing, who can’t do stoop sales on government property. Stoop sales are fun because strangers spend time talking to each other and trading stories as they bargain over junk/precious possessions. Brooklyn Young Filmmakers is doing it front of the building I live in on S. Elliott Place. I’ve been polling my neighbors and a number of households will be doing stoop sales and giving a donation from their proceeds to S. Elliott’s annual summer block party and pig roast. So our S. Elliott block is definitely on FGInfoX Stoop Sale Day map. Want to add your block?

If your organization or household would like to participate in the Fort Greene Information X-Change Stoop Sale Day, contact Brooklyn Young Filmmakers: (718)935-0490.

ARE YOU READY TO ANSWER THE RIDDLE? How can you contribute to Brooklyn Young Filmmakers next Community Filmmaking Project by giving up something you don’t want?

BYFC SCAVENGER HUNT: Do a green thing by donating saleable items that you are not using to Brooklyn Young Filmmakers for resale at our stoop sale and 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.


No perishables
- Items must be clean and have a suggested total selling value of at least $25
- Items need to be organized in boxes or bags
- Electrical items need to have been recently tested by you
- If you are able to drop off items, we can arrange different times throughout the week. If we need to pick up from you we will be arranging several pick up days in the weeks of June 15th and 22nd.
- You need to give us a list and an estimate of the value of the things you are donating in advance so that when we receive the items we can give you a thank you letter for your tax purposes.

If you would like to make a donation, contact us at: (718)935-0490.


Last Saturday I finally got around to clearing out the last of winter debris from the plot of earth in front of my apartment building. Time to plant the garden. I headed towards the Fort Greene Park Green Market at the corner of DeKalb and Washington Park. I hadn’t been there since Spring ’08.

As I walked up Dekalb nearing the corner of Washington Park, I was surprised and happy to see so many artisan booths lined up with colorful and intricate wares. Then I heard jazz music and rounded the corner to see the nodding and swaying musicians. I felt the party coming on and smiled. In the area where the farmers were selling plants, there were so many people gathered around the tables that I would have to wait to get close. So I started wandering down the line of stalls on Washington Park that sell food and produce.

Suddenly I froze mid-way down the crowded walkway. In front of me another black woman was approaching. She passed me, and I shut down for a moment. I realized that I had passed maybe one of two other black people in the crowd that had seemed like one or two hundred. I then spent the next half an hour walking up and down the market counting black people. When I finally got to fifteen I stopped. My reality had shifted. Standing in the middle of the green market, I felt like I was in a white community --- not a mixed community or a black community.

I went to mostly white schools and as an adult I have often chosen to live in mostly white communities, so being one of the few is normal to me. When I moved to Fort Greene in 1998, suddenly life was different. I was in a mixed community (still mostly black) and it was bustling with culture and passion. I felt like all parts of me could be recognized and nourished here.

Maybe the half hour I spent in the market last Saturday was a fluke, and as soon as I left floods of color would start entering the marketplace. I knew if I went up into the park I would find a truer mix of the people in the neighborhood. But during those moments standing in the marketplace among a mostly white crowd, I wondered what had happened to the dream.

I continued walking down Washington Park pass where the market ends. As I walked towards Myrtle the festive sounds of the market became faint and vanished. There was silence behind me as I walked the empty three quarters of that long-long block. I reached the corner of Washington Park and Myrtle and happened to look down at the lamppost. A small low hanging sign invited people to go down the block to the market. I turned and looked back behind me down the block, way back. I couldn’t see anything. From the corner of Myrtle the market did not exist.

Across Myrtle opposite Fort Greene Park is public housing, where Brooklyn Young Filmmakers has had an office in the Whitman Community Center since 2005. I knew many of the items at the market could be considered luxury items that residents there couldn’t afford.

I turned back and started walking back to DeKalb. As I neared the market again, this time I noticed a man standing by himself on the edge of the sidewalk, a hundred yards before the stalls of the market began. His stand was built out of two stacks of boxes. Leaning against the stacks were displays of different colored miniature guitars.

No one was approaching him, though an occasional child walking by with a parent would look shyly towards the cute little guitars. I greeted the man and he strummed his little guitar for me. I was happy to hear his music. - Trayce, BYFC Director

Brooklyn Young Filmmakers Community CASTING CALL
for our July film shoot.

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