In his show Bouillon de Culture, host Bernard Pivot asks, "If you could do any job in the world what would it be?" The answer for me would be easy: documentary film-maker. What could be a more fascinating job than spending time studying some intriguing issue, problem, or person and capturing the results on film.?
I have absolutely no formal training in film-making and the only equipment I use is a $100 Flip camera and Windows Movie Maker. I love the fact that today anyone can make their own short film and post it for the world to see on Youtube. This is democratizing entertainment in a fabulous way!
Below are a few of the short pieces I put together recently. Most either came out of my work at Molloy (International Education and Freshmen Studies) or out of my interests (travel, vegetarianism, Buddhism).
Many thanks to the students, faculty and staff who participated in these projects:
The Artist at Twilight (2013)
A profile of the artist Donald Hazlitt by Rocco Capamezzo (my cinematic alter ego).
Why We Protest: Voices from Occupy Wall Street (2011)
This short film, shot at Zuccotti Park during October 2011, interviews college-aged protesters about what brought them to join Occupy Wall Street and what they think the economic and political issues driving the movement are.
Snapshots of an Occupation (2011)
On October 14, 2011 I took a group of students to experience the Occupy Wall Street protests at Zuccotti Park. I only had a Canon Powershot with me, but I was able to shoot enough footage with it to put together this little video which captures the athmosphere in the park. The commentary in the video is by long-time activist, Tom Trottier, who deftly put the prostests into political and economic context for the students.
Annapurna Trek 2011
In March 2011 a group of hardy adventures participated in a trek to the Annapurna Base Camp (13,635 feet) in Nepal, and I had the honor to be one of them. The group was comprised of 9 professionals in their late-thirties though mid-fifties, all of who were at the point in their lives when they needed a serious challenge. I was 46 years old at the time and wanted to prove that I still had some of the old mojo left.
The Tigers and the Strawberries (2011)
Dharma talk by Dr. John Yanovitch of the Molloy College Department of Philosophy.
Living Word Project (2010)
Meditations on the anxiety of the sinner before the law inspired by Book 3 of St. Augustine's De Libero Arbitrio and St. Anselm's Cur Deus Homo. What is it about the habit of sin that produces such extreme dispair in the sinner? Is this simply a type of pathology or the curative effects of conscience on the human psyche.
A pilot filmed and edited by George Kayaian, a master film-maker who is so good at his trade he can even make someone like me sound moderately coherent.
From Surviving to Thriving (2010)
A series of videos I made when I was Director of the First Year Experience to go along with our course text.
Snow is Falling: A Psychomusical Extravaganza (2010)
Alright, it was the end of the semester, I was seriously bored, and felt like creating something really goofy. Thank you Yoko Ono for you endless inspiration!
George: Artist at the Crossroads (2010)
A portrait of artist and film-maker, George Kayaian, filmed at Sands Point Preserve on Long Island. In case you're interested, in 2012 I challenged George to use the footage that I shot and do his own version of Artist at the Crossroads. His very different version can be found here.
Visions of India (2010)
Footage I shot during my second visit to Mother India.
The Vegetarian Alternative (2009)
Edited version of a longer video exploring our food choices and their consequences.