Shoot Cameras Not Guns

Shoot Cameras Not Guns

Here’s an idea: Let’s start a donated equipment library, with the ultimate goal of enabling New Orleans’ public High School students to shoot movies.

Here’s two reasons why I think we should do this:

1.) Filmmaking as an alternative to violence.

In the past month, I’ve been close to a lot of violence.

Last night there was a drive-by shooting right in front of Indywood.

Last week, a good friend of Indywood was stabbed 10 times. I’m very happy to report that she is recovering. But is was heartbreaking.

And two weeks before that, I was very close to a shooting at the McDonalds on St. Claude.

There’s been a lot of fear and anger boiling up in me lately due to all of this. After a week of heavy drinking and many dark mornings, I’ve decided that Indywood should do something positive to combat the rampant, idiotic violence in our neighborhood.

I think these kids who are shooting each other have the potential to be great cinematic storytellers.

What if we enabled them to shoot each other with cameras instead of with guns?

I was deeply inspired by the documentary The Whole Gritty, which is about New Orleans’ High School marching bands. The bandleaders use the power of the music to give their students a positive, artistic alternative to the violence in the streets (The Whole Gritty City is playing at Indywood this weekend, by the way).

I’d like to do the same thing that these bandleaders are doing, but with cameras and boom mics instead of trumpets and tubas.

I know I’m just an idealistic white kid from Colorado, and that the war in the streets of New Orleans is entrenched beyond my understanding.

But I feel in my gut that the next generation of badass filmmakers is going to come from the “hood” in New Orleans. I want to teach these kids to make movies and give them the equipment to so.

Here’s how we will acquire the equipment:

2.) Digital Equipment is Quickly Outdated

Digital camera equipment becomes outdated very quickly. It seems every two years or so we have to buy a new camera to stay up to date with the latest video technology.

What do we do with our old cameras?

Back in 2007 I bought a Panisonic DVX100A for about $1,000. But it’s a Standard Definition camera, which is ridiculously obsolete by today’s technical standards. It’s also pretty banged from years of guerilla filmmaking. I’d be lucky to get $100 for it on ebay.

Instead, what if I were able to donate it as an educational resource for the next generation of filmmakers to learn on? That would be worth a lot more than $100 to me.

Step One: The Equipment Library

Eventually, I envision Indywood hosting after-school filmmaking programs for public school kids (the charter schools already have enough resources).

But first I’d like to build up our equipment library.

I’m officially donating my Panasonic DVX100A to the equipment library.

If any of y’all have equipment to donate, we’ll put it to good use.