12 Gordon Parks High School students from Ms. Tomlin’s (English) and Mr. Turvold’s (Social Studies) class were given the opportunity, with the assistance of Forecast Public Art, to work with filmmaker Deacon Warner to create short documentary films about home and migration (in just five short weeks!).
We started by coming up with topics for our documentaries and dividing into filmmaking teams. We conducted practice interviews with each other and learned how to use the film and editing equipment. During this time we were also working on our storyboards and developing our “pitch” that we would be presenting to local filmmakers for feedback.
A highlight of our experience was a walking tour of the University and Dale neighborhood where we viewed examples of public art. During the process we also developed a relationship with Clear Channel Outdoor as a means of promoting our films. Representatives from Clear Channel Outdoor visited our school and talked about outdoor advertising and in return we visited them at their job to see what they do and they unveiled their digital billboard design that will promote our films.
Our digital billboards will be located over the intersection of 7th Street and Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis (so look up!). Our website will also be promoted on a board north of the Twin Cities in Shoreview, Minnesota off of I-694 facing East. The filmmaking process consisted of Deacon and our student teams visiting our subjects on location at their homes where they interviewed the subjects and shot B–roll for the films. From there we moved to the Gordon Parks High School editing studio where we edited the footage and added music, titles, and credits.