Full Frame Doc Camp

Full Frame doc camp participants

by Jay on July 27, 2011

One Monday in July of last year, I took the opportunity as I often do to write up a little summary of the weekly program of the Durham Rotary Club for the Club’s bulletin. That particular Monday the write-up was about a program delivered by Deirdre Haj, the recently named Executive Director of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.

One of the interesting points that she made was that the annual event is no longer just considered New York visiting Durham. Along with international acclaim and growth in importance in the film world, ownership of Full Frame by Durham has firmly been established.

Then she promised that one of her goals would be to make sure that the festival was involved in the community by participating in education and a summer documentary “camp.”  I’ll admit I was a little skeptical, not because I doubted her intentions but I was thinking that it would be very difficult to do in light of the responsibilities that she had assumed.

Well I won’t doubt her again. Not only has Ms. Haj become and active member of the Rotary Club herself, Full Frame has delivered on the summer camp promise. With a little help from a Rotary Foundation grant the first camp was held at Southern High School as part of the East Durham Children’s Initiative.

Ms. Haj recently screened the videos that were produced by the camp and they are posted at the organization’s “Vimeo channel.” You can watch the video directly on the site here using the  “embed” or use the links below the embed to launch the channel.

Shelter Doc – Full Frame Doc Camp 2011 from Full Frame Documentary Film Fest on Vimeo.

I’ve watched the videos and I have several reactions. The first is how professional they seem. A trend is developing in real estate marketing to produce property videos. Some that agents produce themselves and even some produced by photographers trying to offer the service are embarrassingly laughable. So, I’m extremely envious. I want to go to camp too. Maybe some of the campers can create a business opportunity for themselves doing property videos.

The second thought I had is that the topic that they addressed in the longest of the videos they produced…the role of the animal shelter and the Animal Protection Society…can have a tremendous impact. OK, I’m probably a sucker for anything with dogs and cats in it, but these kids not only learned some of the technical and stylistic things about producing documentaries, they learned how effective they can be to promote a cause.

It also fits the “pay it forward” model. The kids got some help going to camp and they paid it forward by providing an excellent tool for APS that I hope they will embed in their site soon. Win, win, win all around.

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