Local filmmaker Larry Kramen produced a mini commercial on how the sequester could affect after-school activites with the help of some surprising assistants.
Kramen is mentoring Sullivan Elementary School fourth-graders by teaching them the basics of filmmaking, including writing, shooting video, adding music and sound, editing and directing.
All of the footage was taken outside of the school day and parts of the commerical were shot by the students themselves. The filmmakers in training can be spotted throughout the promo, video cameras in hand.
“I think Rhode Island and Newport are at the very front edge of creating quality after school programs for students,” Mark McKenna, Family Servie Coordinator for Newport Child & Family Opportunity Zone, said during the spot.
Ray Malone, a community partner who teaches the students Double Dutch after school, also made on-camera appearance.
“I think it’s a good outlet outside of the academic world. You never know what a kid will stick with when they get older,” he said.
McKenna added that, faced with a “bare bones budget”, the people who are involved with the students are the ones who make the difference, not necessarily the expensive technology or art supplies. They would also be the first people lost when funds run out.
“We provide a wide range of really positive, caring adults who are playing positive roles, mentorship roles, with our students. So if any money came out. . .The big impact is that we lose the people,” McKenna said.
Students will continue to help shoot and produce the footage, which will be released later this month.
You can watch the video here.