Big Apple Bites

"Big Apple Bites" Video Shorts Project, organized by the Immigration Working Group (IWG), is offering filmmaking workshops to students at the CUNY Graduate Center.
Facilitator: Tafadzwa Chiriga is a New York-based Visual artist and filmmaker from Harare, Zimbabwe. You can visit his website hermanandtaf.com.
Overview: A crash course in film fundamentals for prospective filmmakers with no prior experience. Participants will learn basic video and editing skills with the end goal of creating a 3-4 minute mini-documentary.

In this four session workshop for members of the CUNY Graduate Center, participants will learn basic video and editing skills, with the end goal of creating a 3-4 mini-documentary based on participant proposals. A crash course in film fundamentals (including video aesthetics, pre-production, storyboard and treatment writing, linear and non-linear storytelling, on location filming fundamentals and editing techniques) - the workshops use simple yet effective channels to create engaging and thought provoking video content for prospective filmmakers with varying degrees of knowledge, or no experience in the video/film medium.

Session 1. Pre-Production: "Creativity Can Solve Everything"
Friday, February 14 @ 2:30pm
Location: CUNY Graduate Center 8304
  • The first session aims to acclimate participants with the steps taken to developing a mini-documentary. The instructor will explore the difference between nonlinear and linear storytelling and creative ways to engage viewers using content and resources readily available to them. Different approaches to filmmaking will be discussed in conjunction with example screenings in order to help participants craft their treatment/storyboard towards specific and desired demographics. The instructor will advise on the best way to organize source media and resources (charts, tables, etc.) and what to consider when integrating and collecting data to be used in video setting. The first session of the workshop aims to show the possibilities when creativity is used in conjunction with the skills needed to create tasteful, engaging work no matter the budget!
Session 2. Video Fundamentals: “The Tool and The Artist”
Friday, February 28 @ 3:00pm
Location: CUNY Graduate Center 6112
  • This session aims to reveal the everyday items and tools that can be utilized in order to create ideal situations for capturing the video and audio for final output. Investigating the importance of light, clarity and visual aesthetics the participants will touch on video framing, basic lighting and sound recording for interviews. A basic set of rules (headroom, rule of thirds, white balancing and audio levels) useful for all filmmakers from novice to intermediate will prepare participants to plan, make necessary concessions and troubleshoot during shoot days. 
Session 3. Editing Suite Techniques + Practices: “Blueprints for Building Blocks ” Friday, April 4 @ 1:30-4:30pm
Location: CUNY Graduate Center C196.01
  • In this workshop, the instructor will coach participants through the steps necessary to build a successful edit- from cataloging filmed footage and source media, to the correct way import into Final Cut. Participants, through video tutorial, will learn the cleanest and most efficient ways to view and choose footage before they begin, and during the edit. Basic video editing tools and shortcuts will be chronologically investigated to bring participants editing proficiency. Import, sound-syncing, timeline creation, titling , addition of images and charts as well as motion and transitions for advanced participants will be discussed and demonstrated as participants work on their own pieces. Instructor will be available during this session to answer questions and troubleshoot as a participants create rough drafts of their proposed videos.
Session 4. Finalizing Video + Exports Friday, April 25 @ 1:30-4:30pm
Location: CUNY Graduate Center C196.01
  • The final workshop will be explore additional areas like adding music and polishing videos for final export. There will also be time for questions and review of editing techniques, based on questions from participants.
The Big Apple Bites project is sponsored by a grant from the Diversity Projects Development Fund of the CUNY University Advisory Council on Diversity and the Doctoral Student Council at the CUNY Graduate Center (DSC).

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