Film crew stories community


It’s a Tuesday afternoon and the PHS Film Crew gathers around a brown wooden table. Every crew member states a possible local film story they could cover for the film journalism project they are currently working on, called “My Neighborhood.”

“It’s similar to writing journalism articles,” crew member, junior Andrew Hansen said.

Hansen, who is in his third year as a member of the film crew said that he became interested in film after participating in the eighth grade film elective.


Photo courtesy of Ken Li

“Right now I’m between two projects, but one of them is covering a local event that took place,” Hansen said. “My event specifically is on the varsity women’s tennis captains and a recent accomplishment they earned.”

Crew member junior Saatvik Dube said the process of finding local news ideas often involves a lot of brainstorming.

“The manager of the crew, Michael Heller, encourages us to give ideas about anything we see happening in the community that would be interesting to make something of it through film.”

Dube, who is also in his third year as a member of the film crew,  said this type of film has been really interesting as it is teaching the crew a new style of filmmaking.

“I think it’s pretty important because it allows people to stay connected with the community, and it’s also a good way for us to learn how to do film making,” Dube said.

Hansen agreed and said that this new focus on filming local events is something that is crucial to the community.

“I think it’s really important to stay connected with the community,” Hansen said. “Our goal is to get community members to stay involved and invested in community happenings.”

Crew member and junior Jonathan Dinetz also agreed with Hansen and said that it is important for the community to stay involved in local happenings.

“While the crew has been a bit out of session recently, before winter break, many of our members, myself included, were covering pieces of the Piedmont community or just recent happenings,” Dinetz said.

Dinetz, somewhat familiar with journalism, compared these films as being similar to news profiles.

“I had done one piece on the crocs worn by the men’s and women’s soccer team,” Dinetz said. “It’s really fun to be able to reach out to people and hear what they have to say.”

Dinetz said that while the project has died down, he is still continuing to come up with ideas that would make for good future news stories.

“I got some ideas for further news stories and to me these are by no means ‘proper’ news stories,” Dinetz said. “I think it would be interesting to have some stories that are more satirical and funny.”

Like Dinetz, Hansen said he wants to continue with this news covering project and is looking into more ideas he could cover in the future.

“This project is valuable for high schoolers because they see a larger perspective than their own and their peers on community issues and events,” Hansen said. “They also start to look at things in a more professional light.”