I arrived at Monmouth University in time to step into Andrew Demirjian’s advanced video editing class and chat with students about the career I lead in freelance camera work and documentary production. This was an exhilarating discussion led by an exceptionally smart professor and 20 totally awake and engaged students. This kind of session is therapeutic for me on all levels, but mainly because I miss teaching (which I did part time at Johns Hopkins about a decade years ago.)
The evening screening was held at a first class huge theater with perfect projection and sound. Although sparsely attended (another cold February weeknight amidst exams and rehearsals), the Q and A was active and enthusiastic. This small secret Liberal Arts University reminds me of another, Beloit in Wisconsin that my son attends. The faculty and intellectual/intellectual caliber of these places are amazing. It’s no wonder they are both mentioned as significant by college guides and US News surveys.
The next morning, I was whisked away to a “green” public elementary school near Asbury Park (Springsteen origin) by the Monmouth’s fabulous arts director Vaune Peck for a screening for about a hundred 9-11 year olds. Cafeteria Man was not made for children, but young adolescents can usually connect with the criticism of bad school food and are often inspired by the student protest within the film’s story. These kids were no exception. The group was about 30% each white, Latino and African American, and their questions and comments were amazingly sophisticated and of course sometimes humorous. My favorite was the little 11 year old boy with glasses who asked how much the film cost to make, did I profit from it, and did I feel that my “goals were met in effecting change?” There’s really no question that he overhears mom or dad at home using this language. It was cool and the answers are: 150k, not much, and YES!
Post by OSIP Touring Filmmaker, Richard Chisolm