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I am writing to adjust the generous, but decidedly “auteur” slant of Guy Raz’s article, “Film School on 14th” (9/11). Even with a filmmaker’s penchant for self-promotion, I would be remiss if I didn’t address the errors and omissions.
1) Auteur filmmaking is a myth. Movies, in my experience, are not made by a single individual. The contributions of the Looking Forward/Looking Back partnersWoolly Mammoth Theatre Company, DCTV, and Martha’s Tableare making the video, l4th Street: 1968-1998 a reality. The concept for the video was an idea Tim Jones, program coordinator of Martha’s Table Teen Program, brought to Tom Prewitt, associate artistic director of Woolly Mammoth and administrator of the Outside Woolly programs.
2) The real storythe teen producers themselveswas overlooked. As much as I personally appreciated the press coverage, these young people from Martha’s Table are the core of the project. Over the past 10 weeks, they’ve taken production training seriously enough to bring fresh, challenging perspectives on the 30 years between the ’68 riots and today to the screen. Perhaps City Paper might consider a follow-up story focused on them when the video premieres on Oct. 24th.
3) Give credit where credit is due. Teamwork among the various staffs of the LF/LB partners is exemplary and deserves much recognition and acknowledgement. They include:
DCTV: Cheryl Hawkins, production manager; Paul Lusaka, video instructor/technician.
Martha’s Table: Jen Thomas, director, Teen Program; Tim Jones, program coordinator, Teen Program; Millie Henry, program assistant; Emminette Sawyer, researcher; Fahima Seck, community activist.
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company: Tom Prewitt, associate artistic director; Hope Lambert, assistant to Mr. Prewitt.
The Looking Forward/Looking Back Video Project is a rare collaboration among divergent nonprofit organizationsa theater company, a public-access station, and a neighborhood services centerall working together to empower and expose this city’s youth. It is a successful example of community partnership that should become a national model.
And that, as radio commentator Paul Harvey says, is the rest of the story.
Looking Forward/Looking Back Video Project