Lights! Camera! Action!

photo by Brenda Bota

Rising high school junior, Sarah Ogunji and teacher assistant, Afreen Juli work together on equipments. (Photo by Brenda Bota)

by Brenda Bota and Mary Ogunji

“At 4 years old, I was making little cities out of wood blocks and used godzilla to destroy the cities,” says Professor Philip Ruic of the fundamental of editing course, “They were about 700 pieces.”

Both professor and the students of the fundamental of editing course at Lehman College shares their experience in working in media production. For professor Ruic, it is something he has been doing since he was young, but for his students it is a new experience.

According to the College Now website, MMS 224 also known as the class of Fundamentals of Editing will provide students with the principles, practices, and theory of step-by-step editing, with a focus on story, narrative and documentary editing styles.

Professor Ruic went to college at NYU to pursue his interest in media production by taking a film class. In this class he learned how to make films, write scripts and edit. When asked whether he would have wanted to be a movie director during the time he was in NYU he answered, “we all did.” He goes further to explain that during his days, it took about 120-140 thousand dollars to produce a movie but however, “…today you can produce a hollywood movie just for $7,000. Technology has made it cheaper,” he said.

A group of four students from the fundamentals of editing class filming a segment for their final project.

A group of four students from the fundamentals of editing class filming a segment for their final project. (photo by Mary Ogunji)

Teaching many kids for over thirteen years, both college and high school students, Professor Ruic compares the actions of both groups in the media world.

“They’re both two different type of groups,” and added, “college students seem to be more complex.” To further explain, he points out that college students have other classes they worry about, so they are not as devoted to their work because they have,“limited time”. However, because high school students are on break for the summer, this makes them more committed to their work and put their time and energy into it.

In talking about his current class he says, “they are responsible for their work,” and he finds that each students in their group are involved in their discussions.

“They edit till 5pm even though class is over at 3pm.” Even though there are no classes the following week he says, “they are still coming in Monday and Tuesday.”

As his students work hard to complete their assignments, they stop to talk about their experience.

Photo by Brenda Bota

A group of students from the fundamentals of editing filming a segment for their final project. (Photo by Brenda Bota)

Sixteen year-old, Skavi Ballinas, a student at Central Park East High School, attends her first year of College Now and is currently taking the fundamentals of editing course. She exclaimed, “the class is fun and you get free credits!” After almost a month at the program, Ballinas said, “we only had two projects to work on, but we have to do a lot of editing and filming.”

For her group’s first project they made a car film. There were six people in her group overall, and one of the members was a four year-old actor. She said it was difficult making the cars race, and it was a project where they had to work with inanimate objects and used voice over.

For her second project they made an asylum film using real people and she said, “I worked with the same group members, except for one person that went to another group.”

As a result of choosing this class she said,“I think I have walked everywhere on the campus.”

Another student, sixteen year- old high school senior at Bronx Career and College Preparatory, Nikai Shepard said,“I really like movies and I was always interested in how they make it.” As a result, she took this class in hope to of being a lawyer in future, a cooperative lawyer, and to work on cases for movies. This is her first time in a film class, and she has learned many things like handling the camera and editing and shooting.

“I like the filming part, not the editing. The filming is really fun,’ she says with a smile while nodding her head.

In the first project the class conducted, her group made a movie about an egg coming to life and as a person who often handles the camera, Shepard says, “I guess it was good. It was hard because we had to make the egg move, but hide our fingers.”

Jessica Cespedes, 17 yr-old, a student from Bronx Preparatory Academy, attends her first semester of College Now at Lehman College. “I learned about editing and making movies.” She hopes to pursue a career in making video games, and chose to be in this class because they make and edit videos.

The fundamentals of editing course consists of “recording and using the camera, organizing shots, editing videos and audio” professor Ruic said, but it still fun to students like Ballinas because she said “we don’t have to be in class, we come in the morning to get the things we need,” and “you pick your own spots to film.”

Seventeen year-old, director Daniela Matias, acts, film, and directs her group's final project. (Photo by Brenda Bota)

Seventeen year-old, director Daniela Matias, acts, film, and directs her group’s final project. (Photo by Brenda Bota)

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