Is it Cool to be Smart?

Light House Studio collaborated with City of Promise to teach Keep It REEL, a filmmaking workshop, in the Westhaven community. Keep It REEL (KIR) is an on-site, after-school program that teaches filmmaking workshops in low-income and public housing neighborhoods throughout Charlottesville. Initiated in 2003, KIR has been an important way for youth in these neighborhoods to express their ideas and opinions creatively.

Beginning in January, Westhaven students explored the question: Is it cool to be smart?  During pre-production students brainstormed possible interview questions and tested their questions by interviewing each other. This process resulted in a large list of questions! They formed two small film crews and went out into the streets to interview parents, friends, teachers, and neighbors. Questions included –

  • What is smart?
  • When was a time when someone assumed you were not smart?
  • What would you do if you wanted to look smart?

After three weeks of interviews, the group headed to the studio to edit the footage.  Stay tuned for sneak peeks of their documentary.

Thanks to Jeremy Goldstein, Zac Grigg and City of Promise for all their work that went into teaching this workshop!



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