Students make history as they record it
Chris Meyer and Isaac Carlson were glued to the TV screens like kids deeply into a video game. Their fingers raced across the keyboards as an image of an old rancher unfolded across the screens.Chris and Isaac are part of a video project, Making History of Our Own, that recounts the lives of pioneers in Garfield County. Besides recording the lives of people who helped shape our communities, the kids, most of them middle school age, learn the mechanics of video production from the ground up.Making History is the debut presentation of True Media Foundation, a youth mentoring organization founded by local videographer Christopher Tribble of Carbondale.”I always though we could teach kids the type of media that matter,” Tribble said, through the making of video presentations for public broadcasting.In fact, Tribble has a commitment from Colorado Public Broadcasting Corp. to air the video when it is completed.He chose the subject of local history when he completed a project for the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association last year, which featured local pioneers.”I read the paper every day, the obituaries, and (think) someone else is gone” who made history here, he said.
With kids interviewing older folks and recording their stories, it was the meeting of generations that appealed to Tribble.The project “comes full circle, youth documenting the older generation. We’re making history while recording history,” he said.Not only do the kids learn to be filmmakers, they’re also deeply involved in a meaningful project.”They’re embedded; it’s in-depth,” Tribble said.Chris and Isaac edit their filmThis day, Chris and Isaac were editing the footage they’d shot the previous day of Silt rancher Bob Zarlingo. “He talked about ranching and how it’s changed,” Chris said. “He had a lot of interesting stories to tell. He’s really a great guy.”
Isaac sat below a large television screen filled with Zarlingo’s image. Beside him, Chris worked over the separate audio and video tracks of the digital image. As people do in their everyday speech, Zarlingo punctuates his sentences with “ums” and “ahs.” The boys wanted to cut those out.Working over the keyboard, Chris dragged a cutting tool icon to a spot on the audio line, the exact spot of the “um” and deleted it.”We’re taking out the redundant and boring (words) to make it sound natural,” Chris said.While the filming itself can be time-consuming – the boys worked for five hours straight with Zarlingo – editing is also a chore.”We worked a whole day on a minute-and-a-half segment,” Chris said. “But once we get it done it’s a really good feeling.”For Tara Martellaro, the opportunity is priceless.”For me personally, it’s something I want to do and go to college for,” she said.
Tara also recognizes the worth of project.”It’s so urgent. These guys aren’t going to be around forever,” she added.Learning the businessThe kids involved in the project – there are about 15 of them – are learning more than the mechanics of production, the fun of making a movie. They’re also learning the business.The long hours, the focused concentration are difficult for anyone much less a middle school kid. But they’re learning fast.”They realize this is a real-time business situation,” Tribble said. “They’re learning to be organized, to be on time, to be articulate, and dressing for the occasion.”The project is also a challenge for Tribble. While it would be easy for him to step in and take over when the kids are filming, Tribble said he holds back.
“It has to be hands-off,” he said. Also included in the video are the kids at work. While they’re filming the interviews with old timers, they’re also filming themselves.Once the project is finished, and Tribble hopes to keep it rolling for some time, the kids will come away with a proficiency in video production that could turn into a real-world job.”The ones that get it, they’re going to have a job in the business,” Tribble said.The video will make its debut in Glenwood Springs on Tuesday, Aug. 29, at the Farmers Market in Centennial Park on Ninth Street.Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
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