Use Visual Language to Tackle a Theme
We wanted to share something that was gonna be a little taste. That would fast forward to the present day since sandwich generation is now older. We've been doing a project now for three years called Newest Americans. Looking at immigration and identity. We're just gonna show you a two minute trailer because we have done, in the last three years I haven't even counted how many stories how many films we've created. But we publish an online magazine three times a year, called Newest Americans. We partner with Rutgers University, Newark which is named the most diverse campus in the United States, every year, by US News and World Report since 1997, I believe. We partner up with Rutgers, Newark and we tell stories that emanate out of Newark in some way, shape or form. Get a little taste. Some are in Newark. Some might have a musician who came from Newark and is now out in the world performing and that sort of thing. I would like you to just watch. Again, this is a trailer as apposed to a fu...
ll on story. You're gonna get a little dim sum of stories. I'd like you to also look at the visual language because we have been working across media. It's also entirely different visually than the sandwich generation. You're gonna see where we are now with our visual language. Media formats. We've been experimenting with everything from graphic novels, to stills, to video. This will come up over and over again story versus issues. We didn't really talk a lot about that with sandwich generation but I'm sure it resonates in hindsight. And then, pacing. This is a trailer. It's way more wiz-bang. It's a good juxtaposition to what you just watched in the sandwich generation.
We're in the shadows of New York. The thing with the Newark scene is there's so much good talent it just needs to be recognized. (violin music) (glass cutting)
I'm an immigrant. I'm an artist, an organizer, and an instigator.
A lot of their parents don't have cars. They don't have phones. They don't have all these basic things. (boxing jargon)
I am my homeland, and my homeland is me. My love for you is fire in my heart when am I going to see you free?
Every time I've said I'm going to stop, I can't. ♪ (singing in foreign language) ♪ (violin music)
Whenever somebody uses the word illegal they're actively dehumanizing a person.
Newark was a place of entry. If you come from some place else you're gonna stop in Newark first.
For most of my childhood my father was all over the world traveling, speaking, writing poetry, doing plays. Their grandson is now the mayor of the city. (violin music)
My family is from Pakistan.
I'm the first one in the family to be born in America. (energetic violin music)
Makes you wanna go to Newark, right?
Obviously, a far cry from the sandwich generation but you can see that visually there's all of this incredible camera movement lots of very crisp imagery. There's some drone footage. You name it, we got it all going on in that trailer. Character driven. Every single story we tell is character driven. Even in that little sampler you met a lot of different people and you heard individual voices. You need that human touch. I don't care if you're talking about pollution in the Passaic river. We did a piece about the river keeper. You have a human who gets to take you on this journey so that you can connect. Infinite options for tackling a theme. Honestly, there is no right way or wrong way to do any of this. You could almost pull it out of a hat and say, "Okay, I'm gonna try this." And then, in some way that limitation will give you incredible creative license to explore. We experiment all the time. With this project, we've done everything from an interactive story about a mural where you get to go off on these off-shoots where you can here the artist talk about their work. Or, you can take the drive the length of the mural. You can experiment. The more you experiment, the more you keep it interesting. Ed and I are both really big at breaking down the rules. Ed, more than I. (laughs) He's a total rule breaker, if you haven't gotten that.
You clean it up, right? (laughs)
Visual experimentation. Keep it fresh, keep it personal. We're all trying to find our style. You can learn something in a text book and say, "You can't break the wall." That kind of thing, where it's like, no, sometimes you gotta do that. People are very sophisticated visually now. They forgive a lot and they're very sophisticated. Play around. Partnerships and collaboration, equals opportunity. We collaborate with probably 30, different people on this project. We have faculty at Rutgers, Newark who have expertise in subjects we know nothing about. We have students who get involved. We have students who pitch stories and we end up collaborating with the students to then bring it to fruition. Partnerships really open up a lot of doors. You don't have to do this in isolation. It's created, for us, opportunity that's financial. It's created opportunity in terms of being able to tell a much bigger stories, than we could've otherwise. And, to grow constantly.