24 Mar Reflecting on Our Past Year in a Pandemic
This past year has been a challenging year for many, including us here at EVC. But despite the struggles, we’re grateful that the Educational Video Center is stronger than ever and still committed to changing the world, one documentary at time. To reflect on our past year in a pandemic, EVC reflects on our struggles, our successes and our growth.
Mikey D. Rosa, Youth Documentary Workshop (YDW) Alum and Teaching Assistant
What challenge did I face at EVC during the pandemic? I had to adjust to being online, still trying to really learn and understand what’s going on during this pandemic. It didn’t quite make sense to me at first. I had issues attending some of my classes in order to graduate. Family was also an issue. A lot of conflict was going on. It was quite weird feeling at first the zoom calls and trying to stay focused and on task, I felt a bit worried about completing my work. What really made me overcome it was really digging deep into research and the documentary focusing on this time during the pandemic, it made me understand more and how this really became a big issue for us around the world.
Derick M., YDW Alum and Teaching Assistant
The word I would use [to describe my past year at EVC] is worthwhile. At first, I only accepted this internship because I needed to find a job asap in order to help my family financially and that’s when I discovered EVC, through Independence High School. During my internship, I learned that EVC goes above and beyond to support anyone they can and create impactful/ amazing documentaries to share with the world. Everyone I have met at EVC has been so kind and amazing to work with that I couldn’t have asked for a better internship experience. Meeting so many amazing and talented people was something I never experienced and something that I will never forget. After ending my internship, I was still looking for another job and that’s when Kate, (my supervisor at EVC) presented the opportunity to be a teaching assistant. I accepted and learned even more along the way. Overall, I had an amazing time sharing my experience with other EVC youth producers by not only giving a helping hand, but also by helping Kate who has gone the extra mile to help me grow as a person and push me to realize my full potential. So thank you Kate/ EVC, ya’ll the best!
Kate Levy, YDW Co-Director
When the pandemic started, I was terrified that we would have to shut down our workshops. I couldn’t imagine how we would translate the important in-person work into a sterilized, isolating online environment. I was so worried that the collective practice of making a film or building a community would not translate. However, I learned that there were some benefits to working virtually. For example, we have also been able to bring voices from all over the world into our films. It was also exciting to explore how to document the times through the very modes we use to communicate–interviews conducted over zoom, and tiktok videos used to articulate research have a certain aesthetic specific to this moment in time. There is nothing like being in a room with students, and am very eager to get back in person, yet I am surprised that there were some silver linings.
Rachel Brown, YDW Co-Director
As one of the Co-Directors of Youth Documentary Workshop, I am most proud of the youth producers who were able to create two amazing films during the pandemic. Last Spring, when schools closed and our program went online, nine youth producers who were able to make the transition with EVC produced Living With the Enemy: Media, Mental Health & Me, an important investigation into how media coverage affects the mental health of young people living through the pandemic. I’m proud of how brave the youth producers were to open up to each other about their own mental health struggles, as well as make their conversations and video diaries part of the film for others to see. I believe the film helps to destigmatize the challenges many are still facing today. The film also has a sharp analysis of media coverage of our former president’s damaging behavior. In the Fall, 14 youth producers created What’s Gender Got to Do with It?, a progressive discussion on gender discrimination, featuring activists from the transgender community. Again, I saw the youth discuss difficult personal experiences, learn from each other and the larger community, and produce a touching, thoughtful and intelligent film. Shout out to all the youth producers!!!
Tiffany Harrington, EVC Board Member
Looking back on my work with EVC in 2020, I’m most proud of my fundraising efforts & expanding the EVC community to all my friends & family. Thinking back to when the pandemic hit last March, I was very worried about what impact the pandemic would have on the students in the documentary program. I certainly didn’t want the global crisis to deter them from following their dreams. There will always be things that happen on our journey that will be out of our control; this time it just hit everyone at once. I didn’t want the students to feel like their program was any less valuable because of these new circumstances. Documentary filmmaking becomes even more critical during times of social unrest and I wanted to do my part to uplift this community of talented creatives. I hit the fundraising campaign trail hard and I was even surprised myself at the outpouring of support. Clearly, my community felt the same way I did – they too understood the value of contributing to our youth program during a time when the world was shuttering. The success of last year’s program should be a testament to the power of EVC. Community is so important and I’m so proud to be a part of this one!