Lights, Cameras, Action!!

Hello!

My name is Geoff, and I’m about to embark on my senior project. With only a few days remaining until I go, my anticipation is building with every passing moment. For my senior project, I will be spending three weeks in New York City interning with Jigsaw Productions, a documentary film company that has won Academy, Emmy, and even Writer’s Guild awards for their work. Over the course of my internship, I will be partaking in activities such as photologging, transcribing interviews, running errands, and attending daily question and answer sessions with the staff of Jigsaw.

This project is a dream come true for me. Ever since I was young, I have been fascinated with the art of storytelling, whether it be through writing, artwork, songs, or film. In addition, I have also been passionate about activism and spreading awareness of various social and environmental issues such as hydraulic fracturing. Documentary films in particular have piqued my interest as a way of accomplishing both. They allow you to tell a story while also spreading a message to others. In addition to the content of my project, I am also excited about the location in which it is taking place. The constant energy of New York City has never ceased to amaze me, so I look forward to spending three weeks immersed in it.

My hope is that this internship will help me to know whether I would like to pursue a future in film making, or if this isn’t really my calling. I also hope to gain insight on the film industry and how documentaries are created, from concept to reality. For instance, how do you attain funding, who do you pitch your ideas to, how do you assemble a crew, and how do you make your vision of a film into reality? On the other hand, my main concern going into this project is that I won’t get the depth of knowledge I’m hoping to attain. However, I know that regardless of my exact experience during my senior project, I will learn an innumerable amount about myself through this internship. For this reason, I am incredibly excited to start my senior project and to delve into the film industry.

A mere three days until my project begins. Let’s get that camera rolling!

Cheers,

Geoff

The Green Line

Location: Ramat Hashofet, Israel

Monday, March 4th

The Green Line, officially called the 1949 Armistice Line, is not actually a green line painted between Israel and Palestinian West Bank. 1949, in Rhode Island, several Israelis and American Ralph Bunche drew the line based on geography; Israelis then planted trees along the border therefore gave it the name the “Green Line”. But today, on a tourist map bought in Israel or a map in an Israeli geography textbook, the Green Line is nowhere to be found. Instead, a fence is built nearby.

In the beginning, the fence was built along the line, but it diverges to include more Israeli settlers. We stood on the top of a hill over the town Anin. Hundreds of residences cluster in the valley and on the side of the hills. On the hills not far from Anin, there are a couple Israeli settlements on the other side of the fence. This is where the fence diverges with the Green Line. In between the two lines are Israeli settlements and Israeli Arabic communities that can no longer be in contact with families in the West Bank.

Anin

Continue reading “The Green Line”

Photos – Cadaqués and Barcelona

Here are some photos I’ve taken of our visits in Cadaqués and Barcelona. I’ve touched them up a bit and I’m sorry I don’t have more with people!! Thanks to my photo class, I’ve become more focused on taking pictures of my surroundings rather than of people I’m with. Anyway, I will see if I can put up some photos of me and the rest of the group sometime soon. Hope you enjoy!

Phoebe

Arrival in Barcelona

Hello again!

After a long seven hour flight, we arrived in Barcelona, Spain yesterday around 9:00 AM. Upon our arrival, we met up with T. Jenny who teaches English in AULA. We then had a short breakfast and set off for our first day in AULA. Needless to say, we were all quite tired due to the jet lag and we passed the majority of our bus ride in silence. Despite the fact that I was so tired, I was inevitably captured by the beauty of Barcelona. Along with the beautiful architecture, Barcelona is situated right next to the Mediterranean Sea and thus the view of the city is mesmerizing.

We arrived at AULA around 11 AM and were given a tour of the school by a few students. Immediately, we were immersed in Castilian Spanish. In Barcelona, most people actually speak a mix of French and Spanish which is known as Catalán. Because we have only been taught Castilian at Westtown, the AULA students speak Castilian with us so that we may better practice the language. At first, I had trouble communicating with the students because I was intimidated by the speed at which they talked. Today, however, it was much easier to understand the teachers and the students. I’m still a bit scared to talk, but the more time I spend in AULA the more my mindset shifts from English to Spanish.

In terms of the school, it was a bit strange arriving at AULA. As we stood in the patio waiting to meet our tour guides, all the students stared at us and I could see them whispering with each other. Our tour guides later clarified that these kids were staring because the majority of classes in AULA don’t change very often. Indeed, most students have been attending AULA since they were only three years old. Given our experience in Westtown where classes change almost every year, this idea was certainly surprising.

After the tour and classes, each one of us went home with our host families for the night. Right now, I am a staying with a student whose name is Juan. Juan’s family lives in an apartment more towards the center of the city. Although I am far away from home, I feel quite comfortable with Juan’s family. They are all incredibly generous and in many ways I almost feel embarrassed by how much they do for me. For example, when I arrived here, I realized that I had forgot to buy an adapter so that I could use my electrical devices overseas. When I told this to Juan’s father, he immediately went and bought me an adapter. I couldn’t be more grateful!

After a long day, I went to bed yesterday around 8 PM and I got a full eleven hours of sleep. I’m pretty sure I’m over the jet lag, but I guess I will truly know later tonight. Tomorrow, our group is going to take a break from classes at AULA and we are going to visit a museum and a few historical sites in Barcelona.

I will be writing again soon!

Phoebe

Off to Barcelona!

Hello everyone!

As I begin writing this post, I am still having a hard time believing that this time tomorrow I will be on a flight to Barcelona, Spain. Needless to say, I’m incredibly excited and nervous at the same time. After taking Spanish throughout high school, I’m really looking forward to immersing myself completely in Spanish language and culture.

Specifically, I am going on the faculty-sponsored trip to Barcelona. We will land in Barcelona on Monday and will meet up with our host families upon arrival. We will then take classes at Aula Magna Europea (AULA), a private school that participates in an exchange program with Westtown. Along with taking classes and learning about Spanish history and culture, we will be given the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities; personally, I am hoping to take art classes such as photography and drawing. In addition to visiting historical sites within Barcelona, we will also visit Madrid for our last three days of our trip. We will return to Philadelphia on March 8th.

Through this project, I hope to enhance my Spanish speaking abilities as well as heighten my understanding of Spanish culture and art. I plan to bring my sketchbook, journal, and film camera for this trip in order to fully document my experience over these next three weeks.

With that being said, I’m off to pack again!

Phoebe