The Power of Student Opportunities

Hello Readers!

First off allow me to thank you for the generous support we’ve immediately received for this project. Within hours, if not, minutes I received many emails and social media messages telling me they’d support my effort to bring Dr. Dennis to the big screen; and pass on his message of believing in ones own potential¬†to another generation and hopefully immortalize his legacy.

But again since we are in the first steps of this journey we still need your help to pass the message along, so please share this blog link on your social media or email it to anyone who either knew Dr. Dennis or was part of High Potential as I’m sure the love these people have for this great man will also ¬†share my passion to bring his stories to life once again for audiences to see.

For this weeks post I want to write about one the other reasons I’m excited about making another feature and that’s the opportunity it will give many of my former students to actually work on a independent feature film. Having been a teacher at Heritage High School for going on six years I have literally taught hundreds of students. Not all share my passion for cinema, but a select few have shown to find the art form a calling for their careers as it did for me and this project will enable some of them to work in key departments of a production for the first time in their budding education/careers as videographers.


Former student, James Jackson, assisting me at the 2015 Ambulante Film Festival in LA, Ca.
Former student, James Jackson, assisting me at the 2015 Ambulante Film Festival in LA, Ca.

If opportunities behind the camera wasn’t enough, many of my former students have found a passion for acting, both from my class and Heritage’s amazing theater program taught and directed by my colleague Chris Fallows. So there will be a huge opportunity for former students to audition and possibly land a role in what most likely will be their first acting role on a legitimate and professional production.

As much as I strive to give my students the chance to do professional level assignments and give them professional level experience, their are quite a lot of limitations preventing me from doing so often. But this project will unquestionably change that limitation into a plethora of real world experience and furthermore, allow my students to network with working professionals. Which anyone in this industry knows, makes a world of difference in terms of finding that next job many filmmakers constantly hunt for.

Jonathan Woo receiving "Best Editing" award at our student film festival
Jonathan Woo receiving “Best Editing” award at our student film festival

I’m truly thrilled to see which of my students take the opportunities this project will offer, as those that do undoubtedly have already thoroughly impressed me. However, now, their talents will certainly impress my fellow professionals filmmakers and audiences.

I leave you with a fantastic video one of my former students, Jonathan Woo (HHS class of 2014), made for his class at Diablo Valley College. It does a great job of showing what makes me tick as both an artist and a teacher. Plus it shows off his amazing skills as both a videographer, editor, and most importantly as a storyteller.



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