Filming in Schools

 

I never imagined I would work in film.

Sensible City has always been rooted in storytelling, and as our storytelling approach evolved, it made sense to build out an in-house production team. So we got started and purchased our gear.

Once we launched, most of our production work involved filming in schools because 80% of our business is in K-12 education. We chased after principals as shoulder mounts weighed us down. (I am convinced that every principal walks 10 miles a day in their own building). We camped out in classrooms. We rode home with kids in what we affectionately call “yellow limousines.”  Shooting video in a school setting always presents an emotional, texturally rich, and completely surprising outcome.

Working with the amazing coach at Chattahoochee as we disrupt a perfectly crazy STEAM session to fly a drone over the heads of 100 kids.

I owe much of that outcome to the grunt work of the ever-capable and creative Andrea Desky. She was with me from ideation to production on every project, and I continue to work with her now via her new venture, Call To Action Creative.

Filming in schools has opened doors for me to partner on other incredible storytelling projects. I worked with the World Peace Game  on their film launch, and it completely opened my eyes to what is possible with the right approach to film. So when we started working in social emotional learning, video storytelling again became priority number one. Fortunately, Wil Kazary has always been there for me, and after 14 years, we are still making movies.

 

With Wil and Jennifer – nothing like sorting out how to fly a drone indoors with small children all around.

This year has been one of our biggest yet when it comes to storytelling through film. With the support of 7 Mindsets and with Jennifer acting as my sanity-check and production coordinator, I stepped up to the task of filming in 11 schools in 8 cities during the course of a year. It is rare to work with a company as courageous as they are – willing to allow a hands-off, purely exploratory approach. You can see vignettes of that work here.

Interviewing an inspiring art teacher who was as colorful and fun on the inside as her classroom was on the outside.

Here are a few crew shots from our first production shoot at Chattahoochee Elementary in Forsyth County, GA, courtesy of the amazing, Max Smith. You can watch our “behind the scenes” love-note video from this school here.

Spied upon.

Interviewing my favorite teacher – one of those “always on” smile ambassadors that we just kept on interviewing because she kept on making us smile back.

This is what filming in schools looks like – nonstop. Exhausting, inspiring, hilarious!

A very patient crew who are forced to work with a guy who (as you can see by my hands) tends to put down the scripted question and go rogue in most shots.