Videography Opportunity

NW Advanced Programming Workshop (in collaboration with PSU)

A detailed description of your project.

PSU will be hosting a program for high school students in computer science.  These are some of the brightest, most motivated students from around the northwest.  They will come together for a workshop where over the course of three weeks working in groups each will design, build, test and ship a original software program.

These are kids who don’t know each other.  They will meet for the first time in late April to choose the projects.  Over the next two months they’ll somehow form relationships, arrange teams, choose leaders, divide up tasks, argue, get upset, and whatever else happens all at a distance communicating mostly via computer and cell phone in preparation for the three weeks they will spend all day together in a lab at PSU starting on July 25th.

I’d like see about documenting this story from the moment they get their letters accepting them into the program through the last day of the session on August 12 and if there is interest, beyond.

The same group of kids will return in the summer of 2017 for a more advanced workshop and a third time in 2018 for guided internships.  I think it would be wonderful to follow the kids through all three years of the program.  I’m especially interested to seeing how the new technologies affect their relationships as they come together for these intense three week experiences and then break apart until the following year.

The kids are all high schoolers from freshman to seniors.  The program is being given free in order that it draw from schools all over metropolitan Portland and  also McMinnville, Corvallis, Eugene and even Seattle.

Here’s a link to the website.

One of the unique thing about this program is that it is intended to be student run.  Starting next year they will organize, operate and raise the money to pay the cost of operating the Workshop. This is why I feel it is important that a film about these students should be made by students.  They can bring an understanding of what the students are feeling that as adults we simply can’t.  Conveying those is essence of the film.

Having said all that however if a filmmaker had a completely different take on what the film should be about that is just fine with us.  What we know and understand is how to put on a unique workshop for a very interesting bunch of kids.  Beyond that, we are outside our area of expertise.
The timeline of your project

As short as one afternoon in April and the workshop itself from July 25 to August 12, 2016 or as long as the three weeks each summer for the next three years at the discretion of the filmmaker.

A detailing of how your project will be distributed/screened/broadcast

If the result is something that is only really of interest to those in the high tech world we’d be looking to screen it at the conferences and meetings where venture capitalists and industry leaders come together to discuss what it will take to enable the next generation of successful startups.  We’d also use our contacts to put the film directly in front of this same universe of people. This is the world we are intimately familiar with.
The film will also be distributed to educators in computer science both at the secondary and collegiate level and to a number of foundations that these individual would likely be approaching for grants to support hosting a workshop in their community.
We’d also be working to get the film into the hands of parents and students at the secondary level who will be taking a computer science class as part of their core curriculum.
Finally we’d be working very hard to put the film in front of as many of the thousands of companies that hire these kinds of students.  This would range from rank startups, to the largest organizations since what we are attempting to do with this rethinking of how students master the art of crafting programs will benefit their companies more than anyone else.
I’d call this result a good outcome, but not a home run.
On the other hand if the result appeals to people outside the world of high tech we’d look at how to bring the film to a much wider audience.  I have no idea how to do such a thing beyond my somewhat limited contacts with a few documentary filmmakers and no illusions that such an outcome is not particularly likely.  However if the film gets elicits he response with ordinary people I’d like hope it will then I’d be willing to put necessary resources behind this effort.

A detailing of what will be expected of the student.

The most important thing the student can do is to determine if there is a compelling story and if so what is the best way to tell it.

A detailing of how the student will benefit from working on this project.

We have the resources and contacts to get the work in front of the most influential people in the high tech industry and the resources and commitment to get it in front of a broader audience if that makes sense.  We are committed to giving the student the artistic freedom to do something that is meaningful to them and to the audience.  This film isn’t intended to be an advertisement for our Workshop.

A note on any compensation, including reimbursement for any expenses the student may incur.

We would take care of expenses and would be happy to make available compensation for the student.

A list of any of the production tools (cameras, microphones, tripods, etc.) and/or the post-production software (Final Cut Pro, Avid, Protools, etc.) the student will have to provide.

We would arrange for any equipment that might is required that the student is not able to provide.

Your contact information, so interested students may contact you directly. 

Steven Edeman