NeON Arts Digital Media

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Thrive Media Director Christine Casado

During the the Covid-19 pandemic, Thrive Collective provided our Summer Media Academy remotely in partnership with Carnegie Hall’s NeON Arts program. I was proud to serve as the primary teaching artist.

For six weeks, students gathered online to learn the basics of digital filmmaking using readily available smartphones, tablets, and mostly free apps. The program was designed to prepare students for the workplace by teaching necessary life skills through the art of filmmaking.

Using everyday technology, students learned how to make videos using apps like Inshot and Stop Motion Video. We began with the basics of cinematography, like composition and lighting, and introduced basic skills such creating storyboards, framing different types of shots, and editing. We later journeyed into specific genres, including stop motion videos.

Student Film Archives

Watch all twelve videos produced by our NeON Arts Summer 2020 students here.

Jasmine Cruz created an amazing piece by actually drawing a setting and cutting out her characters to animate them. When asked if she’s ever done this before, Jasmine expressed this was her first time and has never used the app before. I was blown away by her creativity and ability to tell a story through stop motion. A number of the students caught on quickly and came up with amazing stop motion videos.

During the last couple of weeks, we watched a mini docuseries entitled Homemade, a Netflix original that features homemade videos created by filmmakers during lockdown. While watching this series, students explored different styles of filmmaking and what elements were used to convey a specific type of emotion. Students were inspired to make their own and came up with creative ways to tell their stories. Suyee Htun showed an impressive amount of drive and passion for telling her story creatively with great detail and excellence. Her completed assignments were always delivered with eagerness for feedback. As a young starter, self taught filmmaker myself, I was amazed at her talent, especially as a beginner. I was honored to be able to encourage her to continue pursuing her art outside of the program. 

My hope is that students were able to take the skills they learned beyond the virtual classroom. While some may use filmmaking to promote other skills or simply use it as a hobby, a few may find a life changing career in it. Seeing the passions and drive of these students shined a light towards a future ahead full of endless possibilities. I look forward to seeing how far they will go.


Christine Casado

Thrive Collective Media Director

All stories by: Christine Casado

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