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  • Education grant needed! info please

    Hello all I have been a member here for a while now and I am in need of assistance with something that I feel is important not to me but to my students. I am a teacher of computer science in a technical high school in New Jersey and love movies and the art of movie making. I have always had a dream to be involved in the process but camera operation is what I wanted to do. I have tried to go to a film school when I was leaving high school but my grades and economical status prevented this. I now have the opportunity and am in the position to develop a class in my school to bring this to students that have the same desire I did at their age. I have one problem as always is with schools...money. I wanted to see if anyone here know how to obtain a grant for the startup of this class. My superintendent is all for the class and basically said I have the go ahead to do it but until the money is available the class is in limbo. We do have a grants department and they are incompetent and were of no help and literally told me to find the grant money for the class on my own. I need $40,000 to start up this class. So I am in need of any ideas to get this class rolling. I have tried to research this and I figured I should just ask someone here that may of heard about a way to get funding of this amount for a school. Any ideas are appreciated and please don't hesitate to send me an e-mail or private message.

    I feel that if I can give to those students that one chance that I never could have and give that to them that will give them the spark to go to film school and obtain a scholarship that they could earn to go to a proper film school.

    Thanks so much for reading and any help you can give

    Sincerely

    Steve Ranieri
    sranieri@bcit.cc
    AIM steveranierinet

  • #2
    Re: Education grant needed! info please

    That's a great idea. However, I would worry less about grants. By all means, find grants, write passionately and secure the 40 grand. That said, the worst thing you could do is sit on this idea until the 40 grand arrives. The truth is that you don't need 40 grand to get started. You can start a program like this with 2 old G3's, some old crappy video cameras and Final Cut Pro 3 (available on ebay for less than $50. Once you get a program started it shows initiative and is easier to get more funding, both from your school and outside sources. People like to support people who get things done.

    Movie making at the high school level is not about brilliant technology. It's about how to tell a story. It's about directing actors, handling lights (get $8 can lights from home depot--seriously, this is what I have my students do), and the basics of editing: what makes a good cut: what is good rhythm?

    Honestly, worst case, you could start with as little as $1K (perhaps invested yourself, justified by the opportunity to teach the thing you love--nobody will believe in you if you don't believe/invest in yourself) on the following:

    $100 blue and white G3 tower
    $0 computer monitor you find in surplus
    $50 FCP3 on Ebay
    $500 Canon Optura 50 (that's what I buy for my students: great bang for the buck)
    $50 three Home Depot can lights with 250 watt bulbs
    $100 external dvd burner
    $200 used DVD Studio Pro 2 (whatever you do, don't get version 1) on ebay

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    • #3
      Re: Education grant needed! info please

      I appreciate the reply but the thing is if I dont go for new equipment this time it will be 5+ years before they will allow another grant. By then that FC3 and $100 g3 will be thrown out the window (literally) for their inability to do the work I want the students to achieve. I want to use current technology not 6 years ago technology...good points though.

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      • #4
        Re: Education grant needed! info please

        [ QUOTE ]
        I appreciate the reply but the thing is if I don't go for new equipment this time it will be 5+ years before they will allow another grant. By then that FC3 and $100 g3 will be thrown out the window (literally) for their inability to do the work I want the students to achieve. I want to use current technology not 6 years ago technology...good points though.

        [/ QUOTE ]

        With respect, I disagree. I've taught video for nine years at the university level and have written and received many grants. I'm familiar with grant-writing and teaching video. Whoever is telling you can only apply for a single grant is not familiar with the process. There are many sources for all levels. The key is research and to keep applying (I only get a percentage of the grants I write, but I never know which ones will say yes so I apply for more than I need).

        I also disagree about needing high dollar equipment. If your goal is to merely play with technology, then sure: get the high dollar stuff. If your goal is to teach how to make a great video, then all you really need is access to the history of film (Netflix) and any tool that strings images together.

        The goal is not to produce technicians who know the current gear and can get jobs next year. The goal is to teach what film is about: how to connect with audiences, how humor works, how to create a mood, what great composition is, how you organize a narrative, etc. Heck, you could use analog deck to deck on VHS (probably available on Ebay for less than the cost of shipping) and have students win awards at festivals if your students understand your passion (and that's killer grant fodder because it proves you are doing something worthwhile to your administration). Why do you think photo classes still make pin hole cameras?

        The plain fact of the matter is that most great video is done in front of the camera, not in post production. All you really need a computer to do is put the cuts together--this is an easy job that even old computers do well now. And if your thing is post production, even Premiere 4.2 on a quadra 840av--which required users to turn it's clock off so the processor could keep up with 29.97 fps--could do 100% all the tricks that FCP5 can do today (well, except burn dvd's, of course--well hold on, FCP can't do that either).

        Don't give your students a fish. Teach them how to fish. Limitations are good for creativity.

        The worst thing you could do is not act until everything is lined up. If your life is like mine, it never lines up. You just have to hop on the train and go. This is what I teach my students: be an art commando: be able to drop into any foul situation and make great art. There are plenty of foul situations and the people who rise to the occasion are the people we read about in history books,

        </end rant

        : )

        Go get students excited about video.

        Murray

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        • #5
          Re: Education grant needed! info please

          well with all due respect obtaining a grant in NJ takes 1 year minimum and our district will refuse to allow further grants or new funding for the class in question for 3 years. If we don't meet the No Child Left Behind test standards a class like mine will be dropped immediately. So I would rather get the best I can because we will not have the funding to repair older equipment. If the class found to be productive funding will only be given in the second year. Also Teachers are not permitted to apply for grants in our district and need Superintendant approval. Purchasing from e-bay and from unauthorized retailers without state contracts is not allowed. And all new retailers need State approval. So second hand stuff is out. Welcome to NJ.

          i do plan to teach them what you mentioned and it is important to their future in the industry. I am dedicated to teaching them this art and all the ins and outs of it. Its not about just the equipment, the equipment just gives them the right tools for the job and they will see similar tools thier Senior year when the go to the School to Work Program.

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          • #6
            Re: Education grant needed! info please

            Wow, goodness gracious.

            Good luck.

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            • #7
              Re: Education grant needed! info please

              Tell me about it... what grants worked for you? I have to have our grant person look to see if my school is eligable...

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              • #8
                Re: Education grant needed! info please

                This is where high schools and universities must differ. Honestly, I've never heard of such control placed on grants. That really surprises me that they wouldn't want you to be active getting the school more money.

                None of my sources could help you (they are all extremely focused). How I get mine is spending a lot of time searching on the internet. Be cautious about agencies that coalate the data--they usually have many subscribers and thereby you'll have a lot of compitition. Look for the smaller organizations that are focused on your area (high school multimedia, film and video). There have got to be lots of places that would have a mission to start programs or help programs like yours (it's such a great cause).

                Design a killer curriculum, and get student & administrative support to boister your case. Don't ask for more than you need (most grant places can see through that really easy). I have a lot of success getting many smaller grants than any one big whopping one (not to say I don't try or would like one, that's just my experience). Some will say it's better to ask for more because they'll end up only giving you a portion--and that's true--but I've found I usually don't get the grants that I inflate (for whatever reason).

                The best advise I can give is to spend a lot of time with their mission. Align your proposal with their vision completely. Don't apply if you have a different mission (it will just waste your time).

                Oh-and don't worry about sounding smart. Use plain wording. You've got an excellent and worthy goal--that's the most important thing--trust they will honor that.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Education grant needed! info please

                  Thanks so much I appreciate the guidance on this. Every bit of information helps.

                  Steve

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                  • #10
                    I possibly could not refrain myself seeing the mention of grants here. Thats the reason I disturbed an old thread. Maybe since the time this was posted I have been seeking in places if I can get an education grant to carry on my studies further. The expenses that may incur cant be shouldered by me at present as I have other responsibilities too, but unfortunately till date I dont know whom to approach for such help.
                    Looking to get a government grant

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                    • #11
                      stevesnj,

                      I cannot write from the prospective of somebody who has done this, and no doubt your have local/political issues to deal w/. I do know of a high school in my area which has an award-winning video production program, based around producing a "magazine" style show. So, it's not a "film" program.

                      The students in this program produce work equal to or better than the college students here on my campus. The thing to note is that while this is a robust and successful academic program at the school, it started as an after-school club with beat-up, donated equipment, and the dedication and enthusiasm of one teacher. The club was successful, and after a couple of years it grew into a program at the school--a club no longer.

                      If you cannot secure the funding you need, maybe you can still provide the opportunity to your kids which you so passionately want. Maybe a club is the answer, and you can start that with the sort of funding that Murray describes.

                      I'll add a caveat. If you really want the students to begin prep for a career is media, do not fall for the new iMovie. It is not designed for serious editing work, and will not provide proper grounding for the sort of editing they will do on the job.

                      Good Luck,

                      Ron B
                      Digital Media Specialist
                      UGA College of Education
                      Ron Braxley
                      Media Services Manager
                      UGA College of Education

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        check inbox

                        yelloaeo,

                        Check your inbox for a reply to your request for assistance. I'll be happy to help if I can.

                        Ron B
                        Ron Braxley
                        Media Services Manager
                        UGA College of Education

                        Comment

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