July 15, 2021

Summer Youth Employment Program: AFJ’s Videography Training Program

Learn About the First Week of SYEP at AFJ’s Community Center!

Earlier this year, NYC’s Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) selected Avenues for Justice (AFJ) as a host site for the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), providing resources to pay fifteen participants $15/hr to intern in our six-week summer work and training programs.

Nine of our fifteen interns are in our videography training program at AFJ’s Lower East Side center, learning to film, edit, storyboard, and write, while meeting industry professionals both at our center and virtually. Training is led by AFJ volunteer, Gary Wachter, who developed a curriculum specifically for our participants’ interests, based on his decades of experience directing documentaries and commercials.

SYEP participants were immediately immersed in the basics of using the videography equipment. By their second day, participants were videotaping the July 7th Hometown Heroes Ticker Tape Parade where they had an opportunity to speak with Senator Chuck Schumer and Democratic Mayoral Nominee, Eric Adams, as well as interview other parade participants.

Later in the week, participants learned lighting techniques for reality and documentary filmmaking from guest lecturer Todd Liebler, the Director of Photography for every major Anthony Bourdain project for over 20 years. Participants also learned techniques of filming sports, taking turns playing basketball at Tompkins Square Park near our Lower East Side community center and videotaping each other in action

As part of this training, weekly guest lecturers provide participants with a dynamic understanding of the day-to-day work and career paths within the film industry and of the education and training that is required. As the internship continues, participants will create their own documentary-style films, using professional equipment and editing software. At the completion of the internship on August 13th, Avenues for Justice will host a Film Festival of their work – follow our Instagram for more information!


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