Today it was announced that Paul has been selected among a thousand applicants for the YouTube Creator Institute this summer at USC in Los Angeles. Participants will learn everything from story arcing to production to directing. The program further includes:

  • Earning a paid experience covering tuition, airfare, food, and rooming costs.
  • Learning from a new media curriculum while using new media tools.
  • Engaging with world-class faculty, industry leaders, and YouTube leaders & stars.
  • Building a brand channel and growing a global audience.
  • Producing a single piece of work to be promoted by YouTube and its partners

Thanks to everyone for your support & I look forward to sharing the good things to come.

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Final Round of Judging

The YouTube Creator Institute is a new media school for aspiring content creators of all kinds, forged by YouTube, USC School of Cinematic Arts, and Columbia College Chicago. It is designed to provide promising creators with a unique new media education, hands-on technical training, and promotion.

USC and Columbia College will judge the final round of applications that were voted on by the public via YouTube, and the 10 entries that receive the highest overall scores for each school will be selected on May 2.

In addition to free response questions to be evaluated, videos were to be shorter than 2 minutes with no music and are judged on:

  • Creativity, originality, innovation (45%)
  • Technical video making ability (25%)
  • Availability and desire to participate (10%)
  • Overall feeling and mood of the piece (5%)
  • Artistic merit (5%)
  • Potential for development (5%)
  • Coherent story, message or theme (5%)

Thank you to all for voting, and I look forward to sharing the results with you on May 2!

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Practice? We talkin’ about practice?

As Stephanie and I have discussed and as I wrote in my essays which will be judged along with the above video in the final round, if voted on by the public, of the YouTube Creator Institute competition:

I seek a career producing documentary projects that engage audiences and make an impact on global issues. My goal is to utilize media for research and social activism, doing so with all tools and media available, both traditional and emerging. My vision for documentary work is not solely creating a standard format film but presenting a full array of multimedia with an emphasis on online content.

What does this have to do with the YouTube Creator Institute?  Practice, to quote the great Charlie Sheen who quoted the great Allen Iverson. Practicing storytelling, production, and marketing. Practicing creating new and emerging forms of media content. Continue reading

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Week 3 Recap

Here is the wrap-up from the third & final week in South Africa. Thank you to everyone for the support throughout, and I look forward to sharing what is to come next.

Days 6-16. St. Joseph’s Home for Chronically Ill Children
One of the stereotypes of Africa is that people are commonly ill and there are diseases everywhere.  This misperception is thrown out the window as soon as you get off the plane and are walking around, but even being around children who have been diagnosed with cancer, HIV/AIDS, and other chronic illnesses, you realize there is nothing to fear.  They are just like you.  And St. Joseph’s is a valuable organization that supports families who don’t have the resources to provide the necessary care for such kids coping with illness.

Johannesburg is the world's largest city not situated on a river, lake, or coastline.  It also has the largest economy of any metropolitan region in Sub-Saharan Africa. Days 16-18. Johannesburg and Soweto
There is a draw to Johannesburg which I wonder if it has been felt by countless others in the past century who have migrated and made this city a center for economic and political power.  Then again it could have just been the discovery of gold in 1886 and the death of 90% of the country’s cattle in the early 20th century that transformed the city and set in motion the end to white supremacy in South Africa.  The heart of resistance to segregation started here in Johannesburg and Soweto, the largest township in South Africa, and its history is unlike any other place.

Day 19. Safari
When I think of South Africa, I don’t think of the animals, though it is 1 of only 6 nations still home to the Big Five (lion, elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros). And it certainly wasn’t the purpose of the trip. But the experience was a blast, providing an opportunity to see more of the countryside, as well as the conservation industry which has helped protect an ever growing endangered population due to South Africa’s urban growth.

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Week 2 Recap

The second week here in Cape Town has been one of adventure and rest:

Day 8. Table Mountain
One of the main reasons I have always felt drawn to Cape Town has been Table Mountain which thrusts into the middle of the city. Hiking on it was a journey I had long waited for, and the experience did not disappoint.

Nelson Mandela's cell. Day 9. Robben Island
Stepping foot on the soil I had read so much about in Nelson Mandela’s autobiography was surreal.  Seeing the garden where he buried his manuscript and the prison cell where he spent 18 years? Indescribable.

The cellar Day 10. Constantia Valley Wine Farms
Apparently the climate in the Western Cape is perfect for growing grapes.  A successful industry if I’ve ever seen one, they’ve been commercially producing wine here since 1685.

Day 11. Nyanga township
The most apparent thing about going to church with Ivy and her family in Nyanga was that little was needed in order to worship together.  The least apparent thing was that this was a only Christian service — giving praise for life while seeking a better future was something anyone could relate to.

Mfundo Galada, a head volunteer Day 12. Beth Uriel Home for Young Men
The greatest gift you can give someone is showing them the gifts they have to give.  This is what Beth Uriel does for so many young men looking for what they have never been given.

If anyone has a sailboat they're looking to get rid of, I'll gladly take it off your hands. Day 13. Waterfront
Cape Town’s waterfront near downtown is a waterfront done right. Of all the places to see, this area is surely one of them.

This is the oldest building still standing in Cape Town, built in 1679 for the trading of slaves. Day 14. Slave Lodge
Slavery is a part of South Africa’s history unlike many other African nations with slaves coming into the Western Cape from east Asia. Africans already living here were regarded as trade partners and never enslaved, though they were often treated as indentured servants.

More to come in the third & final week, including the volunteer experience wrap-up and a weekend trip to Johannesburg.

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Being Coloured

When I first read Linda Fortune’s book The House in Tyne Street about her childhood in District Six before the law of apartheid tore her community apart, I saw a picture of her in which I wondered why she had such a story to tell. After all, she was white, wasn’t she?

Turns out she is Coloured, an ethnic group in South Africa whose story has often gone untold.  One of four official races under the apartheid law of South Africa, Coloured has become an acceptable term referring to being of mixed-race with some sub-Saharan Africa ancestry.  Genetic studies suggest the group has the highest levels of mixed ancestry in the world with many ancestral lines tracing back to Malaysia, Indonesia, and countries throughout Africa from where people were brought to South Africa as slaves during Dutch colonization. Continue reading

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Week 1 Recap

The first week here in Cape Town has exceeded all hopes and desires.  Here is the week in review:

Day 1. Observatory and Camps Bay

Day 2. Township of Imizamo Yethu

Day 3. Cape of Good Hope

Day 4. Township of Khayelitsha with Mama Thope
Blog 1
Blog 2

Day 5. District Six and Oudekraal with Linda Fortune

Days 6 & 7. St. Joseph’s Home for Chronically Ill Children
St. Joseph’s Blog

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And now for something completely different

Driving through the township of Khayelitsha, I finally said it.  This is bad.

Row after row of shacks, the sight that this was home to 2 million people was overwhelming.  But to be honest, I was not thinking about them.  I was thinking about the fear running through my head.  I had listened to others, read the reports, and knew the data.  These people were not friendly. And if I wanted to film, I would be in risk of losing it all. Continue reading

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5 Stories from South Africa

I have been in Cape Town for 3 days and am absolutely in love.  I don’t know if I will want to leave.

1.  This enjoyment comes with mixed feelings, though, as I see the areas of people that have been relegated to the edge of society (and literally the edges of the city).  In South Africa, most every city has at least one township adjacent to it that is home to those who were forced to relocate during apartheid.  Every person and every race here has its own history, but non-whites generally had everything taken from them: their homes, jobs, education, rights, freedom, and often times family.  And now, having seen the beauty and magnificence of the country, at least here in Cape Town, I feel a greater sorrow that the simple pleasure of seeing and experiencing it all remains inaccessible to so many, not because they are no longer free to do so but because for many they still do not have the means. Continue reading

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Rain, and fire, and sand, oh my!

Today I perhaps discovered why so much ugliness has occurred over the power of South Africa:  the land. It is one of a kind.

As Sedick, our driver for the next three weeks who will be taking us Friday to the outlying townships where people were removed to during the time of apartheid (including himself and his family when he was 11 by force of bulldozer), drove us earlier today from our home in Observatory across town to Camp’s Bay, the richest part of Cape Town, I thought to myself just how to describe the area… Continue reading

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