Breakthrough Film Club 2014

This is our work from the 2013-2014 year. Each student in the BFC wrote and scripted their own story, and then as a team we filmed and edited each piece. This was a great year in which we all learned a lot about the filmmaking process and discovered new things about ourselves in the process. Enjoy!


Not A Statistic

Here is our latest film, which we have spent the last three months working on. We hope you enjoy it and we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

Thanks to everyone who came out and supported us last weekend! We had an amazing time sharing our film with you all and talking about our reasons behind making it, and the process of putting it together. That was not an experience we will soon forget!

We will follow this post with some photo’s of the event soon. If you are interested in our work, please follow our blog so you will get future updates as we post them.


Breakthrough Film Club Screening this Saturday, May 25th

Hello everyone!

It’s been a little while since we’ve posted anything, and that’s because we’ve been busy putting together our newest film! It is a documentary addressing an issue that is close to our hearts: Urban Youth Culture. We want to communicate who we are, and why we do what we do. We want to show others some of the difficult things we have to deal with, what life can be like on a day to day basis, and we want others to understand the good things about us, that it’s not all bad. Essentially, we want to be known for who we are, not for assumptions or stereotypes.

So that is what you’ll get this Saturday, May 25th from 12:30-2:30pm at Westinghouse High School in Chicago, IL. Come a little early for some light refreshments. Tickets are $5 at the door, and $12 for families.

We will have a Q&A following the screening and an opportunity to meet and mingle with the filmmakers. 

Thanks! We look forward to seeing you there!


Life Basics

This is the our final film for 2012. We had a blast last night at the film club screening where we showed this for the first time. Those who came were really inspired by this film and got a glimpse into the real lives of Jonathan and Eugenio.

We started this project off the same way we started off our other projects. At the very beginning of the year we all filled out a simple questionnaire asking what our top interests were – what are those things that we get so wrapped up in, that we forget about time and the world around us? Jonathan’s answer was spray painting. Eugenio’s answer was acting and dancing, and hanging out with his friends. Jonathans visuals came to mind pretty easily for all of us. Spray painting would look good on camera and be a really cool visual. Eugenio’s was a little harder. He kept going back and forth between what he wanted his topic would be.

We kept asking questions and diving deeper into what was going on behind the spray painting and the hanging out with friends and eventually found out that these things have roots in their father leaving them when they were little kids. It was like a light went on in the room and all the sudden we realized that that would be the connecting piece in this film that we were trying to find. The more we talked about it as a group, the more they seemed to learn and discover about themselves. It was a pretty cool experience for all of us to go through that process. From there we formulated some questions as a group and then we shot our interviews.

Eugenio was nervous, and he went first. He wasn’t used to being on camera and didn’t particularly like it, but after a few minutes he warmed up to it and did really well and said some very vulnerable and insightful things. Jonathan jumped right in and did a fantastic job as well, and was very open to answering questions and talking honestly. It’s a pretty intimidating scene, one person talking in front of 7 peers, about one of their most personal experiences, at an age when its not exactly normal to do that. We were all really impressed and humbled by what they shared.

The b-roll came pretty naturally and we shot that in a day. Before we shot it we planned out how each person’s b-roll would unfold and then we just went straight out and shot it. Tony and Devin ran camera for nearly all of the b-roll!! And they did an impressive job!IMG_20121201_121801IMG_20121201_115352IMG_20121201_120552


December 10th Film Screening!

We are super excited to announce that we will be having a screening of our films on December 10th. That is less than 2 weeks away! All the info you need is below, and we hope to see you there!

We are currently working on our third film and we will be waiting to reveal it on December 10th, so everyone who comes will be a part of the excitement. But for now, here are two screen shots of the two brothers our film is featuring, Jonathan and Eugenio.

Together, on the big screen, we will watch all the films we’ve created, followed by some question and answer time where we’ll invite all in attendance to ask us questions about the films and the processes that went into making them.

We hope to see you all there to share some stories and popcorn together.

Can’t wait!

When: Monday Dec, 10 7:00- 8:00pm

Where: Breakthrough Joshua Center Library, 3330 W Carroll St., Chicago, IL

Admission: Free + Refreshments

Questions? Call Amy Coles (773) 722-0179 ext. 229

I Fear For What I Am

This is our second project with the Breakthrough Film Club. With this project we focused on Tony and Devin and their love of basketball and style. Pretty quickly though we find out that there is something else going on, much deeper than basketball and style. As we dove into this subject Tony and Devin really wrestled with the questions, “What does playing basketball really mean? What does style really mean? And what does it say about each of us?”

Both Tony and Devin were very open and vulnerable in this project and that is what makes this piece so compelling. The story behind the story is what we are in pursuit of here, trying to find the heart of what is going on to really see who people are and why they make the decisions they make. The things we face, both good and bad, help to shape us and give rise to the motivations that cause us to make the decisions we do, and often times we are unaware of what those are until we really talk and think about it.

We decided to come up with a few keywords or ideas that could shape each of the subjects in this film. To do that, we had group discussions and just let Tony and Devin talk and we made notes when something from their story stood out to us, and asked questions to help us get to the heart of the story. We used those keywords to then give us a good starting point for how we would approach the interview, what questions we would ask, and what the film might look like.

Because both Tony and Devin were sharing personal and vulnerable stories, we decided that we wanted the film to look more personal and intimate. We decided to shoot the interviews very close to their faces so they took up the whole screen and had them looking directly at the camera so it felt as a viewer that they were talking directly to you. The dramatic lighting added the right amount of intensity that committed, intense athletes bring to their game.

They both really felt that the clothes they wear reflect who they are and that sometimes the clothes they have to wear don’t and they wanted to represent that in this film. They wanted to show a few of the outfits that they feel reflects them and some that don’t. We shot it in the same location as the interview and kept that dramatic lighting to keep it consistent throughout, and to add dramatic intensity to that element of the story.

The music we chose is almost contrary to the visual mood of the film. We chose something with lots of space, something very simple, but it carried with it an emotion that we feel connects the viewer to the subjects, by matching the vulnerability of the interviews.

We are really proud of this product and super excited to share it with everyone!!