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Site Visit: San Lorenzo High School
San Lorenzo, CA
June 18, 1999

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I visited Lance McVay, Director of the TV Communications and Film program at San Lorenzo High School. He offers students a sequence of courses, from beginning to advanced production to studio management. Film criticism plays a big role in the curriculum: students not only critique films, but also complete a project that includes re-editing a scene in a way that tells the story from another point of view--often telling a completely different story. Even though the students make-do with older and minimal editing equipment, their work is crisp, and Lance's emphasis on learning process and technique is evident.

Students broadcast a monthly show, two of which are produced using the professional facilities at Ohlone College. Student films are shown in a festival setting, including posters made by students in the graphic arts program. Next year Lance is coordinating with the business program as well, to have business students develop marketing plans for the film projects that then inform the design of the posters the graphics students produce. Students in the program also videotape school events and sell copies of the tapes as a way to raise funds for the program.

Finally, congratulations to Toshio Onage, recipient of a California Arts Scholarship. Toshio had "flunked out" of the high school, and was attending an alternative high school. He did, however, continue in the film program at San Lorenzo. Because of his passion and hard work, Toshio will be spending the summer studying film at Cal Arts in Valencia--an excellent program.

Related Links:
California Institute of the Arts

Ralph Manak
BaySCAN Coordinator