Keeping an Eye on Video with Real Art Ways


Tucked in the back room of Real Art Ways are ten hopeful filmmakers quietly working on their films. Headphones in and necks craned close to their computer screens, these young filmmakers are honing their craft and building a passion for telling stories. Each film has a different style and sends a different message, one that is personal to the creator. They all have one main goal: to provoke thought and emotion in the viewer while telling a story that is interesting and compelling.

Discovering the message you want to send and making a story that is uniquely your own is no simple task. An apprentice named Ruthie said her message is about dreams, “whether it’s a sleep dream or a dream like a goal. When I make a film, it usually explores the subject’s mind. It’s encouragement to make yourself happy.” Fran, on the other hand, wanted to focus on the changes one faces when going to college. Whatever the message, each apprentice wanted nothing more than to successfully share it with their audience.

Eye on Video apprentices were a part of the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s Neighborhood Studios program. They spent six weeks working with Master Teaching Artist Erika Van Natta at Real Art Ways in Hartford’s Parkville neighborhood. Under Van Natta’s guidance, they learned a myriad of techniques; one apprentice named Yasmine says she’d be crazy if she claimed to have learned nothing this summer. Fellow apprentice Judah agreed saying, “The program allowed me to dig deeper into projects and create something that’s very personal. It allowed me to piece my work together very well, in a technical and storytelling sense.” For some, learning more about their craft was the most memorable moment of the summer. For others, it was getting to collaborate with the each other and being a part of a team, “My favorite moment this summer was when we worked on this big group project. It was surrealist and everyone was in garbage bags. It was certainly an experience I’ll never forget!” said Stephen. Apprentices completed a number of group projects as well as individual films during their six weeks with Neighborhood Studios.

 Learn more about the 2015 Eye on Film apprentices!

Is there a director or filmmaker that inspires you?

  • Martin Scorsese – TJ
  • Wes Anderson – Francisco
  • Casey Nicetown – Pablo
  • I’ve always been a fan of Christopher Nolan. Really inspiring for young filmmakers – Yasmine
  • Alfred Hitchcock – Pritisha
  • Tim Burton and Wes Anderson. – Ruthie
  • Wes Anderson – Stephen
  • Stephen Spielberg – Judah

What is your favorite movie of all time?

  • I would say Raging Bull and Do The Right Thing. – TJ
  • Drive and – Francisco
  • Raging Bull – Pablo
  • Aladdin – Yasmine
  • Vertigo and 400 Blows – Pritisha
  • Grand Budapest Hotel and I’m a huge Pixar fan. – Ruthie
  • Willa Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – Stephen
  • A Beautiful Mind – Judah
  • Anything from Studio Ghibli. – Devika

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