BY PAMELA BOWMAN, MESA ARIZONA USA – Who is Cyndi Greening and when did she lose her mind? At first, she teaches her classes with what can be described as the mother of Sammy the Squirrel in overdrive. (Over the Hedge!) She goes through computer programs with speed and agility and somehow it works because we all get it! Then she tells our class that we can, if we want, be part of a team that produces, films and edits “spotlights” for potentially 90 departments at Mesa Community College. This would mean we could get on-the-sight experience with making a short movie, working on a real crew and then seeing our work produced through the college website. Excuse me, but what film student wouldn’t want that experience?
Then things get interesting. What about a spotlight in Spanish and Cantonese? Oh and by the way, “would any of you be interested in going to Africa this summer and working on a feature film and a documentary? Email me a letter why I should choose you to come…. Now you can see when you have a shaky clip or a crappy cinematographer, how “Shake” can make your clip solid as a rock…Who’s tapping? Knock it off! Bring up Motion. I want to show you..Anyone want to go get me a diet Pepsi?”
Over the river and through the woods to Africa we go… It is more like over the rapids and through the trenches but what the heck! What housebound new mother hasn’t ventured out with her newborn baby to a restaurant or a movie and been totally embarrassed that her child, the apple of her eye, hasn’t learned how to behave in public. The good mother returns home and begins teaching her child how to be a productive citizen in society. First lesson? No whining! As a crew representing MCC, Cyndi is teaching us how to be productive contributors in the world of film. She is taking not one child, but 16! She is insane, but like all good children we will not have her committed. At least not until after Africa! We will behave. We will learn. We will not embarrass our Mum. Yea right! She has to sleep sometime!
Hopefully, after careful training and lots and lots and lots of practicing, she can sit in the audience with a smile on her lips and moisture fogging her glasses as she watches the finished piece performed perfectly at our movie screen at Sundance! Until then, any one have a diet Pepsi?