A pianist, a lawyer, a police woman? When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up? I think I wanted to be a professional basketball player, a race car driver, or both. Good thing I had a back up plan, right? But before anyone becomes an adult and gets their big boy job, they have to get through school first. And for some, that is more of a challenge than others. Kids with ADD, ADHD and other learning disabilities struggle in the structured environment of standardized public schools. They are just a round peg that just doesn’t quite fit into the square hole. For those kids, there is the Dore Academy in Charlotte, NC. Please check out the video and see what I mean.
Earlier this year I had the opportunity to shoot this project, along with fellow camera guy Adam Coker, for the Dore Academy. All shot on the Canon 5D, and with Adam’s new slider dolly, this project really gave us a chance to do things a little different than the standard news/ENG style. We shot like crazy, getting together all our b-roll and interviews with teachers, students and parents in one school day. Even with two camera’s this was a serious challenge.
The faculty was fantastic and very accommodating. Imagine trying to teach an entire classroom of twelve year olds with ADD. Now imagine trying to teach that same class when some strange guy walks in and starts putting a camera in the face of the students,or putting a lav mic on the teacher. Like herding cats right? But the school and classes marched on as if we weren’t even there. A true testament to the relationship these teachers have with their students.
As someone who also has ADD, I have a lot of respect for the Dore Academy. Every child is different, and you can’t just take the same approach to reach every kid. Public schools are restrained to teach a certain subject, in a certain way, on a certain schedule. And for some kids that just doesn’t work. They are doing great thing with a bunch of great kids. I had an absolute blast shooting this. The kids were hilarious and couldn’t have been more excited or cooperative. This was definitely one of my favorite projects over the past year, I hope to be able to do more projects like this in the near future.