We’re excited to have Pamela French join us as a regular blog contributor in the area of ‘greening’ NYC Private and Public Schools.
Pamela, a television director/producer and mother of two, wants to know: “How would you make New York City a greener apple?” Since the summer of 2008 she has made it her mission to get educated, raise awareness and hopefully provoke some much-needed action. With nothing more than a Flip camera and a fearless curiosity, French roams the streets of Manhattan asking anyone and everyone what they’d do to improve New York’s collective attitude around the environment and sustainability.
Pamela’s specialty is fly-on-the-wall films; her most recent long form documentary was “Getting In… Kindergarten,” an hour that aired on TLC, about Manhattan parents struggling through the subculture of the NYC kindergarten admissions process. The film, which shadowed three families, for over a year, showcased French’s ability to gain access into the lives and hearts of her subjects. In all Pamela’s work – whether it’s Mick Jagger talking about the Rolling Stones, an anxious parent taking her child for an IQ test, or a heart attack survivor recounting a near-death experience – she tries to capture the triumphs and tragedies of her subjects with intimacy and realism.
A native born New Yorker and a real advocate for NYC schools, Pamela would now like to take the ‘greener apple’ campaign to schools. “I’d really like to do a documentary about greening the New York City schools.” With budget cuts in the economy right now, what’s the first thing to go? Unfortunately, recycling is not the high priority and it costs money.
With over 30 “A Greener Apple” films under her belt, French finds it quite interesting how people — our generation — doesn’t really know. Its an awareness thing because then they start thinking, “Well, how would I?” “They start looking at their life a little bit more. And what they could do — maybe just one little thing to make a difference.”
Also what Pamela finds really amazing, are the kids. “Our youth are so much more ahead of us in what they would do.” The kids that are getting more information (see the Green Schools Alliance “A Greener Apple” clip). Right now there’s a big movement in schools. They’re trying to put it into the curriculum, learning about energy. Some of the things they do on a day-to-day basis is recycling. They’re learning how to recycle, what’s recyclable, what’s re-usable, what’s garbage. Pamela hopes that her man-on-the-street clips, are both educational and entertaining and ultimately will be recognized, so that, with the help of the City and/or private funding she can implement some of the fresh ideas that her subjects have envisioned and take this campaign even further – to the streets and to the schools.
Ms. French began her career making independent avant-garde shorts with New York artists like Keith Haring. After a long and fruitful spell at MTV’s Music Video and Artist Profile unit, she went on to document and promote artists in dance, music, and the visual arts for Channel 13’s award-winning, City Arts. Her long involvement with the music scene led her to produce Listen Smart, an educational film about hearing loss within the music industry. Featuring emotional interviews with music icons like Ozzy Osbourne, Lars Ulrich (Metallica), Wyclef Jean, and Moby, the film is on permanent on exhibition at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Presently, Pamela is freelance producing for an array of exciting cable television programs and internet sites, while in the early production stages for her next documentary projects (‘Greening’ the City Schools being one of them). She self-produces at least one “A Greener Apple (NYC)” a month and works effortlessly with her fellow Anderson School PS 334 parent body, the District 3 Green Schools committee, and the Green Schools Alliance, to continue (baby steps) to help ‘green’ New York City’s Private and Public Schools.