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Film Major Contributes Talents to Oklahoma Nonprofit

Senior Meadows student Rosalee Chan applies skills to creating videos for organization helping inner-city children

by Armando A. Aguirre (B.A., Creative Advertising '12)

While most SMU students spent their summer vacations working internships or part-time jobs, or even just lounging on the beach, Meadows Film and Media Arts double major Rosalee Chan was doing something slightly different. Chan, a senior from Plano, was taking skills learned during her time at SMU and putting them to good use. 

For two weeks, Chan volunteered her time filming and editing several videos for In The Gap, a non-profit Christian organization based in Oklahoma City. “In The Gap [ITG] is an organization that works with the inner-city community of Oklahoma City,” explains Chan. “They teach character education in public schools, hold after-school Bible clubs, and organize community outreach projects.” For this project, Chan traveled to Oklahoma City and spent one week filming. In order to gather material for her videos, she followed various ITG interns while they taught in Oklahoma City public schools, and also interviewed several area school administrators. “It was a great experience for me to practice all the production skills that I’ve been learning here at SMU,” says Chan. “During shooting, I had to do all the lighting, audio, and filming myself.”

After shooting more than 20 interviews and what seemed like endless hours of classes, Chan admits she was exhausted. “I was so tired that I began to ask myself, ‘Why am I doing all this work again?’, but as I continued interviewing, filming, and hearing people’s stories, I began to realize that In The Gap really is making a difference in the lives of many people in Oklahoma City,” she said. “I wanted to do everything I could to make their voices heard.”

Chan was very pleased with her experience and reflects on it fondly. “I got to apply and refine the skills that I’ve been learning in my classes at SMU,” she says. “I also got to create something meaningful in order to help better other people's lives.”

After a week of sorting through and editing the hours of footage collected, Chan completed several videos for the organization, including an overview video and one on character education. For more information about In the Gap, visit www.inthegap.org.

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