Do-Gooders From Film School Do Good in Nigeria

When actress-turned eco-activist Daryl Hannah first started her own web-based eco-themed TV series DHLoveLife, she didn't go to film school but got some of her first basic production tips from director friend Quentin Tarantino.

Most of us don't have those kind of connections, although Quentin did eat a steak once (extra rare) at a King Street restaurant in Toronto where I was working as a waitress.

The rest of us hopefuls who want to communicate with media -- and change the world of course -- are by now realizing that we may never reach YouTube stardom; we've got no surprise kitties, talking twins or Gangham style moves up our sleeves. We might need more cinematography film school tools to help us spread our message or cause more widely.

For the rest of us without much video training, going back to the old film school, or college night course can help us brush up on some basics of film that may boost Youtube subscribers, even if the film is shot from a smart phone.

If you search online, there are endless and some exceptional cinematography school opportunities for budding filmmakers and broadcast journalists.

One that caught my eye is a program being run in Nigeria in part by the New York Film Academy, an American film school that believes in my own personal motto of "learning by doing."

The one-month film school program which happens regularly takes place in Nigeria. It is designed to inspire young Nigerians and Africans with film tools from America, and give the Africans the proper skills to make serious films after one short month of training.

Nigeria suffers from regular massacres and bouts of violence by insurgents and militants. It has a long list of social and political problems, but documentary films like the one on Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony could do more to expose the social and political strife in Nigeria so the world is better able to help Nigeria help itself.

According to New York Film Academy (NYFA), which also offers acting classes, Nigerian filmmakers have a lot to contribute and are already paying their experience with film forward: "a modernized film industry could be a powerful unifying agent for the country of Nigeria... If talented filmmakers were better trained and equipped to record their personal testimonies, then Nigeria's collective story could be captured, preserved and publicized to a wider audience," the school advertises.

I asked for more:

"Film is the revolutionary art and communications medium of the past century," says Frank Pasquine, a film expert NYFA. "For those who truly know how to utilize this craft, it can be a powerful tool of communicating one's voice and ideals to mass audiences."

Time to start downloading film editing tools and enlisting in a film class as our kids go back to school?