2019-2020 News Slider — 06 September 2019
Lights, camera, action!

Documentary crew is filming at Oakland High

By Selena Lu

Documentary crew films at Oakland High on Sept. 6, 2019. Brianna Williams/The Aegis

Documentary crew films at Oakland High on Sept. 6, 2019. Brianna Williams/The Aegis

A documentary being shot at Oakland High School this year will be the last in a trilogy of movies about Oakland, as announced at the August 19 teacher meeting.

Myah Overstreet, the production assistant, has explained the documentary will be focused on students, staff, and changes in the education system. It will be filmed in an observational filmmaking style, meaning they won’t interact or interview with the students; they’ll just observe in a discreet way. And if they do interviews, they’ll only use the voice recording.

“The director, Peter Nicks, is really passionate about education and Oakland,” said Overstreet.

In line with the other two award-winning films in the trilogy, which also use observational filmmaking, the unnamed trilogy takes a look at Oakland through its public institutions. The first film, “The Waiting Room,” examines Highland Hospital and the stories found there. The second film, “The Force,” explores the Oakland Police Department’s scandals and reforms. 

“The third film in the trilogy – HOMEROOM – will dive into Oakland’s education system,” says the filmmaker’s website Openhood.org. The film will “follow young people facing hurdles across public systems (education, criminal justice, health) in a city that is becoming more gentrified and tech-centric every day.”

The filming will happen throughout this school year. They hope to finish filming by May or June. Currently, they are a group of four people, but Overstreet said that might change in the future. Nothing about the film has been truly set in stone.

Concerning the students, Overstreet said she liked that they practically ignored the cameras. She would like them to know ”that we’re doing this for you and that we love the environment. And we’re here to answer any questions that you might have.”

The overall consensus students have about the documentary is that it’s cool to have something special happening at the school. 

Senior Ta’zhnae Brooks says that the documentary would be “good exposure” and get “people to see the truth” about the education system. She also agrees that it was a good decision to film at O-High, saying that, “Yeah, [Oakland] Tech would probably sugarcoat everything.”

Both of the other documentaries in the trilogy can be viewed in Vudu, Amazon Prime and Google Play. “The Force” can be found on Netflix. 

It’s not yet known where and when the Oakland High documentary will come out, but keep your eyes and ears open next year.


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