This Semester the BAYCAT Youth Ask “Is This Justice?”

Fall Class Looks at Youth Incarceration

BAYCAT youth are back in house and ready to jump into one of the biggest issues affecting young people today: juvenile justice and incarceration. A brother, a cousin, a nephew, a friend. Most of of us have been touched in some way by the justice system. California ranks 11th in the nation for its high youth incarceration rate, and 20% of those at San Francisco Juvenile Hall come from Bayview Hunters Point.

For Zoom In: Episode 34 – Is This Justice? our youth media producers are creating short documentaries, music, music videos, and animations that examine efforts to stop incarceration before it starts. Additionally, they will explore themes such as law enforcement, people making changes in the community, and perspectives from behind bars.

This semester, BAYCAT is excited to partner with Each One Reach One (EORO), a nonprofit who advocates for juvenile justice. Together we’re creating an opportunity for BAYCAT youth media producers to deeply explore the complex topic of youth incarceration from a peer perspective, while creating a lasting resource to share with others in the community.

Our young graphic artists will work with EORO to transform stage plays, written by incarcerated youth as part of their Playwright Program, into impactful animated shorts to reach a broader audience.

We cannot wait to see how the BAYCAT youth use their art to unravel this difficult subject that hits close to home for many of us.

BAYCATers at Oakland A’s Youth Media Day

Youth Mix with Sports Media Pros

Summer is a great time for baseball, and hot dogs. But this usually means sitting in the stands, not getting behind the camera. Recently the Oakland Athletics and sponsor PG&E invited students from BAYCAT to participate in their Youth Media Day as part of the #AItForward program!

20038018906_7be50a6ec1_zThe experience was tailored to a small group for a more interactive flow. Three youth and 4 young adults had the opportunity to assist the A’s Media Team with all kinds of activities, including interviews with A’s players and managers (pre and post game), meeting with the team’s radio and TV broadcasters, beat writers and staff members.

The students and interns were treated to a Comcast TV truck tour, Pressbox tour, a visit to the Dugout and Field, an interview with A’s manager Bob Melvin, Q&A with beat writer Jane Lee, Press Conference Room Q&A sessions with A’s VP of Communications, Ken Pries, and KPIX reporter Roberta Gonzalez.

“I’ve been going to A’s game since I was a kid and now I have the opportunity see the players behind20038007776_9ca790d737_z the cameras,” said LaTajh Weaver, a Digital Media Pathways Intern. “It was great being able to see how everything works behind the scenes.”

After the whirlwind, the group was escorted to their seats to watch an A’s game!

“Although I have always been a Giants fan, and always will be, I became a fan of the A’s organization that day,” said another Pathways Intern Melissa Perez. “The A’s organization and PG&E were so nice to all of us and made us feel welcomed.”

A special thank you to everyone who made this possible, especially:

20069660861_76b30dac22_zA’s Team Members: Ken Pries, Debbie Gallas, Franklin Lowe, Matt Shelton, Justin Marshall, Amanda Young

PG&E: Stacy Quan, Rob Black, James Green, David Kligman

KPIX: Roberta Gonzalez

This Friday: Network with BAYCAT STUDIO and Intern Graduates of 2015!

Diversity is lacking in the digital media field. Help us change that.

Join us, our clients and partners for our BAYCAT STUDIO Internship Showcase, a celebratory networking event with our 2015 intern graduates-to-be. Over the last 6 months, BAYCAT’s aspiring media producers were provided mentorship and on-the-job training from media professionals, and an opportunity to work with BAYCAT STUDIO to gain hands-on experience in the digital media industry with clients such as The 50 Fund, SF Center for Economic Development, SF Public Utilities Commission, Bay Area Council, SPUR & the Piero Patri Fellowship  UCSF, and the Mayor’s Office of Economic Workforce Development.

Among the many employers of our past interns are Lucasfilm, Autodesk, Showtime, Studio Hinrichs, and The SF Giants Productions. Our current graduates-to-be are excited to share their stories, video reels and work they created while employed at BAYCAT STUDIO.

Please share the BAYCAT STUDIO Internship Showcase invite with your colleagues, friends and potential employers looking for new potential media interns.  A short presentation will begin promptly at 6:30pm.

Light appetizers will be provided. All are welcome!

Community Comes Out to Support Youth at Z Space

Attendees kickstart effort to support BAYCAT’s free arts program

What a night! It was a full house for the World Premiere of Zoom In – Episode 33: Me, Myself, & I!

Our first ever screening at Z Space, this evening of films, music, and a live performance is one we won’t soon forget. (You can relive and share all the fun with those who didn’t make it at All of us at BAYCAT were especially touched by the outpouring of community support to keep our free programs strong.

We raised the ante to prep our next set of youth for producing Zoom In: Episode 34. Our goal is to raise $34,000 before our next term starts on September 14th. From the premiere, we’re off to a great start with $2,044 raised that evening toward our goal. Keep this effort going – you can donate or share the link.

Together we can make sure this program is available for the youth who need it.

Zoom In 33 Co-Host Lucrezia Berry

YOUTH PERSPECTIVE: “Being a live host for BAYCAT only took 1 hour and 36 minutes, but has had such a huge impact on me. I went from a shy little girl to a teenager with courage. BAYCAT over one summer, one term, has changed me in the best way possible. As a cinematographer, graphic artist, editor, and host, this helped me improve my experiences. For example, my dream is to go to Italy for college. Having these experiences now gives me a higher chance of getting accepted into the school, and getting a good job. It’s so much more than I had before BAYCAT.” – Lucrezia Berry, 14, BAYCAT Student, and Zoom In Co-Host


Zoom In: Episode 33 Tonight LIVE in Person or Online

See the Premiere of ZOOM IN: Ep. 33 Live & Online

Don’t forget – the World Premiere of “Zoom In: Episode 33 – Me Myself, and I” is TONIGHT! The event is taking place at Z Space, and online at starting at 6:30pm.

You won’t want to miss a live musical performance by BAYCAT youth Angela King and Ze’Vonte Hamilton, plus the amazing short films, documentaries, and music that explore their free time activities and those of notables in the community: from managers at Pixar to our local Supervisor to Broke-Ass Stuart.

We hope to see you there!

New Event Info:

VENUE: @ Z Space – 450 Florida Street (btwn. 17th & Mariposa Streets) SF, 94110

WHEN: Thursday, August 6th, 2015

Doors Open @ 5:30 pm; Screening Begins Promptly @ 6:30 pm

Zoom In at All New Venue This Summer

BAYCAT World Premiere of ZOOM IN: Episode 33


(Click The Stop Motion Above 🙂 )

Thanks to your enthusiasm and attendance, we’re moving our youth’s World Premiere of Zoom In: Episode 33 – Me Myself, and I to Z Space!  Please join our Youth Media Producers, BAYCAT Board and Team at our exciting new venue!


Enjoy YUMMY appetizers and be part of our live audience of BAYCAT’s 33rd Episode of our award-winning youth produced TV show, “Zoom In!”

Bring a friend, bring two friends, bring all your friends. Everyone is welcome!


Here is the invitation! (The screening is free, but RSVPs are always appreciated) If you can’t make it to the event, tune-in LIVE here for our live-streaming broadcast!


New Event Info:

VENUE: @ Z Space – 450 Florida Street (btwn. 17th & Mariposa Streets) SF, 94110

WHEN: Thursday, August 6th, 2015

Doors Open @ 5:30 pm; Screening Begins Promptly @ 6:30 pm


What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?

In the neighborhood immediately around Z Space, as in much of San Francisco, parking can be a challenge. If you are planning on parking on the street, please allow at least 30 minutes to find a space, and be sure to carefully read all restrictions on street signs and parking meters.

There are paid parking lots at the following locations: The UCSF lot at the corner of Shotwell and 17th Street has metered visitor spaces and is located approximately three blocks from Z Space. A second UCSF parking lot at Harrison and 15th Street also has metered visitor spaces and located approximately three blocks from Z Space.


Public Transit:

Z Space is close to a variety of public transportation lines, most notably:

The 16th and Mission BART stop. The 22, 27, and 33 MUNI bus lines.


Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Program Coordinator – Edgar Garcia (415) 701-8228 X 213

BAYCAT Youth Learn From the Pros at Sandbox Studio

Amid a jam-packed Summer Media Camp schedule, one of the best things are the amazing field trips. Youth get to tour the offices of digital media companies, seeing how and what working professionals are doing in the field. Visiting community partner Sandbox Studio, a national BAYCAT Youth Media Producers Angela and Zevonteproducer of visual content for retail advertising and eCommerce, BAYCAT’s youth media producers heard about a different use for the cameras they normally use to create films and music videos.

Only a short walk away from BAYCAT in the Dogpatch, Harrison Budd, Digital Services and EQ Supervisor at Sandbox Studio’s San Francisco office, gave the youth an overview of what a digital photography studio does, even giving them a quick studio session for some hands on learning.

“It was really amazing! I liked the still life photos, and seeing how how the camera works in a studio,” said Lucrezia Berry, 13, a first time Zoom In producer.

She, along with 25 of our youth, were hosted by Budd, who spoke about the different types of projects, and how lighting and post-production needs differ for still photography vs. film. He also stopped at one shoot to introduce the students to the creative director and digital photographer, who explained their roles and what they do. The tour gave the youth perspective on what they’re learning at BAYCAT, and how it parallels the professionals at Sandbox Studios.Sandbox Studio Tour

“I learned how much work it takes to do a whole photo shoot,” said Jevani Mclean, 13, “And how much you need to learn in school to be able to do this stuff.”

“The crew at Sandbox Studios had such a great time meeting the [BAYCAT] kids and showing them around our studio! They were very interested in learning about what we do and how we do it. They came prepared to learn and asked a lot of great questions,” said Budd. “I wish them all the best in all their future endeavors.”

BAYCAT Grad, Bella Goes to USC Film School

Young BAYCAT filmmaker Bella Vallero, 17, has always been influenced by media, and dreams of being like the people she sees on TV. Now it’s her turn to do the influencing as she prepares to step behind the camera next year as a freshman at the University of Southern California.

USC has the best film school in the country. She credits BAYCAT with helping get her there.

“When I found out I got in, I didn’t believe it. I thought it was a joke or a mistake. I kept telling my mom, “I can’t believe I got in” for the longest time… Everything still hasn’t hit me yet,” she said. “I got to apply to as many colleges for free because of our financial standing, so I applied to a lot. Because everything was free, I applied to USC just to make my mom happy,” she said.

It will be a major shift for the film student, which can be a little daunting at times.

“I’m both excited and scared _MG_8421for so many things. I’m kind of intimidated because a lot of the kids going there have been doing this for years, if not their entire lives. Some of their parents even got to work on major films that have been released within the past few years, so they’ve always been exposed to this kind of stuff. The money thing intimidates me a bit, too. Not the cost of schooling, but the amount of money the other kids have. I don’t know how I’ll be able to adjust or fit in with all the other film kids there, but I have to somehow, if USC thinks I have just as much potential as them.”

Despite some nerves, after her time at BAYCAT, Bella feels well prepared to take on USC.

“BAYCAT has taught me so much. Technically speaking, they’ve helped me work better in a group setting and construct good work ethic in a collaborative environment,” she said. But the best lessons go beyond filmmaking technique.

“[BAYCAT] really taught me the importance of a diverse community. BAYCAT is all about representation and guidance and helping kids achieve their goals, and I am all about that. They helped me realize my potential in an industry as competitive as film. They helped me realize the lack of representation in media. They helped me realize that instead of noticing what’s wrong and not doing anything about it, that I should be proactive in things that I want to change, and I feel I could do that through the work I create,” she said.

The lessons in film and diversity impacted by BAYCAT instructors, have had a deeper personal impact that the young filmmaker expected.

“[The teachers] have also been really helpful in aiding me on speaking out more and having more confidence in myself. Throughout this past year, I’ve learned that I work really well under pressure, and I’ve learned that I’m worth more than I think and that I shouldn’t doubt myself too often,” she said.

Armed with renewed confidence and desire to champion representation in media, there is no other career she would rather have.

“Film combines everything I love to do into one profession. I never wanted to work a regular 9 to 5 job in an office all day, and I just feel that film can offer me the pleasure of traveling, writing, producing, interacting, and creating while still doing things I find exciting. Not knowing what each day has to offer while working is one of the main things that I found most desirable about film. The variety and constant change involved in the film industry, I feel, fits well with the kind of person I am.”

As for her hopes for the future: “I would like to see myself living comfortably and exploring the world at the same time with a camera in hand. Other than that, I’m unsure of what I’ll actually be doing. Hopefully, I’ll be successful in my film endeavors and life in general.”

Career Spotlight: Internship Graduate Blue Bergen

Some kids want to be a cowboy or firefighter when they grow up. But usually what we end up doing professionally looks very different from what we imagined as a kid. Not so for Blue Bergen. Blue, a graduate of BAYCAT’s 2014 TechSF Pathways Internship, always had a feeling about film.

“I’ve been making videos since I was a child, and towards the end of high school I realized that I could pursue a career in what I love doing,” he said. BAYCAT was a part of making that love of being behind the camera into a career.

Now B11015597_418136601696646_895315707_nlue is creating video projects for Autodesk, a multinational software company, filming their monthly “Design Night” event, while also participating in a video internship with the company at Pier 9.

He started pursuing that dream at City College of San Francisco, but it was an unexpected moment there that helped him get his start in the industry.

“Towards the end of my last semester working in the Cinema Dept. equipment room at CCSF, a department head pointed out a flyer posted on the bulletin board. It was a flyer for the BAYCAT 2014 Pathways Internship program. I applied online and got called in for an interview!,” he said.

That turned out to be a life changing moment for the young digital media artist.

“Being a cinema major, I already had a good understanding of video gear and set protocol. However, BAYCAT helped me to greatly improve and focus my skills for professional and documentary shoots, while also providing me with guidance on professionalism, interacting with clients, and networking. They gave me a huge push in the professional world that has led to many opportunities,” he said. “Mostly it’s a ‘know someone who knows someone’ kind of deal, and without BAYCAT I wouldn’t have had a way in.”

Beside his job at Autodesk, Blue has also used the connections 10500506_10152690594414155_8354394903425744413_nBAYCAT has helped him forge to build an independent client base, and films a weekly event capture for  Calvary Presbyterian Church.

“The BAYCAT experience is definitely not over after graduation. After the internship is over, they find great job opportunities for all graduates. After I graduated, I was pleasantly surprised that they were offering me so many opportunities for videography gigs, set positions, and internships. It has been a great opportunity that has allowed me to expand my clientele and portfolio,” he said.

While his career is keeping him busy, he still makes time for the thing that started it all: movies!

“When not working on films, I love watching them! Watching movies and shows is what sparked my interest in cinema as a child, so watching is fun and gives me lots of inspiration and ideas,” he said. “But I have an equal love for the outdoors! I love to go on hikes, explore, and climb around with my friends and amazing girlfriend whenever I have the chance.”

Blue offers this advice to other young people getting started in the digital media arts: “Don’t be afraid to try, change your mind, and be willing to try different things. What you always wanted might not turn out to be right for you, and you might find pleasure in work you hadn’t considered before. Try to take on a variety of jobs before deciding on one. You could be missing out on something great,” he said. And he recommends getting into the internship if you can. “They foster a friendly environment that stimulates growth in digital media skills and professionalism. BAYCAT has helped me come a long way, and I will be forever grateful for their assistance.

13 Days Left: Donate to Make Their Summer Happen

School’s out for the Summer, but BAYCAT teachers are working! We’re excited to start up again on June 15, but that means we only have 13 days left to reach our goal of 200 hours of instruction for our FREE Summer Media Camp. Thanks to our awesome donors we’ve raised 9 hours so far ($1,352) but we can’t get the rest of the way without you.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 10.11.45 AMDuring the summer session, BAYCAT offers extra classes, which means hiring extra instructors. Help our youth from our community experience documentary filmmaking, music video production, graphic arts instruction, and digital music making. These classes and teachers, plus some really great field trips and mentors, keep our youth engaged and growing as artists and individuals. At BAYCAT we work with bright kids who need us most, but now we need you. Here’s how you can help:

1. Share our campaign with friends, family, neighbors, your coworkers… the person next to you on MUNI – anyone! You can share our link on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, email, etc.

2. Like and share the youth films and music posted on BAYCAT’s Facebook page. (The youth love to get feedback!)Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 10.11.58 AM

3. Pick out your favorite youth film to share on social media. (One of ours is “Take a Look at Yourself.”)

4. Donate.

We love option #4, but each one is important! Please donate and share the links to our fundraising page, and to our youth’s media. Thank you from the entire BAYCAT family.