The final day with the Greene Team

Our week has drawn to a close! Today was one of the best experiences I had in putting two stories together in the same day. It was crazy to finish the first piece in the morning by finishing the script for the multimedia piece and putting it together and using final cut pro.

Putting the final touches on our Long Island Ducks Piece

After lunch, my partner and I started format our next piece on a young film maker. It was one of the best articles. We had to do some fact checking and investing new information!

This week was one of the best weeks  I have ever had. It was a lot of stress, but we all managed to work as a team to get our packages done!

Grief and loss shaped young filmmaker’s picture

By Jianni Burnett
The Scholars’ Academy

and Manoli Figetakis
Francis Lewis High School

Calogero Carucci’s first movie was shot on a shoestring budget in just 13 days. Carucci, then 20 years old, was able to produce the full-length movie for $20,000, along with the help of family members and friends pitching in and helping with roles. The movie, “Dean Darling,” will be shown at the Stony Brook Film Festival this weekend.

“I don’t have a big production company backing me,” said Carucci, now 22, of Smithtown. “I ended up funding a lot of it myself.”

The motivation for his work is the excitement he experiences in seeing new audiences’ reactions in the theater, he said.

“Dean Darling” is about a young man’s grief over the death of his parents in a car crash. Carucci’s original idea came from a dream he had about his own parents dying in a car accident. He shares that the lead character is a reflection of his own personality. In the film, Dean, the main character, finds that Franco, his best friend and filmmaking partner, helps him to face his fears about having to live without his parents.

Calogero Carucci, writer and director of “Dean Darling” premiering July 21 at the Stony Brook Film Festival. (Photo By Parker Schug)

Stony Brook Film Festival director Alan Inkles praised the film. He said, “It’s a great film from Long Island, not a Long Island film.”

Carucci directed and produced the film in the summer between his junior and senior years of college.

“Cinema is a large part of my life and who I am,” he said, “so it’s not so ironic that Dean and his best friend Franco are aspiring filmmakers.”

Carucci recruited several famous actors including Allison Frasca, Douglas Towers and Joel Widman. Like Carucci, Towers is from Smithtown, and Frasca is from nearby Setauket. The funding for the movie came from three sources: scholarship money and his personal savings, according to a press release, and a Kickstarter page.

Carucci studied finance at Baruch, with a double minor film and English, and today he works at Bloomberg Finance.

Taking inspiration from filmmakers like Martin Scorsese and French directors of the New Wave era, including Jean Luc-Godard, François Truffaut, and Agnès Varda, Carucci is already thinking about his next project. His upcoming film, Moving in 2008, is about a family’s financial struggles during the economic recession of that year and how it affects their lives.

He sees a bright future for himself. “Sometimes I ask myself … should I just succumb to the 8-to-5, the 9-to-5 lifestyle,” he said, “and the answer is no and I keep telling myself, ‘No!”

Carucci’s production, “Dean Darling,” is being shown at Stony Brook University on Saturday, July 21, 2018, at 4:00 p.m. It is part of the nine-day Stony Brook Film Festival at the Staller Center for the Arts, which includes 16 short films and 20 feature films.

Day 5 adventure with the Greene Team

It was a long Day 5 here, and I wasn’t expecting the craziness at the newsroom today.

After breakfast, we all made our way to the newsroom, where we had the amazing opportunity to participate in a press conference on the topic of ending gun violence. I was nervous to pose a question, and I learned how to properly write your notes like quotes and some information about what they are saying. Sometimes it’s easier to record the conference, but I feel it’s up to the reporter and what they feel comfortable.

After this amazing and powerful press conference, we took a quick lunch break before getting all our Long Island Ducks packages together. It was a little challenging to work on this piece.  All afternoon, my partner and I were writing down the time codes of the quotes we want to put in our video piece.

Later this evening, we got taught in just 45 minutes the beginning shortcuts of video editing. After that we headed over to East Side dining to have some dinner. My group and I then walked back to the newsroom and got our questions set for our next piece with Cole the filmmaker.

Cole and me

After a 12-hour day, we finally came back to Benedict and showered, chilled in our dorms and went to sleep at 12:20 a.m.!

Just when I thought I couldn’t be more interested in journalism …

In front of Newsday’s headquarters in Melville.

It was a very exciting Day 4 at the Greene Institute, and just when I thought I couldn’t become more interested in journalism, I was amazed at how much work goes into of being a reporter and behind the scenes of television.

At 7:30 a.m., after a quick breakfast, we all made our way over to the broadcast studio, where we had the amazing opportunity to put together a newscast. I got to be the anchor, floor director and work in the control room. I was nervous to go first to get up and speak in front of the camera, but after a while, it felt more normal to me. It was so amazing to me how much work was put into producing only a two- to three-minute newscast.

At the end of the lesson, watching back the newscasts, both good and bad, showed how much we improved.

Later today, we are going to Newsday to see how a real newspaper and newsroom works.

After that, we are going to Bethpage Ballpark to conduct field work for stories on the Long Island Ducks. My team chose to cover the summer jobs.

The view from the press box!

That’s me at the anchor desk!

I am very excited to try to apply all of these skills that I have learned so far this week. I’ve learned so much about many aspects of journalism and have gained so many new friends that I know I will keep after this week concludes. I am loving every second of this whole process!

Meghan Reilly: Poet, photographer and journalist

By Manoli Figetakis
Francis Lewis High School

Even as a young child, Meghan Reilly dreamed of being a journalist. The 17-year-old senior at Westhampton Beach High School has been working toward her goal.

Reilly is a member of her high school’s poetry club, Seascapes. The club’s goal is to create a literary magazine at the end of each school year.

“I also have been photographer since seventh grade,” she said.

Meghan was thrilled to find out about a Stony Brook University program called the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists. Although she was very nervous that she wasn’t going to get in, she was “super excited” when she was accepted.

“When I got the phone call, I was trying not to scream,” Meghan said. “My parents were standing next to me on speaker and very excited.”

Her parents, David and Theresa, are very proud of her. “They always wanted me to be a writer/journalist,” Meghan said.

In fact, they inspired her to develop her love for writing since she was five, when she began writing her own personal books. Later on in middle school, she joined her school paper.

“I loved every second,” Meghan said.

Being in the poetry club and attending a journalism class have helped Meghan improve her writing. She also took an English class, which turned out to be her favorite class. Her work became more organized and straight to the point, and she began to understand the different styles and techniques of writing.

Meghan was able to work for her high school newspaper and attend her poetry class. But she said she believed her journalism class and English class have helped her develop her skills in interviewing and researching  skills that are necessary to journalism.

“I developed my love for writing and taking photos and realizing that what I like doing was known as journalism,” she said.

Meghan’s journalism teacher, Mrs. Kirsten Mett, admired Meghan schoolwork. Meghan’s friends also saw that she is a great photographer and writer.

“Meghan is known as the writer in the club and in journalism class,” said her friend Kaitlyn Maschke. “If anybody needs proofreading or advice with something as a simple as an e-mail or an article piece, she’s the one to ask.”

Meghan said she is determined to study journalism in college.

“This summer will be my first time pursuing journalism and getting to know exactly what it entails,” she said of the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists. “This opportunity, I know I’ll leave having more knowledge about the field and the experience than I ever will have.”

Second day with the Greene Team!

Today was an interesting day. Waking up at 6 a.m. wasn’t really fun. We had some breakfast and started our day. One of my favorite lessons from today was the photography and video one. Even though I had experience from high school and have my own camera it was still awesome to learn new techniques. In the video lesson I learned so many new terms and techniques, and started to learn Final Cut Pro. It was a long day, but we still had fun in between classes!