It’s Working: Showing Progress at the Halfway Point

We’ve launched over half of Re:Dream’s videos, we’re halfway through events scheduled, and we’ve collected thousands of dreams at events and installations.

As a film producer, the most fulfilling moments are when you begin to see the art itself flourish in its own right. We saw this happen on the second day after launch, at the KCPT Tech Conference on March 1. We played Justin Curry’s Re:Dream video. (See it here.) In his vignette, you see him teasing out the pros and cons of his college experience. He tells how he grew in character, in musical ability and in debt at Kansas State University. He says that if he could go back in time, he probably wouldn’t go to college.

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We played this video for a breakout session of about 20 teachers at the Tech Conference. When the video finished playing, I asked the teachers how the video might be relevant in sparking classroom discussion. Quietly, a teacher raised her hand and started talking about the question of the universal relevance of college to high school seniors. Her words were met with a few head nods and a few grunted “Mhmms.” Then, another teacher chimed in, voicing her disagreement with the notion that teachers should suggest post-high school career paths that don’t include college. She worked herself up as she talked, her pitch and intensity rising with each sentence. Other teachers began to restlessly fire back (and I quickly receded from the room, becoming a fly on the wall). As the discussion continued to escalate, a teacher jumped in with “Hold it!” Exasperated, she said, “We get it.” She conceded that the video could turn out all sorts of fiery discussion and that if it could do so with a room full of teachers, it had equal power in a room full of students who are directly affected by the subject matter.

And that was exactly it! That’s exactly what we had to hoped to achieve with Re:Dream. We wanted to present the hot topics of opportunity, the American dream and their derivative paths in a very human, story-driven manner that would drive conversation to new depths across the country. By all reports, we’re doing just that, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.

 

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