The first-of-its-kind community service initiative called 'Film Good/Do Good' debuted in Buffalo. Some production team members from the film Marshall worked alongside local students from Western New York YouthBuild. WBFO's Senior Reporter Eileen Buckley says they worked on a Habitat for Humanity home in the inner-city.
With construction tools buzzing in the background about ten YouthBuild students were joined film crew members from the movie Marshall. They formed a half circle on the front lawn of a home on Lasalle Avenue not far from Eggert Road to discuss their rehab project.
‘The Film Good/Do Good’ program promotes volunteerism with film production companies so they can ‘give back’ to the communities hosting them for productions.
Buffalo native Kameron Wood was delighted to volunteer to help rehab the city home. He is a production assistant for Marshall filming.
“To come do community service with others and share that experience is really uplifting. It’s transcending because you know the same construction happens on set – the same problem solving, the same team working experience happens on set,” Wood described.
Wood is a 2011 graduate from Buffalo Academy for Visual Performing Arts and it was right here in Buffalo where he started working on his film career.
“And I made sure when I shot my freshman film, on a 16-millimeter on a Bolex, that I came back and shot it here in Buffalo and western New York. How serendipitous is it now that I’ve continued on in my field and now able to work on such a great production – a Hollywood production – in my hometown,” said Wood.
Wood wore a hard hat, ready to begin rehab of the Lasalle home. Kate Sarata is executive director of The Service Collaborative is lead agency which coordinated the volunteer project and facilitates YouthBuild.
“The YouthBuild students are enrolled full-time in our YouthBuild program, so these are individuals, 16 to 24, that have dropped out of school,” Sarata explained.
The YouthBuild program allows students to learn about construction and also earn their high school equivalency.
“And the program itself is very holistic. It’s not just a high school equivalency class. It’s not just construction skills – its life skills, its professional development trainings,” Sarata said.
“I actually left high school my senior year, about six years ago. I always planned to get at GED and go back and I never did,” said Cloud.
24-year old Taysha Cloud of Buffalo is completing her final year in the program and is excited about her future.
“I ended up having a child at 19. My son, he’ll be five this year and I just looked at it like okay here’s another opportunity. It’s not my last, but I know I’ve been waiting, waiting and waiting, pushing everything to the side. I can’t keep telling my baby to go to school and do this if I didn’t finish,” Cloud remarked.
Cloud tells WBFO News she plans to attend UB for business, but would like to become an electrician.
“When we all first got here on the construction site we’re like ‘oh I got hammer this and oh I don’t want to get on that ladder’, now we are like give me the hammer, give me the nails – it’s something that we actually get up in the morning and I want to go to school, like we actually want to get up now,” declared Cloud.