Mt hood narrative

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  1. REDIRECT Mt Hood Narrative - Revised

I. Executive Summary

Free Geek is spontaneously and rapidly expanding, around the Portland Metro region region and across the country. Our “mother ship” operation has years of experience to share with these new start up organizations (in five states so far), as well as the dozens of other community groups waiting for their own opportunity to get started. Having a Free Geek operation in a community benefits the public in two major categories: diversion of e-waste and increasing digital inclusion through an efficient and cost effective, volunteer based system.

The Film Freek project is designed to teach student volunteers how to create digital media projects and learn professional production skills in a cooperative environment. The selected students will work on a series of progressively more complex projects, while learning to use cost effective methods to produce quality end products. Each group of students (3 groups of 6 students over one year) will learn the basics and then start working individually, progressing through group projects, finally culminating in a 1 hour cable access showcase for the students work and other original content related to Free Geek's mission. Students receive the training for free, in exchange for volunteering 100 hours of teaching future classes and/or providing additional content for Free Geek educational videos and/or cable access episodes.

The main outcome of the Film Freek project would be the creation of self-replicating generations of film makers versed in a range of production techniques from low cost to professional quality using primarily Free and Open Source Software for all aspects of the productions. Direct “deliverables” would be three broadcast quality cable access shows and three Free Geek education program classes presented in a digital video format. As part of the self-replicating student/teacher/content structure, additional, and updated content for broadcast on cable access via FreekTV and other media formats will be generated on an ongoing basis. The true test of whether the project is successful will be if classes continue to be available to teach budding film makers, while creating content for Free Geek educational videos. We hope to continue to produce and broadcast regular excerpts of FreekTV as long as it fits with Portland Community Medias goals and objectives.

There are several public benefits that can be met with the successful completion of this grant. Existing Free Geek (or similar types of) organizations around the region and the country can get more direct access to the education resources we have developed. The populations served by this project cuts across many spectra. E-waste ultimately affects everyone. Lack of digital inclusion affects those who do not have access to computers for a variety of reasons, though these are mostly economic in nature.

We have developed a partnership with Portland Community Media for assistance in training our students as well as providing resources to edit and broadcast our content. Portland Community Media will also provide a slot in their cable access programming schedule for at least 3 different productions of the FreekTV show. Total Project budget, grant request and matching funds.

II. Project Narrative

Film Freek

[a Free Geek digital media project]

At the turn of the millennium, Free Geek created a way to stand between two really big problems and combined them in a way that could solve them both. The problems of ever growing piles of computer e-waste and the lack of digital inclusion come together and cancel each other out as computers destined for the landfills are diverted for either no cost/low cost reuse or responsible recycling. Individuals who do not have access to computer technology can volunteer for just 24 hours and be rewarded with a personal computer and the resources and support to use it effectively. Individuals with the desire to learn how to build computers are given that opportunity with a free comprehensive education in computer assembly and introduction to GNU/Linux and other Free and Open Source Software (F/OSS), no prior experience with computers is required. A free computer is available to all who finish the basic course. It is in this spirit of community problem solving, free education, hands on skills training and no cost/low cost technology that we want to create the Film Freek project.

Free Geek is spontaneously and rapidly expanding around the country. There are nascent Free Geek Community Technology Centers operating at a variety of levels in 5 states (Portland, Oregon; Olympia, Washington; Columbus, Ohio; South Bend, Indiana; Chicago, Illinois and Ephrata (Lancaster County), Pennsylvania). Free Geek is currently engaged in serious discussions with the community of Gresham to expand our operations with a second facility that could be in place by the end of this year. All of these organizations can benefit from the five plus years of experience. Until now, we have only documented things in writing with the occasional still image or diagram for publishing on the web. For the uninitiated, there is a nearly overwhelming amount of information and some of the basic educational content is lost in all that clutter. Creating digital streaming videos of course content will allow organizations that haven't fully developed their education programs to quickly and easily train volunteers to become first rate instructors.

The Film Freek project is designed to teach student volunteers how to create digital media projects and learn professional production skills in a cooperative environment. The selected students will work on a series of progressively more complex projects, while learning to use cost effective methods to produce quality end products.

The 12 week course will be offered three times to 6 new students over the course of one year. The course consists of 4 phases from a basic introduction to digital video to helping produce a 1 hour episode of a cable access show, showcasing their work. Final projects for each series of students will consist of documenting education courses that are currently happening at Free Geek. The classes will be free for the students, in exchange for either helping to teach future classes or working on additional content for other projects outside of and in addition to the class projects assigned.

Phase I

Introduction to digital video using open mediacasting.

Week 1 – 2

Students will learn the basics of composition, lighting and in-camera editing. Using inexpensive, mid-resolution digital cameras they will produce short personal video and publish them on the web. Instructors Will Luers, Chris Dawson and Ed Stansty will teach them simple techniques to create high quality, short, 2 minute video projects. Students will learn to use Free and Open Source Software (F/OSS) for post-production, editing and mediacasting of their individual projects.

Phase II

Introduction to documentation

Week 3 – 5

Students learn the basics of documenting a single subject. Instructors Phil Sano, Chris Dawson and Jeff Johnson will guide students in creating a short nonfictional video segment. These 5-10 minute videos will demonstrate training of Free Geek methods and practices. Focus on how it is best to convey the necessary information for the audience at hand. Presenting technical info can be a challenge. If the producer uses too much jargon, the viewer can be confused, but if s/he spends too much time explaining the content, the viewer may be bored. Students will use a F/OSS software basic editor (Kino), with an introduction to iMovie.

Phase III

Class projects

Week 6- 11

Students assemble the content created in phase two into complete, broadcast ready educational video segments. Instructors Phil Sano, Will Luers and Blank will break the stuendents into two groups each with the goal of documenting the education process at Free Geek. Teachers guide the students in working on this collabertive project, creating, editing and producing the video. Students will use professional editing software, using both F/OSS (Cinellera) and proprietary editing software (Final Cut Pro).

Phase IV

FreekTV Show

Week 12

Students help produce a one hour segment of FreekTV, a cable access showcase of samples of the students videos from various phases of the project as well as original content. Instructors Phil Sano, Ed Stansty and Dave Slay, working alongside volunteers from Portland Community Media will train students in the various tasks associated with producing a cable access show. The students will focus on studio production and final assebly into a complete piece. Students will also contribute or work on content to inform the public of the Free Geek mission and other computer technology and recycling interviews, news, opinion and educational feature segments.


The students will be selected through an application and review process. Each applicant will submit an essay stating why they want to participate in this program. Candidates essays will be read by a selection committee comprised of the instructors and guest film makers. Selected candidates will be interviewed by a committee of instructors and final candidates will have to agree to perform 100 hours of volunteer time working on Free Geek digital media projects.

Process of chooisng students will provide of underserved populations

students must complete one of 3 tasks afterward:

  • Teaching future classes for FreekTV and to train new students to continue project
  • Provide additional content for FG ed videos, FreakTV, other F/OSS ideas
  • Assist PCMTV with their project needs

Project Coordinator

The project coordinator will be responsible for scheduling classes, recruiting student candidates and volunteer instructors, tracking student progress and volunteer hours and producing final reports.

  • Phil Sano: Film maker, graphic artist, zoobomber, Free Geek volunteer teacher and outreach coordinator for more than 5 years.


Free Geek has arranged for the talents of several local film makers, video documentarians, webcasters and Free and Open Source Software advocates to help with this project. The following instructors will be donating their time teaching one or more of the four phases of the course:

  • Chris Dawson: Film maker, founder of webcast in a box and advocate of F/OSS software.
  • Jeff Johnson: Programmer, advocate of F/OSS audio/video software
  • Blank: Film editor, Indymedia volunteer/video journalist.
  • Ed Stansty: Pod-caster, 10 years experience with digital media (including Flash, Shockwave) and has also made a movie about Rev. Phil and Darth Vader.
  • Will Luers: Pod-caster, Instructor at PSU, Will knows oldskool but is pumped about the new.
  • Dave Slay: Studio operations instructor at Portland Community Media.

Guest Instructors

Guest instructors will teach short courses in specialized skills to help round out the education that the students receive.

  • Brady: Typeface, titles and credits.
  • Amber: Plot, scripting and storyboarding.
  • Mykle Hansen: Principles of audio.

Educational video content for student projects and broadcast on cable access

  • Starting a new Free Geek - oso
  • low cost/no cost living, urban salvaging survival techniques – revphil/ tony dias
  • Install Ubuntu for just about any neogeek (wo/man off the street?)
  • Install/update software on your Linux system.
  • E-waste- oso
  • Free Software Foundation.
  • Volunteering at Free Geek.
  • The History of Video Games - Covering the three eras of video gaming: From the first era encompassing Pong and other early coin operated games. The second era consisting of home gaming consoles such as the Atari 2600 and Intellevision game systems. Era Three: Nindendo, Sega and the age of innovation of hardware and software. Classic gaming artwork from original boxes - Dave Haskins: video gaming historian, Free Geek build program coordinator, he also organizes one of the top Dungeons & Dragons games in the Portland area.