January 1998

The Nathan Cummings Foundation


January 1998

Bay Area Video Coalition 
San Francisco, CA

Above the Line

The Bay Area Video Coalition's (BAVC) is the largest nonprofit production and postproduction center in the country, bringing to life thousands of noncommercial programs through its subsidized equipment access program and support services. BAVC's mission is to support the nonprofit sector with technical assistance, equipment access, and training on the newest communications technologies. Founded in 1976, it has served as a center of creativity and innovation by providing the community access to a wide range of media production services at low cost. At its new 11,000 square foot space in San Francisco, it encourages hands-on technical training on state-of-the-art equipment, and acts as a shared resource of equipment and information for nonprofit organizations and independent artists.

The Nathan Cummings Foundation has funded "Above the Line," a program designed to advance the media careers of women and minority media makers who have some previous experience in the field. Through the six-month program, eight candidates will receive comprehensive instruction on video or Web site production. They will work as a video production team or Web production team to produce a half-hour documentary program and an accompanying Web site. Participants will receive extensive non-technical or technical training. Non-technical staff will receive instruction on project development, project management, research, story telling and structure, script writing and interview techniques, as well as a basic overview of all aspects of technical production. Technical staff will receive training in camera and sound production, lighting, off-line and on-line editing, video streaming, graphic design, animation, and computer programming. They will also be exposed to the basics of non-technical production. All participants will be taught by media professionals and mentored by individuals that are currently working in the field. The program will coordinate career training and job search counseling. Each candidate will be required to spend up to ten hours a week on his or her training and/or production.