BSGE has existed for a mere ten years, but within these ten years our school has produced some amazing alumni who have gone on to do amazing things.
One of these aspiring alumni is George Itzhak, a student who graduated in 2010 who went on to attend New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Itzhak is a senior now, majoring in Film and Television Production.
Itzhak had always been a committed student in his Visual Art HL class throughout his years at BSGE, but now he is channeling his talent and passion of working with art into a different medium: film.
The Uzbekistani student had many dreams of working with film from the very start. As early as Itzhak’s frehsman year in NYU, he knew he wanted to create his own Russian language short film. Russian immigration, Jewish life, culture and the history and people of the Middle East have been major film themes of interest to Itzhak.
Finally Itzhak is achieving this dream with his film “Broccoli” that is currently in production. The short film tells the tale of a Russian immigrant named Nina who copes with her relocation to Brooklyn and recent divorce with an affinity towards vegetables, hence the title.
“My short film “Broccoli” was inspired by a short story I read in October 2012, by a writer named Lara Vapnyar.” Itzhak said. He continued, “I met the writer in person in the spring of 2013 and got permission from her to adapt the story, and spent the summer writing the script, before entering full pre-production this fall.”
“Broccoli” just finished shooting on December 3rd, accomplishing Itzhak’s goal of shooting the film within five days. Due to a tight budget and small time span, “Broccoli” needed to be done quickly while still avoiding a “rushed” quality to the film. These kinds of films are always the most impressive.
Itzhak gained a lot of his knowledge on film from his impressive internship with NBC that he started this June. The young and ambitious film director is also excited to start his first job with NBC after he graduates this December.
“The experience there has taught me a lot about how to create a compelling non-fiction story, and one that can air on network television.” Itzhak says. He talks about the wide set of skills the internship taught him saying, “I’ve been involved in writing, shooting, and editing, and have been fortunate enough to learn from some industry veterans.”
Itzhak is enthusiastic about starting his future career in TV News Production. But he also sees himself in the future working with long-form documentary and photojournalism.
“Don’t think you have all the answers at age 17 or 18. There is a lot of pressure to make decisions about colleges and majors, but keep in mind that you are not done growing as a person.” says Itzhak. The soon-to-be-graduate offers advice to current BSGE students, saying “As you progress through college, you will discover new things, start on new paths, and come out with your Bachelor’s degree probably with more questions than answers (speaking from my experience, of course).”
His work has been featured at the Los Angeles Sephardic Jewish Film Festival, The National Film Festival for Talented Youth, and the CineYouth Festival, part of the Chicago International Film Festival.
His experiences in producing films has taught Itzhak that no matter how many good ideas go into a film, in order to get things going, you need money. The last month of 2013 will be a whirlwind for Itzhak because of his Kickstarter fundraiser campaign to raise money for “Broccoli”. The fundraiser ends on December 26th, very close to his much anticipated college graduation.
Itzhak plans to take a “short rest” before surmounting into the long path of editing, re-editing and then editing some more. Tune in for more news on “Broccoli”!