Zoom In – Update

From the desk of Becky Sanders…

This blogpost is targeted at the Zoom In Community.  Our field volunteers.  But all are welcome to partake of this pre-Thanksgiving Feast of Volunteer Happenings and Opportunities at Midpen for field producers.

Happy Thanksgiving.  We at Midpen are grateful for the efforts of our Field Producers and Volunteers.  You continue to provide unique community content for our TV Channels and for our youtube channels.  In this edition of Zoom In News we invite you to:

  • Meet our new Zoomers
  • Check out Volunteer Opportunities – RIFF, Heart & Soul Inc., Recovery Cafe and Leadership Palo Alto.
  • Screening of Cuba Cubano Canibano – Spanish Version – December 6


We just graduated a new class of Zoomers.  They did hecka great work for themselves and did their teachers Doug and David proud, and me too, although I had nothing to do with their success.  Just let me bask in Zoom In’s glow!  So let’s welcome:  Mary and Dick Van Arkle, Azita Gandjei, Karen Kemp, Gerry Serrano, Alina Glinska, Bernadette Burns and returning Zoomer Patrick McErlain.

Here is a link to their class videos which include an interview with photographer (Zoomer) RIck Row, Reflections on Martha Graham featuring prima ballerina Stephanie Herman, Tools and Art Forms, two pieces featuring automotive topics and a piece about the San Mateo County League of Women Voters.  Frankly we LOVE the variety of topics and that our producers conjured them into existence, where they didn’t exist before, well that’s the ZOOM IN way.  Thank you new Zoomers and we hope you’ll stick around and become a part of our community!

We have some ZOOM IN Volunteer Requests –

  1. Zoom In Volunteer Opportunities – Please skim through these opportunities and let me know if any of them appeal to you.  Remember if you are “new” you are not alone.  Just say, “Becky, I’ll sign up with help!”  That’s how we help each other around here!
    • Reel Impact Film Festival – December 1
        • As you may have read in Midpen’s Monthly Newsletter, we are sponsoring the Reel Impact Film Festival at Hanahaus in downtown Palo Alto.  It’s basically a film festival honoring promos for non-profits.  There will be workshops and a panel discussion on how to create a great promotional video.  Sounds right up Zoom In’s alley, as they say.  Kudos to David Simon who is helping to edit their reel for the event, and to Scott Pinson for stepping up as videographer.  They are looking for help with crowd control!  So if you have ushering/people skills, contact Becky@midpenmedia.org to volunteer to serve as an usher.   Price of admission included, of course!  🙂  Or maybe you just want to go!  So visit eventbrite to learn more. Here’s their promo, created by Zoom In grad Paul Saslow.RIFF from Paula Saslow on Vimeo.


    • Heart and Soul Video – flexible
      • Patrick McErlain who took Zoom In back in our Standard Definition Days and then just graduated from the most recent workshop to refresh his skills is passionate about support NAMI and in particular the efforts of the group of mental health practitioners who are working with Heart and Soul Inc in San Mateo County.  They are unique in that they are a consumer run community mental health services agency.  Patrick knows the folks and says they do a great job.  They would love a promotional video, and Patrick would love to give them one.  Patrick would like a camera operator to work with.  Let’s us know if you would like to be a part of this project.
    • Leadership Palo Alto – flexible
      • Dawn Billman who helps oversee the Leadership Palo Alto program would like a video where “graduates” of the program talk about how the program has impacted them and thus raise awareness of this important program.  The goal of LPA is to discover, develop and deliver the next generation of civic “entrepreneurs” for Palo Alto.  The program is sponsored by the City of Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce, but did you know that most cities with a Chamber have a Leadership Development program?  In fact, did you know I graduated in 2013.  Here’s a link to my graduation video that I produced.  And many of you know Lessa Bouchard?  She is in the current class.  This is a worthy project and as a community partner with LPA, we’d love to help get them with this project.
    • Recovery Cafe Video Project – flexible
        • Ken Goldstein who runs Recovery Café San José is a healing community for those traumatized by addiction, homelessness, and mental health challenges.  They would like a short (3 min) video explaining their mission & programs to community members.    Zoomers can cover ongoing activities of the organization anytime Tuesday-Friday, 12:30-5:00, so if you are available to drop in and capture some footage, and then arrange to interviews some of the folks we can put together a nice video for them to use in their outreach activities.

      Not that I am proud or anything, but remember that Zoom In video volunteer request that turned into a 1.5 hour videotaped presentation by photographer Raul Canibano at Foothill College, that then turned into a half hour documentary about the photographer, that then was translated into Spanish and then accepted to a film festival in Cuba for this December?  Yep, that one!  Well the hard working editor, none other than our hard working David Simon will be hosting a  showing of the Spanish-language version of the film for those of us who can’t make it to the Havana, Cuba film festival.  🙂  There will be English subtitles, just as there were Spanish subtitles for the English version.   All are welcome!  RSVP – Becky@midpenmedia.org

      Background for this project –

      The English version of Cuba, Cubano, Cañibano was produced in 2014 through the Midpen Media Center in Palo Alto; the Spanish version was released just this fall.  The film presents the work of photographer Raul Cañibano’s work, haunting and surreal images of everyday life in Cuba that have won awards and accolades for decades.  

      Foothill College Photography Professor Ron Herman met Cañibano in Cuba in 2010 on a cultural exchange trip that Herman had arranged.  “When he opened up his box of prints, it was like ‘wow,’” says Herman of Cañibano.  “It was a completely different vision … [and] it’s not just like the one on top was a good one.  Every one was exceptional.”  Herman arranged several more workshop trips for photographers to visit Cuba and work with Cañibano.   In January 2015, just after President Obama’s announcement of our thaw with Cuba, Herman arranged an exhibit of Cañibano’s work at Foothill College in Los Altos, California.


      Thanks for Zooming In with us over here at Midpen.





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