A new partnership between a Kansas City video production company and a charter school serving teens along the Troost corridor is expected to give DeLaSalle High School students a stronger entry point into an emerging industry, said Jasmine Nastasi.
“It’s a way to help with recruiting, to streamline the process, and to have an official partnership with a charter school in KC that’s just a couple blocks from our studio,” said Nastasi, co-founder of Stellar Image Studios, the award-winning women-owned business she started with her sister, Amber Giangregorio, in 2018.
The after-school video production program operates through Stellar Image Studio‘s educational division, SHOW (SIS Hands-On Workshop) — beginning in January with an opportunity for DeLaSalle students to receive accelerated instruction in all aspects of video production.
SHOW me your video skills
When Natasi and Giangregorio started hiring for Stellar Image Studios in 2020, they noticed something missing from the applicants — a revelation that led to the creation of SHOW, Natasi said.
“They had great degrees in film or video, but they didn’t have that hands-on experience to get them to the level that we needed them in an actual production studio,” she explained. “So that’s why SHOW was born, because we wanted to give women and minorities an opportunity to learn video production.”
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SHOW works with a diverse clientele curated by SIS, including such well-known entities as Black & Veatch, the Johnson County Library, the Kansas City Public Library, and a variety of Kansas City nonprofits.
Student opportunities through Block37
SHOW’s after-school program is integrated into DeLaSalle’s Block37 initiative, founded by executive director Sean Stalling.
Block37 provides students with a nuturing environment, supportive mentors, and activities that promote positive social, emotional, and educational development, according to the school.
“Stalling created the program because something needed to be done about students having idle time after school,” said building principal Erin Wilmore. “That’s typically the time that they get into things that they shouldn’t.”
Essentially a paid internship, Block37 provides students with transportation to and from Stellar Image Studios — nearby at Rockhill Road and East 63rd Street — along with meals and an hourly wage compensation for their participation.
Block37 also offers such internships through salon LoúRose, YMCA, multimedia company DISTRKCT, and others. Natasi found out about the program through DISTRCKT founder and grammy nominated producer Jo Blaq, she said.
“I heard Jo speaking about his program and doing it specifically with high school students. I was like ‘That’s a great way to expose people at a younger age and get them interested,’” said Nastasi.
Ins and outs of video producing
The eight-week program begins with pre-production, going through storyboarding and scriptwriting, how to set up a video, and giving students their own mock client to work with.
“In our studio, there’s tons of businesses. We’re going to pick three, and ask them if they would participate in this and act like a mock client for these students. Then they’ll film their project once their storyboard is approved,” said Nastasi.
Once the students are done filming, they’ll go into the editing process. The program includes a course on editing in Adobe Premiere Pro. Students also are expected to learn audio recording and how to do voiceover work.
“We’ll be showing them how to clean that audio, how to record it, how to input it in your project,” said Nastasi, offering students one-on-one help throughout the whole process.
Nastasi has already seen how her workshop prepares students for their careers and their post-secondary schools with the skills she teaches, she said.
“We had an intern who she studied at Mizzou, and when it came to the video classes that she took, because of our internship, she told us that she felt like she almost knew more than the instructors did sometimes,” said Nastasi.
“She would ace all of her video projects because she had that hands-on experience with working on actual client videos,” she added.
Nastasi plans to reach out to more schools in Kansas City to see if they would be interested in having the SHOW program as a part of their curriculum, she said, noting she believes that creating partnerships with accredited schools adds even more credibility.
“I hope it can expose more people to the video production industry that maybe wouldn’t have a chance otherwise and give them more opportunities,” said Nastasi. “Video production is a very high demand industry, and you can really have a great career in it.”