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Action!: Why You Should Make a Short Film With Your Neighbors

I started On My Block Films as a way to build stronger communities in New York, after I looked around and realized I didn’t know my neighbors—and no one else did, either. We’d nod hello in our lobby, but rarely know the names of the folks across the hallway. It’s unfortunate because we shared close lives in terms of proximity, but nothing else; we didn’t have relationships with each other. We exchange pleasantries and that’s it.

After working in production for years, I realized that you’re best friends with the cast and crew after ten hours on set. Private jokes emerge and relationships grow from a short, concentrated time together. So, right now, I’m asking the GOOD community to make short videos with neighbors for On My Block Films by October 13, 2013.

We already have a huge participation in Brooklyn, where we live, and where we hold our volunteer meetings. I’m not sure whether it’s because many people in the arts live in Brooklyn or whether it’s because much of our natural outreach happens in that borough, but a lovely film community exists there already—and continues to grow through On My Block.

In today’s world, we rely far less on family, extended family, and our neighbors. We’ve become isolated and it’s important to get back to those community bonds so we can feel less alone in such a big, crazy city. When people reach out to neighbors and collaborate, bonds form in this awesome and organic way.

Community improves quality of life. When someone is able to sign for a package when you’re away, or you can rely on a neighbor for a last-minute babysitting emergency, it makes life easier. When we come home and can chat with the friend who shares our stoop, it makes the end of a long work day more pleasant. Neighboring is all about helping one another, making life easier for each other, and hopefully having some fun in the process.

Register online to submit your film and we’ll offer you everything you need to get started, from resources to help you meet your neighbors to the tools you’ll need to make a film. The final screening event will be at SVA Theater in Chelsea on November 11 and all of the films will be available on our website and our Vimeo Channel.

This project is part of GOOD's series Push for Good—our guide to crowdsourcing creative progress.

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