Documentary Video Feed

Do you BELIEVE the arts have a voice in education?

ImaginecreativityI just heard the author Jonah Lehrer on n.p.r. radio last night. I hung onto every word. His book titled Imagine: How Creativity Works speaks to the messages in my installation Pick UP Your Pencils Begin





Library Pencil from Harriete Estel Berman

The arts and crafts do have a value in education beyond just an art lesson, but the arts and hands on learning can not be accessed with a number. There is no standardized test for teaching creativity and problem solving  - the very skills that Imagine: How Creativity Works is addressing. 

We live in a time where every class and subject is accessed for its contribution to the curriculum. The arts teach:

  • creativity,
  • problem solving,
  • open ended thinking,
  • skills of observation,
  • integration  of left and right brain thinking,
  • visualizing three dimensional construction,
  • and so much more.

Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin

What is the impact of standardized testing
on school curriculum when everything must be tested and measured? What happens when the arts are squeezed into a one hour slot, rushed, over scheduled, when there is no time to breath or think? Think and advocate for the arts and creativity in education.

2 stanine installation of Pick Up Your Pencils, BeginMy objective with my installation Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin is to reach out to a larger audience about the value of the arts in education.



Do you know of an exhibition location in your school, university gallery, or local museum?

  • Dimensions of installation 15' height x 28' width.
  • Installation ships in five boxes.
  • Each box is small enough to be carried by one person. 
  • Boxes weight approximately 32-35 lbs each.
  • Installation takes fours hours.
  • Hydraulic lift or scissors lift is necessary for installation.
  • Installation is possible with 3-4 people.
  • Exhibition rental $300. plus shipping and insurance.

Contact me ;
            650 345-4078
            bermaid [at]

Reevaluating Life - Get $h!+ Done

Pencil Master My March 2012 experiment with KICKstarter was a real awakening, a roller coaster ride on the learning curves of two new worlds -- entering an unfamiliar social networking domain of the internet's long tail, and the world of documentary video production.

Harriete laughing at Reception3.22.124x6.72Combined with the unfolding exhibition of Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin, these events and revelations have caught me up a whirlwind of thoughts and impressions.  After a 4+ year odyssey of fabrication, I am reflecting on a post from Chase Jarvis titled "Hit List: 13 Things Crucial For Your Success [In Any Field".  I recommend reading every word.

Chase's #1 tip is "Get Shit Done".

For four years, I felt like I was limping along on the pencils. I couldn't work on it every day.  Shows came up that needed new works to be made.  Making work to sell gets in the way. Life gets in the way.  But I'd force myself to work on it every chance I could.

Interesting pencilsAnd I would torture myself as well.  Making a sculpture 28 feet wide and 15 feet tall from pencils is ridiculous! How will it look? Will it hang as planned? Will it ever get done? A combination of the simplest of art media - a pencil, a little thoughtful engineering, and tedious hours of assembly.  But the vision of a hand crafted work to carry a message that the arts have a value and place in education AND that standardized testing has become overemphasized in education kept me going.

I naively started the KICKstarter project and already learned an enormous amount.  Each media and every social network has its own learning does KICKstarter. Reading the HELP menu doesn't adequately prepare you for what it takes to run a successful project on KICKstarter.

Harriete BEHIND installation3.22.124x6.72

Before you start KICKstarter project be prepared with a lot of research, in advance. During the project, it requires a huge investment in developing momentum and visibility.

PS.  I hired a video editor yesterday! More information about making a documentary video in another post. 

Posted Job Opening - What a Successful Response looks like!

Interviewing for a video editor position
has been an eye opening experience. Looking at 20+ resumes in less than 24 hours from one job posting has given me real insight to a successful reply for an opportunity.

PENCILbikeCoasterRED_72vertical.greenAfter an afternoon of interviewing editors for a "phase one" video, these are my observations for what a great reply looks like (perhaps for any opportunity).

1. Personalize the reply. Briefly make a case about why you want to work on the job, be in the show, or why this opportunity resonates with you.

2. Describe the job skills you have that fit the job.

3. Respond immediately. Don't wait. There may be so many other applicants for the opportunity that the requestor may stop looking.

4. If a phone number is included in the opportunity, phone immediately.

5. If the email is included, email immediately.

6. If the phone and email are included, do both. It shows you are really interested.

7. Include links to previous projects, artwork or other information that is relevant. An online presence including a web site is essential. Include multiple links if you want, but if you don't include this information right from the beginning your introduction seems incomplete.

8. Include your resume either in the email or as an attachment (even if they didn't ask for it).

9. Include your email address and phone number in the body or signature of the email. Yes, I know the email is at the top, but if a person is overwhelmed by the responses, it is very hard to keep track of everything. By including your email and phone number, it will be easy to contact you during the decision making process.

P.S. This is a super amazing antique pencil I found. The top has an enamel clip that says," Use the Atherton Coaster Brake for Bicycles." Pencils have a lot to say.

Wearing Rhinocerus Hide is the New Black

Focus Yellow #2 pencils in Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin72

If you read the previous post on ASK Harriete, you know that I am working on making a video titled, Pencils Make a Point.

Camera man  David L. Brown and sound guy Stephen Longstreth  working  on technical difficultiesA KICKSTARTER project has been launched to raise the $10,000 needed to cover the video production expenses. I already have 10 hours of raw video footage, and only need 5 hours more, to prepare for the editing, color correction, custom music, and seemingly endless other technical details.

Rhinoceros--ceratotherium-simumThis KICKSTARTER project is very scary.
  All or nothing is the structure on KICKSTARTER. If the funding goal is not reached no money changes hands and the pledges are never called.  I need some thick Rhino skin to withstand the tension.

25 days left to raise the money for video!  In the meantime, each day (if I can) I will share professional obstacles, issues, and observations about 1) producing a video and 2) working with KICKSTARTER.

Recommendation to All Artists and Makers:
KICKSTARTER is not for the thin skinned or faint of heart. Wearing rhinocerus hide is definitely the new black!


What Will Happens Depends on You

My KICKSTARTER Project is LIVE and your help can make a difference!!!

Yes, your help can advocate for arts in education.

This KICKSTARTER project is perhaps the most uncertain thing that I have ever done, but crowd source funding is dependent on everyone helping a little to bring a big project to fruition. In this case, I am asking the arts community to support the making of a video.

Pencil Makes a Point KICKSTARTER PROJECTThe video Pencils Make a Point is about the impact of standardized testing on education and raises a voice for the arts in education.

Every contribution to this KICKSTARTER project will receive a reward. There are 11 different REWARDS for various levels from $10 to $2,500. Check all the rewards on my web site where each has a picture posted.

The goal is to raise $10,000 to cover the production of the 8-10 minute video.
If everyone on "Crafthaus" and my Facebook friends each give $10 the goal will be achieved. That is what crowd sourcing is all about!!!!!!! So far I have recieved $480.

Envelope1920I also created more personal Rewards for larger contributions. Reward images and descriptions are on my web site. Descriptions of the rewards (without the images) are also on KICKSTARTER.

If the $10,000 goal is not achieved on KICKSTARTER, no one is charged for their contribution. I also don't get any of the money. Poof! The project disappears. There are 26 days to bring this project to the goal.

Please share with you friends and family. The success of this entire project depends on you.

_MG_7078improvedDuring this 30 day campaign on KICKSTARTER, I will share the experience of making a documentary video, working with online sites, and tips you can use yourself in professional development for your own work.

All of the donations go to funding the expenses in producing a professional quality video such as camera operators, audio recording, video footage, editing, and music. Video is a very expensive medium usually costing $3,000 to $5,000 per minute. It is team effort. No wonder Hollywood budgets are so huge!.

If you are interested in more information about the four year project in creating the installation Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin, the documentation is available on my web site.
We're getting great support!!!!!!!!!.......

AMAT_Foundation_Logo_v3sSo far the project has had great success with a two page article in American Craft and a grant for $5,000 from Applied Materials Foundation for the Arts Council of Silicon Valley. (More information about this in another post.)

Please become part of the success with your donation.

For twelve years I have shared my "lessons learned through experience" in the Professional Guidelines, the Professional Development Seminar, and ASK Harriete. My goal is to help others succeed in their professional careers bringing their work to a larger audience.

Can I ask for your help to give a voice to arts in education?


Art Documentaries Beyond Average, Be Inspired

I'm documenting a major new work using video . . . and hope to complete the making of a short video documentary during the coming year.  More on this later.

I am also taking a class on making Documentary Videos.  My mid-term exam is tomorrow. 

With full submersion into documentary video's I have watched quite a variety recently, and have gained new insight into the difficulty and demands of this medium.

Here are two suggestions for inspiring and insightful videos about the arts.

This film may still be at your local art house film theater as it was nominated for an Academy Award. See it on the big screen in 3D. Go to be inspired by one person's vision of artistic expression captured in an extraordinary dance documentary directed by Wim Wenders. If you love modern dance, you'll like it even more. Be prepared for seeing something you have never seen before far beyond average or predictable.     

HERBdOROTHYHerb and Dorothy
This unassuming film proves you don't have to have big bucks to support the arts. A postal clerk and a librarian, devoted to the arts and to one another, acquire art from emerging artists before they become famous.  Piece by piece, year after year, they assemble a world-class contemporary art collection that overflows their small rent-controlled apartment.  Eventually, the collection outgrows their modest home, and they share their collection across America. They gave their collection away even though it was worth millions because the value of their art collection was not about money. They did not want to sell their soul.

Much to my surprise, the film was funded through KICKSTARTER. Kickstarter-logo-light

Both of these films show that art can be about inspiration, insight, sincerity and soul.