Community Impact Blog

Ongoing updates, events, and insider’s look at New York Tech’s community work and experiential education projects.

Film Making: New York Tech Students Get Involved

May 15, 2020

We interviewed Paul Wasneski to talk about his experience with Ready for Takeoff and his advice on getting involved as a New York Tech student.

Tell us a bit about yourself/your background. What did you study at NYIT?

  • At NYIT, I studied video production in the school of communications. Previously, I worked for the federal government in Washington, D.C.

What is one thing about you people might be surprised to find out about you?

  • One thing people might be surprised about me is my interest in Citi Bike and the greater bike share industry.

How did you first become involved with the Ready for Takeoff Project?

  • I got involved in the Ready for Takeoff project from my interactions with my professors and by working with various student filmmakers on the 10th floor.

Tell us about your role in the project. What did you specifically do?

  • For this project, I helped brainstorm ideas during pre-production sessions and served on the camera crew on multiple locations.

What did you learn from working with the Henry Viscardi School students? Did the experience change your outlook/ideas in any way? If so, can you explain?

  • Working with the students with special needs at the Viscardi Center was a humbling experience. It hammered home the importance of diversifying my time with volunteer activity. Additionally, this project opened my eyes to many of the nuanced challenges of growing up and living with limited mobility.

What did you like about participating in the RFTO project? What did you dislike?

  • The things about the Ready for Takeoff project that I liked was that we had a comfortable deadline (6+ months) and that it was much more of a real gig in comparison to most of our student film projects. With that said, some of the areas of improvement would be an increased budget, and added emphasis on interpersonal techniques to best connect with the Viscardi Center students.

What excites you most about this project (past, present, or future)?

  • It was a nice taste of doing corporate video production, while still having the training wheels level of security with our professors helping us out along the way.

What are you doing now or planning to do after NYIT?

  • Now that I’ve completed my degree, I’m dabbling with a few passion projects while trying to get the ball rolling with my new career.

What advice or wisdom did you gain from this experience that you would like to share with future NYIT students?

  • If you are pursuing a degree as a student filmmaker, get out there and start volunteering by interacting with groups like Zero Dollar Heroes.