Community Impact Blog

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

Post-Production: New York Tech’s Impact on Humanity

Jun 04, 2020

We interviewed Paul Demonte to talk about his experience with Ready for Takeoff and his post-production involvement as a New York Tech professor.

Tell us a bit about yourself/your position at NYIT.

  • I have been teaching at NYIT for the last eight years. I was first hired to teach a course in post-production. As my time evolved at Tech, I started to pick up other courses and become more involved with the Comm Arts department. I have collaborated with fellow professors and faculty for Open House at the Manhattan Campus, as well as co-direct the Animation and Film Festival ( that takes place every May. It’s a small crowd of professors and faculty in CA but they’re a good bunch of coconuts.

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

  • Terry Nauheim approached me with the opportunity to work on RFTO in the Spring of 2018. Michael Hosenfeld and I joined Viscardi on their 4th-anniversary flight with JetBlue in May 2018 to scout the event. This was a major help in crafting the class for the following Spring. It also was an eye-opening event to see all of the students with disabilities, caretakers, and JetBlue employees come together for such a special day. It made me feel encouraged to see humanity band together to forge and advance travel for folks with disabilities.

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

  • Both Michael Hosenfeld and I co-taught the course, however, when it came to the project I had two roles. The first was the production supervisor and the second was post-supervisor. Essentially, these two went hand in hand for this specific project. Being a part of the previous year’s event, I was able to work with the students and guide them on the day of the 5th-anniversary flight. This was a similar case in the post process. Amber Cohen and Gilary Ramirez are the two students who crafted the actual story of RFTO while I stood by to assist when it was needed. More specifically, when it came to working with audio and color grading.

Tell us about what it was like to work with the Henry Viscardi School, as well as involving NYIT students with the school. Did the experience change your outlook/ideas in any way? If so, can you explain?

  • Working with HVS was a different experience. We [NYIT] were collaborating with folks from a completely different environment. Never having worked with students with disabilities, this was a new approach to understanding how to tell their stories. I was also touched to see how well our students were able to collaborate with HVS as well. Everyone had compassion and respect for one another.

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

  • What excites me about this project the most was that this was no ordinary school project. Even though the 15-week course ran during the Spring of 2019, the pre-production was a solid year in the making. And post-production took every week of summer to deliver a final project by September of 2019. Overall, it was a real production that students were able to experience and have something, in the end, to show for it.