Youssou Fall: A Documentary
by Marissa Fong
Total time: 5:11
Music: Blue by Beyonce
Synopsis: This short documentary tells a condensed version of Youssou Fall’s journey from being a college student in Senegal to beloved wood shop teacher at Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco. Youssou reveals how he first got involved in woodworking, how he came to Lick, why he believes shops are important, and what his hopes are for the future of the program.
About the film: I decided to make a documentary that told someone’s story who we don’t usually hear. This is important to me because it helps me recognize and use my own privilege to shine light on others who may not have the time or opportunity to share their stories. Additionally, I have a very personal connection to Youssou because I went to his village with him and other classmates last summer to finish building a schoolhouse. Youssou has a unique story that is unknown to many in our community.
My film is about 5 minutes long and was inspired by the interactive style, as it is based on an interview that I prompted. I watched a documentary by __(someone that Ms. Greer recommended)__ about JFK’s assassination. Even though this wasn’t about my topic (which is hard to find), I really liked this film because of the way that B roll was used and how and when the viewer was shown old footage, new footage, and interview footage (this was really relevant to my film). For my found footage, I used film of industrial arts recommended by Ms. Greer from the Internet Archive.
Strengths and Challenges: I believe one of my strengths in this process was having plenty of found and newly filmed footage. I had a lot of footage to choose from. A challenge I encountered was deciding how to trim down Youssou’s story and tell it in 5 minutes. Obviously, I couldn’t use everything, and that selection process was very difficult in terms of content and physical editing.