Alex Muñoz, Filmmaker/Founder of FYI Films: [That day on the music video] we were told not to talk to [the artist formerly known as] Prince. They said do not talk to him. He talked to me! On day six [of being on set] I got my letter of acceptance from USC. My roommate got the letter and she said “I have something really important to give you.”
I said “Okay, I’m in Downtown LA on this music video shoot, can you bring it?”
She gave me the letter, I opened it up, went to set and I was really excited. I said “I got into USC film school!” And everyone started clapping and Prince said [motions to go over] And I’m like “What?” And he goes “Come here.” I’m like “What did I do?”
He said “So you are going to be a filmmaker?”
I said “Yes.”
He said “Let me hear you say that.”
I said “Say what?”
He said “Let me hear you say you are going to be a filmmaker.”
And I said “I am going to be a filmmaker.”
He said “I want you to listen closely. There are four rules I want you to consider abiding by if you are going to pursue filmmaking in this town.”
I said “Okay?”
He said “First one, (he pointed up) always…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).
FYI Films Mission:
FYI Films empowers youth affected by the juvenile justice system to improve their lives and become self-reliant. Through media literacy and the creative story-telling process, youth find their voice and gain valuable skills that are transferable to all areas of their life.
About FYI Films:
Founded in 2004, FYI FILMS has produced over thirty-five film workshops with youth in LA County, Guam and Hawaii. In these workshops, youth write, direct and perform their own short narrative films based on their past. By making films informed by their own immediate history, the process of filmmaking helps them to gain perspective on their lives. FYI FILMS regularly screens these films to policy makers, giving them insight into the lives of young people from economically disadvantaged communities, and thus helps inform them as they craft policy regarding juvenile offenders. FYI FILMS is a high impact program, and through a three year study, has proven to put a serious dent into recidivism rates in LA County.
FYI FILMS continues to change the lives of incarcerated youth. To date, the organization has helped to make over fifty-five films by offering high impact film workshops to a population that is both underserved and marginalized. FYI FILMS believes that every young person deserves a second chance to turn their lives around. Telling stories helps incarcerated youth gain invaluable perspective on their lives. By giving them the tools to make short, dramatic films based on their own personal and immediate history, it renders their past unrepeatable.
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