Something Better – a short film for Social Advocates for Youth


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/166591315″>Something Better – a short film for SAY</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/erikcastro”>erik castro | photojournalist</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Hope you take the time to watch this short film. I’m very proud of the work and the stories that are told in this piece.

SAY, or Social Advocates for Youth, the non-profit that helps homeless & troubled youth has got to be the absolute coolest non-profit to work for. I’ve been making short films for them for a few years now and like this new one, Something Better, the films are basically snapshots into the lives of young people the organization is trying to help. This time we see two young working people: Naomi Lane and Cameron Vadnais. Naomi is working her day job at the Dream Center, a new center for helping troubled youth in Santa Rosa, and we follow Cameron on a recent job hunt. There’s a third subject, Kerry Rego, who tells an incredibly personal story of needing SAY’s help 20 years ago when she was a high school teen dealing with an abusive boyfriend.

Many people deserve thanks for their help in making this piece. Naomi, Cameron and Kerry were very generous with their time, emotions and thoughts. My 14-year-old neighbor Quincy Allen did an amazing acting job in Kerry Rego’s story and my nephew Vasco Cesaretti added his infectiously entertaining music. I also have to thank Cat Cvengros, SAY’s Director of Development, for her great advice while I worked on this project and for her support of what I do as a story teller.

-May 14, 2016

 

Advertisements

Mix bag of work

 

It’s been mix of work all year so far, and enjoying it; photos for newsprint, non-profits and personal projects along with video projects.

The evidence of dedication to dancing are seen in the feet of choreographer and dancer Nichele Van Portfleet during rehearsal for her SoCo Dance Theater performance titled, "This Way Up," at Sonoma State University's Ives Hall in Rohnert Park. February 6, 2016. (Photo: Erik Castro/for The Press Democrat)

I came across these feet during a shoot for The Press Democrat. The evidence of dedication to dancing are seen in the feet of choreographer and dancer Nichele Van Portfleet during rehearsal for her SoCo Dance Theater

BI-Sonoma_1906-BW

BI-Sonoma_1712This was from a shoot for a non-profit that helps physically and mentally challenged individuals live more independently. This woman was amazing to watch paint. I could have photographed all day.

Executive Chef Mike Selvera working the raw bar at Seaside Metal oyster bar in Guerneville. April 29, 2016. (Photo: Erik Castro/for The Press Democrat)

This chef and I were both punk rock skater kids in LA during the same era. He even had an old Siouxsie and The Banshees record in his cafe which album cover was on a t-shirt of mine in 8th grade. Executive Chef Mike Selvera working the raw bar at Seaside Metal oyster bar in Guerneville.


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/166571801″>Lost Brother In Space</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/erikcastro”>erik castro | photojournalist</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

My kids got sick. So, we were home a lot. We made movies to pass the time. We did this space movie trailer using a glass salad bowl and a $2 dollar psychedelic light. My son played the astronaut, my daughter did the space center voice and I got to film it.

Seventh grade students exiting class near teacher Betty Paulukonis at Willowside Middle School in Santa Rosa. May 11, 2016. (Photo: Erik Castro/for The Press Democrat)

I really like this shot. I like it when kids don’t smile so much, they look cooler…and I love that translation on the girl’s shirt for “meow.” Seventh grade students exiting class near teacher Betty Paulukonis at Willowside Middle School in Santa Rosa.

A young couple watching the parade from a second-story window on the corner of Bodega Avenue and North Main Street during the 70th annual Apple Blossom Parade held in Sebastopol Saturday. April 16, 2016. (Photo: Erik Castro/for The Press Democrat)

The paper didn’t run this shot of a young couple watching a parade I was covering. They were checking out the scene from a second-story window. The paper ran everything I turned in but this image; which of course was my favorite.

Mobley0117 _ec_CARD02_1339I don’t use lights often, but I always have fun with them when I do. A shot of beer maker Nile Zacherle for the SF Chronicle. I though he looked a little like Anthony Perkins in this shot.04-2011_BaptismWeekend_032Been missing my mother since her death last year. This was a shot my daughter found while fishing through old family photos. Its a shot of my mom arriving at our home during the weekend of my son’s baptism. She would have killed me if I hadn’t baptized him. That’s his head at the bottom of the frame.

 

IMG_0130

IMG_0145These 2 are from a trip to Los Angeles. Been needing to go back more. My head gets foggy if I’m in Sonoma County too long. Sometimes just need freeways and time with my sisters. My son playing basketball and my daughter playing on a handball court.IMG_1143-1Wish I could use my phone more for my news assignment work. Here’s a recent one from a nature walk near Sebastopol with my daughter.