Catharsis Amid Crisis: FCS Friend Celebrates School through Video

Max Nagle
How does one make a promotional video that demonstrates to prospective families the value of FCSduring a pandemic?
When it comes to touting the virtues of FCS, we know our community does it best. Frances O’Connor, daughter of Associate Director of Admissions Kate O’Connor, knew that she needed to connect with the  FCS community in order for her film to succeed. Having attended Montgomery Blair’s Communication Arts Program like many FCS graduates, and with experience in documentary filmmaking as well as insights about FCS, she was the perfect person to create the video. 
FCS Head of School Angela Garcia said, “It’s extraordinary what Frances captured in this short video under challenging circumstances. Watching families and students find ways to share their love for the school in the midst of the public health crisis is so uplifting. This video is a true testament to the spirit of FCS and the power of its community. If I weren’t already here, this video would make me want to be!”  
Of course, doing anything during a global pandemic poses extra challenges. “I began working on the project at the beginning of June,” said Frances. Kate had collected testimonies from parents, which she passed on to Frances. A first draft of the video consisted primarily of those testimonials, overlaid with photos and videos. 
After feedback from FCS staff, Frances began to work on a second draft that included student perspectives. “Despite the relatively short notice, parents and students were willing to drive out to the school to be interviewed, and to come early in the morning to beat the summer heat. I was impressed by how articulate the students, mostly middle and early high schoolers, were. Their perspectives and testimonies were what made the video engaging and unique.” Frances was able to use a special lens on her camera to zoom, and capture the interviews as if she were up close and personal, despite actually filming from a safe physical distance.
“Although the final video showcases only parts of the students’ interviews, I hope these interviews will be used for future FCS admissions events and videos,” she offered. Frances is currently studying communications at Elon University.
Many thanks to Frances for shining this light on our community and school.
Located in College Park, MD, Friends Community School is a progressive Quaker K-8 day school, founded on the belief that every child is a valued member of our community. We offer a challenging curriculum imbued with strong values of equality, integrity, community, environmental stewardship, simplicity and peaceful conflict resolution, rooted in our Quaker heritage.
Friends Community School
5901 Westchester Park Drive
College Park, Maryland 20740