Why We're Asking You to Make a Film with Your Neighbors
Getting to know your neighbors can be a whole lot easier and way more entertaining if you’re doing a project together. With On My Block Films, we challenge filmmakers to create a film on their block using only their neighbors as the cast and crew. Last year’s participants walked away with great films and, most importantly, relationships with their neighbors.
When OMB’s Founder, Ryan O’Hara Theisen, made his film last year, he became close to 20 new friends. “While making our film we had to problem-solve constantly and pull in all the resources amongst our neighbors. That dependency on one another and the collaborative problem-solving was the magic glue that brought us all together," said O’Hara Theisen. "Knowing we could depend on one another also had a way of speeding up the get-to-know-you process, and I guess that’s why we all continue to stay so friendly with one another.” .
Friendships formed on set with neighbors led to future neighborhood hangouts and even some amazing invitations. Two days after the wrap of his film, O’Hara Theisen was invited to meet President Obama by his neighbor Jennifer Samawat, who, as it turned out, worked as an Advance Associate for the The White House. “You never know the amazing people living behind the doors along your block,” he says. “My favorite part of this experience is that a year later, we’re all still close friends and we brag to other friends how “going out” is so much more convenient. I just pop over to the neighbors house for a pint and walk two doors down to hit the sack.”'>
Andrew Thomas, a freelance photographer from Brooklyn, decided to make a neighbor the subject of his film. “My friends had talked about this BMX biker, Quentin, on our block who was supposed to be pretty good. And the day I got the OMB flyer, I saw him whiz by and figured I’d approach him about making a film together.” By working together, Thomas and the BMX biker, Quentin, created a close trust, which evolved into a mutual appreciation for one another’s creative crafts. “Before we would have said the occasional hello. But now after the film, we’re welcome at one another’s home, we collaborate on other film and music projects together and we bounce creative ideas for solo projects we’re doing off one another—we have this creative trust.”'>