Project VoiceScape is a partnership with Adobe Youth Voices, PBS and POV to mentor today’s best young documentary filmmakers. Keep up with news from the filmmakers and their mentors on the Project VoiceScape blog.
Having grown up in Southern California, the topic of immigration has an “up close and personal” edge for Trevor Seines. He’s had the opportunity to examine the issue in an academic setting as a part of a project at the Media Arts Center in San Diego, which focused on the U.S.–Mexican Border and the lives of people with undocumented status.
It was this coursework that inspired Trevor to focus his Project VoiceScape documentary on the story of Oscar, a young man who was brought to the United States illegally when he was only a baby. Now 27 years old, California is the only home he has ever known.
In his documentary In Between, Trevor uses Oscar’s personal experiences as a lens through which to view the reality undocumented immigrants struggle with each day. For a person with legal status, it may be easy to take for granted the things they have easy access to: a car, a bank account, an education. For Oscar and the many undocumented immigrants like him, these things are only obtained through great risk, or not at all. Trevor hopes his film will help his audience gain respect for immigrants with illegal status, and a greater appreciation of the challenges they face.
Trevor describes himself as “passionately curious”, and takes seriously the opportunity to develop his filmmaking abilities. He speaks with enthusiasm about the advice he has received from his mentor, director Carlos Sandoval (Farmingville): how to sequence a story, how to identify and remove unnecessary footage, and how to showcase the most powerful lines in the film.
“I’ve gotten to learn skills in not just post-production, but pre-production as well, things I didn’t even know how to do,” says Trevor. “Ultimately, this has been a wonderful experience for me.”