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All That I Can Be

All That I Can Be
08:46 | 2005

Categories: Documentary, Politics, Shorts, History, Festivals, War

William, like many young Americans, feels that joining the military is his only way out of a dead-end job and a rough life.

More About All That I Can Be from Producer Educational Video Center

All That I Can Be was produced and edited at the Educational Video Center (EVC) in midtown Manhattan over the course of the 2004-2005 school year. Students met four days a week for four hours a day, sometimes staying late and coming in on the weekends during their most intense stages of production. The crew consisted of six students (all in high school with the exception of Krista who was attending her first semester at Queensborough Community College) and their instructor, Rodney Mitchell. All the interviews in All That I Can Be were shot in New York City with the exception of a shoot in Pennsylvania and one at Fort Dix in New Jersey where Youth Organizers Television (YO-TV) students were granted the rare opportunity to bring cameras inside the base.

All That I Can Be comes from a personal perspective. The producers themselves experienced military recruiter visits and phone calls. They also had friends - some of whom were classmates from the Educational Video Center - signing up to join the military. They came from the same neighborhoods and shared dreams of pursuing film and video as a career. Co-producer Antonio Abreu wrote: "William, one of the main characters in All That I Can Be, and I both used to live in the same neighborhood. I could easily fall into that category of 'person who can't make it financially.' There are more advertisements for chain store jobs than there are for photography groups and poetry slams. People I know are joining the military because they need money for college and they don't want to work at McDonald's like they did in high school."

After basic training, William Solomon was stationed at a military base in Alaska. In January 2005, his unit was deployed to Iraq. EVC called the mother of William's best friend in New York City later that month to find out news about him. As of May 2005, we have confirmed that William is in Iraq, but his friend's mother has not heard from him and has no way to reach him.

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