Teens turn lens on politics

first_imgMONTEBELLO – From the raucous scene that can be city politics to the bright lights of the California Democratic Convention, two Montebello High School students are learning that covering politics is not for the faint of heart. State Assembly candidate Gerri Guzman hired video production students Cyrus Reymundo, 17, and Chris Morales, 16, to make a documentary on the recent Democratic Convention in Sacramento. Once there, the teens found themselves at the center of a paparazzi-like swarm of major media outlets competing for access to the candidates. “I couldn’t believe how pushy they were,” said Reymundo. “When Westly was coming in, all the media rushed at him. They were pushing and shoving us aside. But we pushed back and rushed to the front and were able to interview him.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsDespite feeling like they had been thrown into the lions’ den, Morales and Reymundo said the exposure revealed the inner workings of politics and of covering live media events. “It really opened his eyes to what’s out there for him to do and how things work,” said Diana Reymundo, Cyrus’ mother. “They couldn’t believe it when they were given press passes and could go anywhere. It really got them excited.” It was not Morales’ and Reymundo’s first foray into politics. The two students earlier this year created a bit of a stir at City Hall when they innocently showed up one night to videotape a Montebello City Council as part of a class project. Their presence at that meeting in March sparked an intense debate between several council members, some of whom said they had no idea the students were showing up to videotape the meeting. Mayor Bob Bagwell said friend and local sound and video engineer Philip Wilcox had offered to film the meetings free of charge in order to test the acoustics and filming logistics of the council chambers. The city is currently reviewing bids from companies to begin filming council meetings for television on a regular basis. “I’m doing what I can to open doors for the kids,” Wilcox said. “The whole council episode intimidated the kids. But they wanted to continue filming. It’s good experience for them.” While in Sacramento, Morales said, they asked the candidates questions about the recent student walkouts and boycotts over immigration reform, hoping to use the footage for another documentary he is making about the protests. Cyrus Reymundo said some questions they asked took the candidates by surprise. “We asked \ where they would be on May1st, the day of the boycotts,” he said. “Some said they would go to work or go to school. But it was good because they weren’t expecting that question. Westly was supportive of the boycott and said he wouldn’t buy anything, but that we should stay in school.” Reymundo and Morales have partnered on numerous projects since the beginning of the school year. They entered and won a gold medal in the Skills USA regional competition in the category of video production in November. The win enabled them to enter the state competition in April, where they finished in the top 10, said Morales. Both students said they plan on pursuing careers in video production, filming and editing. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more