Finding his Calling in Documentaries
Tomás Greer ’16 found his way to the world of video documentaries quite by accident. With 45 college credits earned through his high school in New York City, Greer needed a core course, and video production was available. So he signed up.
Everything about the class was unfamiliar; his only connection to the field is a sister who works in TV production.
“As the semester went on, my interest grew, and the following semester, I took video production II,” Greer says. “The skills I learned in the first one were enhanced and because the class was so small—only three students—we all got more than we could have gotten anywhere else.”
Part of that enhanced learning came from Greer’s professor. Neal Dhand, MFA, assistant professor of communications, is a writer, director and producer, who won an award for “best editing” for his film, “Crooked & Narrow” at the Brooklyn Film Festival last year. He has taught screenwriting, directing, film history and video production at CHC for three years, and remembers Greer well.
“I watched as he became more interested in video. I watched him figure out his path,” says Dhand. “We worked closely on his senior seminar project and he interned with me on a documentary about Prevention Point Philadelphia, (a drug rehabilitation center in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia) for which he did all the sound work and some of the camera operation.”
Greer’s senior seminar was a documentary on the perception of females in college and professional athletics that Dhand calls “nuanced, intelligently produced, well-made from a visual and aural perspective.”
The communications major went on to attend graduate school at Mount St. Mary’s University in Los Angeles, and says his acceptance was based in part on the footage from CHC projects that he used with his admissions application. Unfortunately, knee surgery has sidelined Greer, who is taking a semester off while applying to Temple and Boston universities. He plans to complete his MFA at one of those two fine communications schools.
“Tomás is so deserving,” says Dhand. “I’m excited for him and proud of CHC’s program. He came out of it with the chops that has allowed him to get into a competitive program, and I know he will do well at whatever he chooses.”
— Brenda Lange