In Search Of A Vision

"The most revolutionary ideas are not sellable,

but only mind-changing." 


- Marina Abramovic,  Artist



Read  BACKSTORY For What Set Up: 




(1999 - 2001)  


  • While developing as a low/no budget guerilla filmmaker (after a first career in counseling and community work), Trayce Gardner receives an intriguing invitation from a Brooklyn Tech-nical High School media teacher to take on senior interns. 

  • As Trayce introduces the interns to indie filmmaker resources and strategies, she sees how to tie self-development lessons into the teaching of beginning filmmaking. 

(2001 - 2004)  

  • Trayce forms a work group with high school interns and a other filmmakers, and call the project 'Brooklyn Young Filmmakers'.  Non-profit Project Teen Aid offers sponsorship and an in-kind office in Fort Greene.

  • Brooklyn Young Filmmakers receives its first grant from the Brooklyn Arts Council to offer a intergenerational beginners short scriptwriting class for adults and older teens, taught in a space above the Cakeman Raven Bakery. 

  • Seeing that most high school filmmaking programs were dedicated to documentary filmmaking, Brooklyn Young Filmmakers establishes the intergenerational Film Salon Screening Series featuring Teen, College, and Indie filmmakers, to bring together different levels and types of filmmaking.  The annual  Salon Series is hosted by St Francis College, then by Long Island University, Brooklyn.

  • Brooklyn Young Filmmakers offered an in-kind office in the Whitman Community Center in Fort Greene public housing in exchange for offering free community education for adults and older teens. 

Young To Filmmaking !





(2004 - 2007)

  • New York passes filmmaking tax credits and the Steiner Studio (the largest U.S. studio outside of Hollywood) opens in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, (5) minutes walk from the Whitman Community Center.    New era of recordbreak-ing growth ushered in.

  • BYFC invites the Steiner CEO to two forums it organizes, one at LIU for local residents and one at A.R.T. New York for organizations and elected  officials,  on the need to develop programs to teach working people about jobs in the film industry.

  • Brooklyn Young Filmmakers Center (BYFC) obtains it's 501(c)(3) non-profit status.

  • BYFC establishes the annual Careers in Film Salon Series featuring panels of professionals from the various film crafts, hosted by Long Island University in the Spike Lee Screening Room.  BYFC produces the one day 'INSIDE MAN' conference with screening of the film followed by different craft panels with profes-sionals analyzing how the film was made. 

  • New BYFC class: 'How To Become a Production Assistant & Organize Jobs on a Low Budget Film Set'

(2006 - 2014)  

  • BYFC continues to develop its own curriculum and learning formats aimed at working adults.  It offers 'MAKE A FILM', a series of three classes, in conjunction with the NYC College of Technology's Continuing Ed, with shoot locations secured in Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, and Bed-Stuy.  Ten shorts films are pro-duced with the help of  community scavenger hunts, resulting in the donation of locations, props, wardrobe, set materials, professional mentors, music, and shoot food.

  • Moves office to Trilok Fusion Arts Center in Clinton Hill.

  • BYFC organizes workshops and skillshares at various locations, including NYCHA's Ingersol and Farragut Community Centers, BCAT, Shop Talk Art Gallery, and Queens Public Library.

Young To Filmmaking !




BYFC Publicly Re-Christened 



  • While support for teen media programs is increasing, most programs still focus on documentary -- whereas most of the jobs in the industry are in scripted filmmaking, which has bigger audiences but is also much more complicated to produce.

  • Working adults are increasingly using their smart phones to shoot their own short films and using YouTube tutorials to improve, as well as seeking peers to collab-orate with on platforms like Facebook and  But organizations supporting developing filmmakers are focused on those seeking careers, not these hobbyists.

  • Now that more teens and adults are trying to learn filmmaking, why aren't more working families shooting short films together? 

  1. Teens often don't share the same interest as adults, yet With more teens in media programs 

PH%20Card%20%20Oct%202020%20Launch_edite  (this)

Learn how to choose a memory of a specific moment and transform it into a vivid short memoir.  Then if you want, go the next step and turn it into a short script: 


  • In Search of New Community Home

Opened office in back of Huey’s Chuey’s Storefront, then store closed.   Opened basement center in Moore Street Market, then City took over building and ordered us out.   

(2016)  Seminars offered at Brownsville Heritage House which becomes a sponsor for People’s Hollywood Project.


(2018 - 2020)  



The non-profit Brooklyn Young Filmmakers is a small volunteer-run, demonstration project with the mission of showing how low/no budget short filmmaking, with all the crafts involved and teamwork, can be used as a vehicle for personal and community development for working adults .