Mastering TV Production
Turn her loose with a camera and who knows what kind of biting commentary you might see. Take “Pants on the Ground,” in which Brooklyn College B.A. recipient Christine Pigott turned her documentary eye on sagging pants, the prison-born, low-slung fashion statement that, she discovered, found few defenders on the streets around the college.
“Even my baby’s not going to hang low with a heavy diaper,” one young woman tells the camera, indignant at the idea of even an infant sporting sagging clothes. There’s no doubt that she prefers trousers belted at the waist, crotches where they belong and underwear unseen in public. Directed, edited and partly filmed by Pigott, this is a crisp, 10-minute film about a sight every New Yorker has seen and, one way or another, reacted to. Search it out on YouTube.
In the fall, Pigott will use her Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant to work on a master’s degree in television production at the University of Falmouth in Cornwall, England. The Fulbright program, sponsored by the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is part of the U.S. government’s flagship international exchange program. Its goals are promoting international understanding and finding solutions to shared concerns.
She chose the University of Falmouth because “I like their hands-on approach to TV production and their dedication to working with students,” she says. Abroad, “You’re in a different setting and can focus on your craft without the distractions of friends and city life.”
She’ll also have the time to connect with her father’s family in his native Britain; her mother is from Guyana and Pigott speaks of her strong connection to the Caribbean.
Meanwhile, she will use her Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship – a program designed to expand the life choices of select New York City undergraduates through three years of paid summer internships – to spend the summer in Cape Town, South Africa. She will work with Hoops 4 Hope, a global nonprofit organization that uses basketball to change the lives of disadvantaged children.
That forthcoming experience may one day help her realize her dream of opening a recreational facility in her neighborhood for lower-income families, “so they can have the same access to fencing and rock climbing” as wealthier youngsters do. “I hope one day to have the funds to create that,” she says.
“If you had asked me a year ago, I never would have seen this coming,” says Pigott, who majored in information systems as well as television and radio. “I’m very grateful to have the opportunity.”
In the future, “I definitely want to produce and direct my own feature film someday, and focus on documentaries affecting minority communities.” At the moment she is working on a documentary about a young man who previously was incarcerated. “I focus on issues that minorities go through, but my goal is to touch the human experience.”