My main hobby is editing, which is great because it’s also part of my job and a source of extra income. I enjoy listening to music, R and B and pop being my favorite. After a long hiatus, I started writing songs again with my good friend Johnny. He performs some of them in clubs throughout Los Angeles. I play guitar which has become a lot more difficult because of arthritis in my left hand. I walk everyday for about 30-40 minutes. I ride my bike around down and attend yoga classes twice a week. I worry too much and have been working on reducing my anxiety. I enjoy reading. I love biographies, histories and suspense novels. My favorite book lately is “Unbroken.” What takes up most of my leisure time is watching movies. Films are my great escape. I especially love foreign films because I learn so much about other cultures.
The International Youth Media Summit is like a two week performance art piece. Each Summit has its own personality; always interesting, life changing and dramatic. Meeting people from all over the world takes me out of my routine and opens my mind and heart in ways I never imagined. It has made me want to be a better person. Coming from an Irish Catholic background i’ve been conditioned to not get overly emotional. At the Summit, all that reserve disappears. The first picture is me with blues singer/guitarist Tony Sheridan, who recorded with the Beatles in Hamburg, Germany. The second picture me with an actress from the film “12 Years a Slave.” the third photo is me with Pete Best, the Beatle’s original drummer.
James Gleason, Video/Film Instructor
James Gleason has been teaching video/film since 1979. Over the years he has worked diligently to incorporate the art and science of filmmaking into the Language Arts and Fine Arts curriculums.
After graduating with an M.A. degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo, James Gleason worked as a reporter for the Gannet Newspaper chain. In 1989, he began teaching film and video at Pacoima Middle School Performing Arts Magnet overseeing the production of many award winning student video projects, some of which were broadcast nationwide.
Mr. Gleason worked on a committee at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences creating “A Framework for Teaching and Learning Through the Arts and Technologies of Television.” This book, created by professionals from the television industry and teachers provides “instructional strategies” that integrates the study of television as an art form and the national learning standards .
For the past several years, Mr. Gleason has been an instructor and producer at the summer filmmaking “boot camps” sponsored by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and held at the C.B.S. Studios and Cleveland High.
He worked at Workforce LA , a nonprofit educational support group, helping to create nine Media Academies in the Los Angeles schools.
At the Museum of Television and Radio in Beverly Hills, Mr. Gleason helped organize a series of hands-on filmmaking workshops where students and teachers learned from industry professionals.
Mr. Gleason co-founded Next Generation Productions and served as its creative director. This non profit student production company produced a 16 millimeter feature length film,”Common Bonds” which was screened at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival. Along with cofounder and Executive Producer, Evelyn Seubert, Mr. Gleason spent three years working with 50 middle and high school students to create the first feature length film made entirely by teenagers. It was at Pacoima Middle School where the idea for “Common Bonds” was hatched. In 1994, after his students returned from a yearly trip to the Sundance Film Festival where they met with Robert Redford, they were motivated to make a film of their own. Next Generation Productions also produced “Pass It On” a 35 millimeter public service announcement
Gleason produced 25 episodes of “Video Parade” which introduced young video makers and their works to the Southern California audience. It aired on cable networks as well as the local PBS station. He has also produced P.S.A.’s for the Los Angeles Fire Department and the Salvation Army. He has lectured and given workshops all over California.
Gleason has been working at the Cleveland High Media Academy since 2002. He is charge of production for the Teen International Media Exchange (TIME) projects and the International Youth Media Summit (IYMS). Both international organizations have been working with young people around the world creating films about global issues. At Cleveland, Gleason was also the master teacher for “Breaking Boundaries,” a pilot program sponsored by Very Special Arts (VSA) in Washington D.C. .
Student films from Cleveland have been screened in countless festivals and have won many awards, including: Video in the Classroom (VIC); student Emmys; NHRA Media Competition; Best Art Direction and Outstanding Drama at the Santa Barbara International Student Film Festival; and the Friar’s Club competition. Projects have screened in the Los Angeles International Film Festival, the Voice of Youth Media Showcase in Sacramento and the U.S. Latino Experience at Cal State Northridge.
In addition to the numerous award his students have received over the years, James Gleason has taken home many awards for his independent efforts. He has won two American Film Institute “Visions of USA” awards and took first prize in the National Educational Film and Video Festival. He also won the Videomaker of the Year award from Videomaker Magazine, took first place in the Bravo/United Artist Cable video contest, and was a finalist in the Hometown USA Video Festival. In 1995 he was named “Teacher of the Year” by the FHP Medical Care Foundation.