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Continuity's 'In Motion' Conference Brings Filmmakers To St. Louis

Instructor Mike Pagano works with participants of Continuity's film-training program on interview techniques.
Instructor Mike Pagano works with participants of Continuity's film-training program, such as Erica Renee Walker (in the red shirt), on interview techniques.

On Nov. 2, Continuity will host a “first-of-its-kind” conference bringing filmmakers to St. Louis to meet its trainees and other people interested in media production. The local nonprofit organization trains St. Louisans of color and underrepresented communities, teaching them filmmaking skills and preparing them for jobs in media production.

Continuity’s executive director and co-founder, Dan Parris, joined host Sarah Fenske to talk about the organization’s efforts on Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air.

Also joining the conversation were Erica Renee Walker, a recent graduate of the Continuity Media Training Program, and Letisha Wexstten. Wexstten, who was born without arms, has developed a following for her YouTube channel, Tisha UnArmed. She will be featured at Continuity’s In Motion Filmmaking Conference.

(L-R) Dan Parris, Erica Renee Walker and Letisha Wexstten joined Thursday's "St. Louis on the Air" to discuss opportunities for underrepresented people in the film industry.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Continuity offers a 36-week training program for adults who are underrepresented in the film industry. Only 10 participants are selected each year, and in the program, they learn film basics, intermediate film and film business in hopes to kickstart their own business or find other opportunities in the industry.

Walker said she’s always aspired to become a filmmaker. She enjoys movies and knows what differentiates a good one from a bad one, but didn’t know how to enter the film industry herself. That was until she came across Continuity’s program. 

After she was chosen to be one of the 10 annual participants, she learned the ins and outs: from pre-production, interviewing, casting, lighting and more. She works to highlight the voices of people with both visible and not-so-visible disabilities, such as a film she made about speech impediments that aired at the St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase this past June. 

But she didn’t want to just stop there. Walker plans on attending Continuity’s In Motion conference, which is open to the public. 

“I just want to network with people and just see what I can learn. I'm a learner. I love learning new things and seeing how I can incorporate things in my own life, my own journey and things like that. So I'm picking up bits and pieces as I go along the way,” she said. 

At the event, she hopes to attend Wexstten’s breakout session, where the Wexstten will share her YouTube journey and give advice about how to grow a YouTube channel and monetize the production. 

“I've been kind of busy, but now that I'm out of school and I'm healed from my surgery and I've got my new business coming up that I'm working on, I'm motivated more than ever to start revamping my brand and my YouTube channel and actually making more money off of it than I have,” Wexstten said. 

Listen to the full discussion: 

Related Event

What: In Motion Filmmaking Conference
When: 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019
Where: Covo St. Louis (401 Pine St., St. Louis, MO 63102)

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Tonina Saputo. The engineer is Aaron Doerr, and production assistance is provided by Charlie McDonald.

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Lara is a producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

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