Jericho High School alumni Wesley Wang presented film equipment to the film program taught by Matthew Silva. (Photo by Jennifer Corr)

Jericho High School Alum Gifts District With Film Equipment

Jericho High School alum Wesley Wang, Class of 2022, returned to his alma mater at George A. Jackson Elementary School on Jan. 18 to present a gift of film equipment to the school district’s film program.
Wang, who is currently attending Harvard University, honed in on his filming skills while a student at Jericho High School. He took the video production course taught by Matthew Silva from ninth to 12th grade.
“While he now studies economics at Harvard, most of his time at college has been spent writing and directing short films,” explained Science and Technology Curriculum Associate Kim Libertini in front of the Board of Education. “His nothing, except everything [film] recently garnered over 3.2 million views on YouTube and is now being developed into a feature-length version with producer Darren Aronofsky, the producer of Black Swan and The Whale. When Wesley recently won a Blackmagic camera, with a value of $3,179, from the largest high school film competition in the world, he felt that he already had enough equipment for his film community, so he wanted to give it back to the community that built him up in the first place.”
Wang said donating the equipment felt like a “necessity” to him.
“I remember one of the first times I shot a serious short film; it was a very long time ago, I was just starting out, I was really scrappy and asked Mr. Silva for some help with equipment,” Wang explained, stating that he received a DSLR camera, which he said was amazing at the time. “Moving forward in my career, I realized that it’s very hard to make stuff. It’s a very competitive industry, only the top 1 percent will ever get seen. When I got this camera, I felt like it could only benefit the videography class that I came from.”
Silva thanked Wang.
“One of the things I said to Wesley when he graduated was, ‘Don’t forget about us and when you are on the stage at the Oscars… make sure to come back and talk to our classes,’” Silva said. “He’s been out of high school for a year and a half, and he’s already doing that.”
Silva added that Wang is a “great guy” and humble.
Silva explained that the video program has been expanding to allow students to create innovative content like Wang’s, as well as television productions, such as a late-night talk show. Superintendent Henry L. Grishman was a guest on the show.
The program also created a version of the Mr. Rogers theme song, which elementary students had the opportunity to watch a live recording of. Silva said he received cards from the students thanking the program for having them.

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