Pittsburgh Central High School (known as “Central”)—recast as Schenley High School in 1916—was at different times the subject of innovative investment and destructive neglect, providing a case study in both the best and worst urban public education practices. The Schenley Experiment tells the story of Pittsburgh and its public school district—of class, race, ethnicity, and collaboration—through the prism of its oldest and most dynamic high school.
Book Trailer for a Social History of Pittsburgh’s First Public High School
As part of the promotion for his upcoming book on the groundbreaking Schenley High School, Jake, a good friend of ours, expressed an interest in creating a trailer for his book. The history of Schenley High School is extremely vibrant, and a book trailer helps convey that vibrancy to those perhaps less familiar with Schenley than its alumni. Neither Josh nor I was familiar with the high school, but after spending a day with several interviewees, it became readily apparent just how special this place was.
For the trailer, we filmed several interviews between Jake and former Schenley students, teachers, and administrators, outside of the vacant school. Jake had done extensive research for the book, and provided the archival footage used in the beginning of the trailer. From there, we worked with Jake to sew snippets of the interviews together to provide a glimpse of Schenley’s educational and social experiment – the subject of the book – and inform and engage potential readers. Leon Boykins, a fellow Schenley alumnus, wrote the score for the trailer.
The Schenley Experiment by Jake Oresick will be available from Penn State University Press on April 15, 2017, wherever books are sold. For more information, visit the publisher’s site.
Cinebard Films, LLC. is a Pittsburgh-based videography company that loves to tell stories: big stories, small stories, funny stories, and historical stories, like the one you’ve just watched. We’re passionate and dedicated to our craft, and no matter what story you want to tell, we can help you bring it to life. Contact us to tell your story!