Commissioned Films

With more than forty-five years of combined experience, Open Studio Productions creates documentary projects for public interest clients including community-based organizations, foundations, schools, government agencies, and trade unions.

Partial List of commissioned films and client organizations:

National Community Land Trust Network – PORTLAND, OR

Homes and Hands:  Community Land Trusts in Action
(Helen S. Cohen:  producer, director; Mark Lipman, editor)

Created an update to Homes & Hands and produced and directed the filming of a panel discussion and a series of interviews about the Network’s Heritage Lands Initiative.

California Nurses Association – Oakland, CA

Taking Care: CNA’s First Century(Helen S. Cohen: executive producer)

A documentary about the history of the nurses union, to commemorate its centennial anniversary.

BTW Consultants, Inc. – Berkeley, CA)

(Helen S. Cohen: producer, director; Mark Lipman: sound, editor)

Interviews with key players in the Community Clinics Initiative (CCI), a program run by the Tides Foundation. Excerpts used for PowerPoint presentation created by BTW and to archive the significant historical experience and insights of these leaders in the field.

National Center for Victims of Crime – Washington, DC

Links in the Chain: Two Communities Respond to Stalking
(Helen S. Cohen:  executive producer)

A video about the increasingly pervasive problem of stalking, showcasing effective strategies for combating the problem and providing support to victims. Used primarily for training law enforcement officers.

Island Affordable Housing Fund Martha’s Vineyard, MA

The Island Affordable Housing Fund:  Preserving a Way of Life
(Mark Lipman/Helen S. Cohen: co-producers/directors; Mark Lipman: camera, sound, editing)

A twelve-minute educational and fundraising video to support the creation of affordable housing for year-round residents of Martha’s Vineyard.

Star Academy – San Rafael, CA

(Mark Lipman/Helen S. Cohen: co-producers/directors; Mark Lipman: camera, sound, editing)

A fundraising video and two videos about the innovative math and social skills curriculum at this school for children with learning disabilities.

Roadwork, Inc. – Columbus, OH

(Helen S. Cohen: producer; Mark Lipman: director)

Videotaped historic concert and conversation among activist singer/songwriters Harry Belafonte, Holly Near, Bernice Johnson Reagon, and Pete Seeger.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum – Boston, MA

Episodes, Presence
(Mark Lipman: producer, director, camera, editor)

Two videos documenting the creation of museum installations by visiting artists Nari Ward and partners Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey.

Madison Park Development Corporation – Roxbury, MA

A Shared Vision:  The Making of Madison Park Village
(Mark Lipman: producer, writer, camera, editor)

An historical overview of the Madison Park Development Corporation focusing on its roots in community organizing to preserve housing in their community. Produced for their 35th anniversary celebration.

The Food Project – Lincoln, MA

D.I.R.T.: The Next Generation
(Mark Lipman: instructor, director, editor)

Taught a year-long production class for teenagers that created a videotape used as an outreach and fundraising tool.

University of New Hampshire – Durham, NH

Monitoring Our Planet
(Mark Lipman: co-producer, editor)

An educational program for high school students explaining how they can use satellite data and ground observations to track the health of forests.

Haymarket People’s Fund – Boston, MA

Change Not Charity
(Mark Lipman: co-producer/director, editor)

A fundraising video for this organization that gave grants for community organizing efforts throughout New England.

The Foundation for the Care and Cure of Huntington’s Disease – New York, NY

Curing Huntington’s Disease:  No Longer a Dream
(Mark Lipman: producer, director, editor)

A fundraising program that describes Huntington’s Disease and the scientific efforts to locate the gene which causes it.

Seventh Generation Fund – Arcata, CA

Harvest of Dreams
(Mark Lipman: co-producer/director, camera, editor)

A documentary about small-scale economic development on Indian reservations, shot in Window Rock, AZ.

Mark Lipman: Editor

Juster Hill Productions

Alaska Far Away
A feature documentary about the creation of a farming community in the Alaskan wilderness through a New Deal program that resettled destitute farm families into one hundred colonies around the country.

NOVA – WGBH, Boston

The Schoolboys Who Cracked the Soviet Secret
Docudrama about a British physics teacher and his high school class who uncover various secrets concerning Soviet satellites.

World War on Alcohol
Program about alcohol policy and treatment in the United States and the U.S.S.R.

To Boldly Go
Program about the Voyager space mission.

Neptune’s Cold Fury
Program about Voyager’s discoveries at Neptune.

The All American Bear
Program that follows black bears through their yearly cycle of hibernation and procreation.

Is Your Number Up?
Documentary about cholesterol and heart disease focusing on the latest research about children, women and the elderly.

The Fine Art of Faking It  (sound editor)
Program about art forgery and the efforts of science to track down the forgers.

A Hole in the Sky (sound editor)
Program about the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica and its implications for our environment.

Blackside, Inc. – Boston, MA

Eyes on the Prize II (sound editor)
Four one-hour programs that continued the acclaimed PBS civil rights series, which examines the movement from 1964 to the present.

Jamil Simon Productions – Cambridge, MA

No Better Gift
An educational film for parents and teachers about nutrition for toddlers produced for the Society for Nutrition Education

Kaufman Productions – Newton, MA

For American School Publishers:

The Columbus Controversy: Challenging the Way History is Written

For Beth Israel Hospital:

After the Hospital, What’s Next?

For the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Workers Union:

Hidden Hazards: Protecting Retail and Supermarket Workers

Health and Safety: Why Care

Political Action: Together We Can Make A Difference

RWDSU:  Workplace Health and Safety

Endorsements

“Helen and Mark were fantastic to work with — they understood the issues, brought new insights to our mission and created an inspiring, powerful video that greatly increased our impact as an organization.”
—Jean Entine, Interim Executive Director, Island Affordable Housing Fund

“[Homes & Hands] is an informative and inspiring video that is now widely used for training and outreach. With [Helen’s] professional background in community development, her personal ease with a diversity of people, and an engaging interview style, she was able to convey the nuts and bolts of the CLT model, while capturing the heart and soul of a grassroots movement for social change.”
—John Emmeus Davis, Dean, Community Land Trust Academy, National Community Land Trust Network

“The video…gave life and depth to our presentations. This approach to evaluation allowed the leaders in the health care field to speak for themselves and convey the power and impact of the work they are doing.”
—Ellen Irie, Principal, BTW Consultants

“The short video Helen and Mark created really packs a punch — it conveys so much emotion and information that are impossible to explain in pamphlets and talks. It’s helped us spread the word about our Making Math Real program and raise critical funds for the school.”
—Susan Mackay Sweeney, Board President, Star Academy