An episode of NYU Cribs, a new documentary series filmed by Tisch freshman Maggie Richardson with her Sony HDFX7 camera, is a step inside the private lives and creative minds of NYU students who live on campus.
Each two- to four-minute long episode is filmed inside a residence hall and showcases the unique styles and personalities of the building’s residents. Richardson, who launched the short films in January, is commencing her series by visiting every freshman dorm but has plans to eventually record segments from every NYU residence hall in the near future.
The idea for NYU Cribs blossomed when she scored an internship at hashtagNYU after winning a contest during Welcome Week. She wanted to create an interactive documentary series for the NYU community, and she decided that NYU Cribs would be the perfect opportunity for students to display their personal style and exhibit their home away from home both as a form of entertainment and as a teaching tool.
“When you’re a part of such a large university, your room becomes your domain where you can be as creative as you want,” Richardson said. “When creating the idea for NYU Cribs, I was actually looking back on something that I would have liked to see before coming to school.”
To determine the featured rooms and hosts, Richardson relies on social media and word of mouth. Before filming, she requests three to four dorm room images. Unique objects and decorations that capture the individuality of residents become the focus of the episode, which are published on YouTube and Facebook. Episode one, filmed in Hayden residence hall, currently boasts 1,491 views and was published online on Feb. 7. Episode two is currently being filmed in Weinstein residence hall and will be completed on Monday.
Viewers came to know CAS freshman Catherine Hedge, whose Hayden dorm was featured on the series’ premiere episode, through a quote wall made of neon Post-It notes and a Grateful Dead tapestry-turned-closet door. Hedge enjoyed revealing what made her dorm room home, and she sees the series as a way to get to know the NYU community.
“NYU Cribs is an awesome idea because you’re learning about kids you may never have met and getting to know them simply by checking out how they live in comparison to you,” Hedge said.
Richardson has been behind the camera for more than half a decade. She was inspired to pick up a camera and create works of her own because of her childhood acting experiences — in sixth grade, she was an extra in the movie “How to Eat Fried Worms” and the hit television series “Friday Night Lights.”
“I love being behind the camera because I become the medium through which the public sees something,” Richardson said. “I decide constantly on what I choose to show and not show, highlight or distract from. I get to draw people’s attention to something they might not have seen otherwise.”
Janet Grillo, Richardson’s storytelling professor last semester, is proud of her former student’s accomplishments and what she has in store for the future.
“Maggie’s series shows initiative, creativity and verve, which characterize her as a person as well,” Grillo said. “It’s great that she’s doing it, and I’m looking forward to seeing more.”
Kimberly Schu is a staff writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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