Optik Allusions Tenancy
1. Mission Statement: What do you do? What happens in the world because you exist?
Optik Allusions is a digital filmmaking collective dedicated to social change, based in Oakland, California. We share resources, skills and knowledge to help each other tell stories that might otherwise remain untold. We make films in a spirit of collaboration and solidarity, share a lending library of film equipment for creative projects, organize free, at cost or donation-based workshops.
2. Origin and group history: How did you start? What have you done?
Optik Allusions had its first meeting on 07/09/14, as a group of artists affiliated with various collectives within OMNI. Since then, we have organized workshops for screenwriting, editing, filming and sound recording, and we are curating a growing equipment library. We have also filmed and set up lights for many ballroom events. We collaborated on the Omni’s fundraising video[ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Zccga90hcY ] and produced 13 short videos for the "Omni in 30 seconds" series . We are currently working on two short documentaries: - One on gentrification in West Oakland (in collaboration with ACCE, an activist network that is fighting to stop evictions around the Bay Area). - One about the Oscar Grant Committee, with the collaboration of the OGC's members.
3. Participation in the Omni: Why are you interested in becoming a member? How does your group intend to use the space? What are your needs?
Currently, OpAl is not seeking membership but to be a tenant in solidarity, with the possibility of applying for membership in the future.
We would steward a room as a commons by setting up and maintaining a few computers with the Adobe Creative Suite installed on them, for anyone to use to do media and post-production work. The space will be available for people to reserve to host workshops, hold editing sessions, or have small screenings of the work they’ve created.
4. Group finances and paying rent: What does your group do to support itself financially? What is your best plan for contributing your potential share of rent to the Omni?
OpAl is financed by the personal contributions of its members. We also intend to throw fundraising events.
We have a recommended monthly membership of 15$ (no one turned away for lack of funds) and we’d like to contribute to the Omni utilities with the amount that we’re able to raise from our membership, which we estimate will be $100, but we’re hoping to reach $150 as our membership grows, and we’re willing to reassess the amount in 6 months.
5. Dedicated space: If your group would like some dedicated space at the Omni, what square footage and what features are you looking for? Which specific rooms do you feel might be suitable?
Currently, OpAl has been operating out of the small room to the left of the stage. We would like to move the computer suite to the room directly above (which people usually refer to as the radio room), and we would like to change the deadbolt on that door so that it doesn’t lock automatically, thus making the room more open and available to others. This room is 89’ square on the main floor, with a lofted space that is 43’ square, for a total of 132’ square.
The small room below would then be available for storing stage-related equipment, and we are willing to prepare it for such use by installing shelving and lockable cabinets. However, we would like to continue storing our film equipment in this room, since it will be secure and it is an ideal place for us to access it when we use OpAl gear for ballroom events.
6. Other contributions to the Omni
We have ideas for dinner-and-a-movie type fundraisers (one of our members is a culinary artist), and we plan to restart weekly movie nights. We are also exploring a partnership with a global film activist network called Films For Action (filmsforaction.org) through which we would host screenings on a bi-monthly basis. Proceeds from these kinds of events can go to the Omni, and they have potential to bring in new folks and a regular crowd of film enthusiasts.
As always, we are happy to provide production assistance for events requiring lighting, sound, projection, or filming.