The Story of CHiPS


Sabrina with Louise, interviewing Ariel at the Frances Residence.

Sabrina with Louise, interviewing Ariel at the Frances Residence upstairs.

Last February, a young filmmaker named Sabrina Kentis stopped by to talk about making a video for CHiPS. A family friend who had seen her previous work noticed that CHiPS didn’t seem to have any video and thought Sabrina might be able to help. Sabrina enjoys giving back to the community and doing so through filmmaking. She had already made videos for the Park Slope Rock School, Hurricane Sandy Relief Kitchen and the Horizons Leadership Project.

Sabrina’s videos, posted on YouTube, are astonishingly mature and accomplished. They belie the fact that she was only 16, a junior at St. Ann’s School in Brooklyn. We later learned that she not only directed, shot and edited the films, but is also a musician and had composed, performed and produced some of the music in her videos. Her talent and possibilities seem to have no limits.

After a few brain storming sessions, we decided together that she would create a “Meet CHiPS” video to reintroduce us to our community of supporters and introduce us to those who never knew us. Filming began in mid-March and continued for two months. During this time, Sabrina would run over to CHiPS between and after classes and during winter break, juggling exams, term papers, SATs and APs. She interviewed staff members, board members, volunteers, and several of the mothers in the Residence upstairs, and even a couple of the homeless guests during lunchtime. She was everywhere, upstairs, downstairs, and outside the building. Then she devoted several hundred more hours to editing, finishing and scoring.

The video was finally completed and posted on YouTube on July 12. It runs ten and a half minutes. Sabrina describes the video as follows:

“I was really inspired by the struggles of the guests both in the soup kitchen and the residence and the outpouring of love and support from all the staff and volunteers who devote their time to help them. To hear that some of the guests in the soup kitchen were once long time volunteers and now elderly in need themselves, for instance, was very affecting. I focused on trying to capture the feeling of CHiPs as well as the mandate to “Meet CHiPS.” I had many hours of great footage and CHiPS has two very different and essentially separate parts to it (soup kitchen/ residence), so it was a challenge to find the right structure to communicate the uniqueness of the organization.

I decided to begin with a short introduction followed by a kitchen section and residence section which are each under 4 minutes, then a concluding sequence. I considered cutting the history section out for length, but it seemed important to know how long CHiPS has been around and how the Frances Residence came to be. I also questioned the necessity of the Sister Mary section which is around 20 seconds. But ultimately I thought it deserved to be in the video to honor her and the spirit that she has imbued CHiPS with. It also seemed like a good way also to show how the community has come out to help from the start.”

We hope you enjoy the video and share it with your friends. It captures the heart and soul of CHiPS and represents the very best of our next generation.