What’s the narrative spine of your piece?

The narrative spine would be our interviewees explaining the nature and influence of the Crucible.

What are your main characters? What are your plans for getting footage besides boring talking head shots?

The main characters we have are the two instructors, one in charge of the blacksmith and the other in charge of the Youth students. We plan to get all sorts of footage of blacksmithing and the artwork developed at the Crucible by instructors and students.

How is conflict driving your story?

The conflict would be seeing how the teachers’s passion for their craft tries to get through to their students.

What kind of change do you wish to unfold within your piece?

What we would like to see is how the Crucible was created, then going through a class and then seeing the possible crafts that the students created when the class concludes.

What’s the inciting incident and point of entry in your story?

Our inciting incident would be the formation of the crucible, how it was created and what it’s become since then.

What issues do you foresee making your piece visually strong?

An issue we worry about is being in the way of the class or the teachers as they are melding hot iron and fire together to create their pieces. It could be a bit hazardous to attain certain shots with lots of power tools in use.

Core Concept

Our film is about the Crucible, an industrial arts school in Oakland that offers classes on blacksmithing, glassblowing, woodworking, and other hands on crafts. We want to showcase the impact these classes have on the youth in Oakland, when they could be going off and getting into trouble with violent gangs.

Interview Questions

(If you guys can think of a good question feel free to add on)


Can you tell us about the Crucible’s history?

How long have you been working at the Crucible?

Why did you decide to become a ___________?

What do you like most about the Crucible?

What are some of your fond memories you have of classes you have taught?

How do you think the Crucible influences the community?

What is your favorite activity here at the Crucible?

What would you say is your greatest creation?

How do you feel about how the arts are often disregarded in education?

How do you feel about the lack of funding for art and music programs?







First Day Presentation

We are Curious Fox Productions, bringing you our film about the Crucible in Oakland, Forging Ahead.

If possible, we’d like to take a class and have them teach us how to forge things. If not, we could fall back on being a fly on the wall using cinema verite of one of the existing classes in order to show just how the Crucible works. We could also follow Carla or Chris, the two instructors, as they work on a personal project.

We’re definitely going to show the forging process, the smithy and all of the tools they use in their craft. We want to show the classes and how the instructors teach their students how to work safely around such dangerous equipment.

Voice over

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A change in focus?

As I continue to look at this project, I keep seeing things differently. And sometimes these different views start to conflict with old ideas. Mainly: should I change focus to Carla Hall? I was originally going to talk about the Crucible itself, and use Carla as an expert to talk about the school. But I’m starting to wonder if I should just make it about her. Its something I just started mulling around in my head, but its defiantly something that needs more consideration.

What is a Crucible?

A crucible is a container built specifically to hold burning hot material such as molten glass and metal. Originally, they were made from ceramic clays to melt and poor bronze.


As more durable metals were discovered, such as iron, crucibles were fashioned out of thick metals to withstand the heat. Crucibles are still used in modern foundries, though in larger scale. 5205904395_9cf86c201f_o

Images from

Founding the Foundry

In 1997, Michael Sturtz brought together a small collection of artists in hopes of building a supportive community-based school.  With a  grant for $1,750 and  $20,000 personal investment loan,  The Crucible doors opened on January 15th, 1999.  By March, The Crucible began its first session of eleven classes, six of which were taught by Michael himself. Under Michael’s leadership and with the generous support of donors, foundations, volunteers, and members, The Crucible has thrived and grown to become the largest nonprofit industrial arts education facility in the United States.After twelve years as The Crucible’s founder and executive director, Michael  moved on in search of new creative challenges and opportunities.


Micheal Strutz Innovation by design