Viktor Sebastian Ceolin


Kids of the World




My documentary will be about Third Culture Kids from Asia who have now moved to New York, and it will focus on the diversity of their experiences in these very different places.  Third Culture Kids are kids that have grown up in a country or countries that aren’t the home country of either of their parents. I grew up a third culture kid and am interested in exploring the experiences of others in similar situations. I would like to try to understand their perspectives and how they might be different and contrast with my own. After doing this I will try and understand a professional’s viewpoint. This will delve into both my mind and others to help give insight into what it is truly like to be a Third Culture Kid in the globalized society of today.

In my documentary, I will delve into the lives of Third Culture Kids in New York City by interviewing kids from all over the world to get a better understanding of how their experiences of spending their formative years in a third culture has affected their identity in our increasingly global world.  I am also interested in understanding how being in a global city like New York feels to a Third Culture Kid: is it foreign or comfortable because they can find culturally familiar elements there?  I am going to focus on the most impactful points made by each of the individuals mentioned to help me get my point across, such as experiences of cultural misunderstandings or alienation. This will allow the audience an unfiltered insight into our lives.

When interviewing the professionals, I assume that they will have predetermined opinions on the topic as they have a large personal knowledge on the subject. I will try to get a deeper insight into what they have to say and try to push them out of their comfort zones, looking for points of controversy and contrast. I want to encourage them to question their identity and I feel that this could draw out some interesting responses. Similar to the interviews with the Third Culture Kids, I will try to extract the most important points and moments with them to use in the final cut of the documentary. Doing this will help get an impactful message across to the audience in the short amount of time that I have in the film. However I am unsure if they will be available for an interview. If they aren’t available I will replace their section with another interview with a Third Culture Kid.  I am also interested in understanding how being in a Global city like New York feels to a third culture kid: is it foreign or comfortable because they can find culturally familiar elements there? I am going to focus on the most impactful points made by each of the individuals mentioned to help me get my point across, such as experiences of cultural misunderstandings or alienation. This will allow the audience an unfiltered insight into our lives.

I want the interviews to be informal so that the interviewee feels comfortable talking about personal issues and inner battles they might be feeling about being a Third Culture Kid. I feel like this could add a more intimate feeling to the documentary and allow the audience to fully connect with the people in the video. I feel that it is important to create an emotional connection with the interviewees to then be able to share this emotion with the audience.

The intended audience can be practically anyone because it will be informative as well as informal in providing insight to anyone who is curious to learn more about this largely unrecognized form of multiculturalism. The event that originally triggered me to look deeper into this is my global life and growing up as a Third Culture Kid in China since I was 3 years old. This was due to the decision of the Chinese government to open the country up to more foreign companies and investments in 1978. I have had the experience of understanding cultures that aren’t my own, while at the same time, struggling to connect with other Canadian kids when I go back “Home”. Being able to see the contrasts in society and how different these places and people behave has taught me alot about the world. I know there are many other people in my shoes that moved to a new country when they were extremely young and due to the increasingly common experience of the international and expat revolution, became a Third Culture Kid just like me.  I’d like to film in some of the cultural hubs of the city including Chinatown, Little Italy, Korea Town and possibly in front of the Trump building to find insights into strong minded and passionate individuals to add extra interest and power to the video. I will include some Parson’s students, as well as other kids from a different range of age groups, to see how age might affect opinions.


All of these elements will come together to help produce the story of each of these individuals as well as creating the larger story of Third Culture Kids in New York City. This exploration will help give the viewer a deeper insight into what it’s like to be a Third Culture Kid and how the experience of being in New York City is for these Kids. With the insight of the professionals, it will help me draw a final conclusion as well as my own realization of who I am and what has shaped me. At the end of the video I want the audience to come away from it with a changed perspective on what Third Culture Kids deal with on a daily basis and the internal cultural battle that they face.

I hope to have the audience also question themselves culturally and gain insight into what their cultural identity is. In society today, we are more international than we have ever been before. Everyone is practically a citizen of the world as transportation and global travel, as well as access to global information becomes more accessible. We are often experiencing international culture in our everyday experiences whether we realize it or not. I hope to also create a video both complex enough to allow the audience to take away insight into our increasingly global culture, as well as being simple enough to understand within a limited time.


Production Plan: First I will collect background footage from different cultural locations around New York. Then I will try to Collect interviews and information from all individuals in documentary format and after that, find information from professional opinions and interviews. I will then use information gathered to understand what I have to work with and then start piecing everything together. Then finally, I plan to have a reflection and final comments to understand the overall conclusion of my findings.

First I will go to Times Square and collect a large range of time lapses from around the area to establish the prototypical images and identity of this city. This will include shots of the large digital signs, tourists, the statue and the American flag located in the middle, the traffic on Broadway and some of the international food stands scattered around the area. These will be a collection of timelapses to help reflect the rapid and fast pace of my video.

I will then go to Chinatown to get footage of the different streetscapes, restaurants and stores located in the area. I will try to emphasize the cultural differences using these shots. I will film signage, showing a variety of languages and scripts, and inside restaurants and shops as well as the wet markets showing views and elements not commonly seen in more traditional or mainstream American restaurants or markets. These will be normal shots but very short to be used as fillers between questions. I will compile a mix of these scenes to allow for a variety of shots in the video and to insure it doesn’t look repetitive. I will also go to Little Italy and finally to Korea Town to capture the atmosphere for additional background footage behind both voice overs and text.

This full documentary will be 5 minutes long and I estimate to have the first minute introduction filled with B roll or supplemental footage, then approximately 2.5 filled with both my and the other kid’s perspectives,1 minute of the professional’s opinion and finally a 30 second conclusion. This plan necessitates that a lot of the video needs to be short and concise and get straight to the point to allow the audience to understand what I am trying to portray through each of the participants viewpoints on the subject. For each of the interviewees information, I will try and draw out the main point of what they are saying and edit to minimize rambling. Introductions to each of the individuals in the video will be supported by a voice over and background footage of different cultural areas of New York city to reflect how diverse a city we live in. Having cultural background footage will allow there to be a direct link to the topic and allow for smooth transitions throughout the whole documentary. It will help create a smooth flowing video as well stop awkward gaps and help provide inferences to different cultures when talking about individuals or referencing different perspectives. This footage will also be used in the introduction of the video when presenting the topic to the viewer. This will establish a distinct motif created within the video that the audience will become familiar with and allow them to connect with the images throughout the rest of the video.

In the beginning I will have a 1 minute voiceover that will give both background information about what a Third Culture Kid is specifically as well as what this documentary will be exploring to give the viewer context and an understanding before going into the interviews. This will be placed over the background footage that I have collected in different locations. Behind my voice over, I will also add an upbeat simple song to help create a transition between all the shots in the video. This will also be audible behind all of the interviews to help create consistency and continuity within the video.

I have prepared a series of questions for the interviews and will create a professional interview environment. These will be 10 minute interviews each and will allow for all the appropriate information to be conveyed. I will then condense the interviews into clipits grabbing the most important information. These will be edited where the question will be shown first then each person’s response to this, grouping the responses by common question rather than by the interviewees.

Finally I will have my summary and conclusion of everything that had been mentioned in the interviews and some of my thoughts on being a Third Culture Kid. This will be approximately 30 seconds long and will be placed at the very end of the video.These different elements is what will be the make up of my documentary, and allow for it to become an informative piece. Hopefully after the viewer watches is they are both more interested in the subject as well as learnt something new.



Modak, Sebastian. “For Third Culture Kids, Travel Is Home.” Condé Nast Traveler, Condé Nast Traveler, 6 Mar. 2018


Haugen, Heidi Østbø. “Destination China: The Country Adjusts to Its New Migration Reality.” March 02, 2017


Haimei, Shen. “Inflow of International Immigrants Challenges China’s Migration Policy.” Brookings. July 28, 2016


Downey, Dana, and Frank C. Richardson. “Identity, Mobility, and Marginality: Counseling a Third Culture Kid.”


Youtube Link to Video :


Youtube Link to Rough Cut 1:

Youtube Link to Rough Cut 2:

In the documentary I interview Third Culture Kids that grew up in Asia to allow the audience to get  a better understanding of what its like to be a Third Culture Kid. Knowing that I only had 5 minuets for the whole documentary was a challenge because each of the individuals that I interviewed had amazing points and great things to say so the time limit became apparent to me. To try and insure that I could get good information across as well as give enough I tried to select the most important points from each persons without making the points too long. This was one of the things that became apparent to me in the process of making the documentary, through this process however I have learnt a-lot about how ideas can change and how you need to be flexible to meet the requirements. I also realized that I didn’t have enough time within the documentary to add a section where I get interviewed so decided to do a summary instead of main points for the audience to take away from this and get them more interested in the subject of the documentary.  Alot changed over the course of producing the documentary however I am happy with the final product produced.



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