‘New Haven, CT 06520’ expresses ‘a small slice’ of students’ affection for their city

Not a word is spoken in “New Haven, CT 06520,” but the new video for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions — created entirely by students — colorfully illustrates what Yale’s home city means to undergraduates.

“New Haven, CT 06520” features students as they bustle around city streets — on foot, bicycle, bus, and skateboard — to restaurants such as Claire’s Corner Copia, Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria, Shake Shack, and the Wooster Square Farmers' Market to purchase goodies for a shared feast at the summit of East Rock, where they ultimately gather for a late-afternoon picnic with the city’s skyline in view.

Joshua Ackerman ’14, who produced the video with Spencer Klavan ”14, proposed the idea for the video to Mark Dunn ’07, director of outreach and recruitment in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, last spring. He and Dunn worked with film director and editor Joshua Jacobs ’15 to brainstorm ideas for the shoot over the summer, and decided on an action movie motif “as a nod to the city’s energy and interconnectedness,” says Dunn. The video features an all-undergraduate-student cast and a score by Andrew Johnson ’06, who wrote the musical score and co-wrote the script for the popular 2010 admissions video “That’s Why I Chose Yale.”

“We wanted to showcase the excitement and diversity of New Haven through the eyes of our students, who love the amazing variety of options within walking distance of campus,” says Dunn. “Here at the Admissions Office, our campus visitors frequently tell us that they are surprised by how much they love exploring New Haven as part of their visit, but many arrive knowing very little about what the city has to offer. Is New Haven a busy, dense urban environment or a small friendly New England town? Many prospective students just don’t know what to expect. The answer, of course, is a little bit of both, which is what makes the city so unique, especially for college students.”

Ackerman says the evolution of and creative process for the film were a collaborative effort among students.

“Students not only serve as active members of our on-campus community, but also build strong ties to the city during their four years at Yale,” he says. “Through our production of ‘New Haven, CT 06520,’ the Office of Undergraduate Admissions gave us the freedom to provide prospective students and applicants with a small slice of our love for this city.”

Having the opportunity to work with Johnson, who served as a former senior assistant director of admissions and is now working in Hollywood scoring television shows and movies, was also “a real treat,” notes Dunn.

Assistant producers for the video are juniors Zahra Baitie, Alisha Jarwala, Alonzo Page, Sonya Prasad, and Noam Shapiro. Page also stars in the video along with Catalina Brennan-Gatica ’15, Claire Daviss ’14, Becca Liu ’14, and Michael Protacio ’14.

“From the beginning, this was a student-driven effort and I’m thrilled that the finished product gives a unique students' perspective on the city that we think will really appeal to high school students considering Yale,” says Dunn.