This session began earlier than usual, as mentors came in to dress the set for the crew that was going to film. The “Make Believe” department was at work! Set design is one of the parts of production that I like best - when (out of nothing!) scenes emerge to match our filmmakers' visions. We are very fortunate to work in a friendly environment like the Impact Hub HNL, as they allow us to take advantage of their amenities. In this case, we used an empty office that became a bedroom, a futon couch that became the bed, nice tables that became a nightstand and a desk, and plants that decorated the room nicely.. Our mentors and girls brought additional decorations and props to add to the mise-en-scene and so yes, voila! We had a bedroom in which I would have quickly moved in!
Participants began trickling in around 3:30, and we started the session on time at 4:00. We have been quite lenient with punctuality, but this time we stressed the importance of getting to the space on time. In filmmaking, if you are on time, you are late. I heard it once, and it really stuck with me, and so as we prepare our girls to succeed in a professional environment, we want to make sure we share this message with them.
Valerie started the session by reviewing how to call a shot, and we went around practicing. The participants were a little timid at first, but eventually got more comfortable and showed more confidence. Also, Kristle (one of our film instructors) concluded this part by sharing how to keep the shoot going.
Once we covered this critical component of filmmaking, each crew found a place to start working on their production. We have three crews, and each team has an assigned mentor.
Kristle stayed with her crew in the workshop room to review shot list and storyboard,
Marie and Ginger went with their crew to the bedroom to finish the set design and start filming, and Valerie and Noa moved into the lounge area to complete the script.
As they grouped, the mentors also took the lead by doing a brief review of key technical aspects of filmmaking: white balance, ISO, shutter speed to cover few. Noa took the lead with her team so that Valerie could float around, taking pictures. I was going back and forth, assisting with anything that was needed. It was a relative hectic time, as two crews started filming while the third was reviewing the script. I may have walked miles back and forth from one team to the other, in part because all sorts of needs emerged and in part because I love to go around and see how each crew is doing!
The three hours passed quite rapidly. By 6:50, I called everybody to circle back before saying goodbyes. This is when I like to take a moment to reflect on the time we spent together - not only using a word that would capture their reflections, but also elaborating on the why that word is chosen. As we went around, this is what was said:
“Interesting, because of topics discussed during the first scene” (Kaedee);
“Productive, at least most of the time!” (Machaira);
“Perfection, as it took a while to make sure that it was just like we wanted, yet we were really striving for perfection” (Camryn);
“Dramatic, because the first scene was very intense” (Hallie); “Purpose, because we all worked together with intention” (Kristle);
“Helpful, because now we know how to do a lot of stuff and as a consequence production will run smoother” (Kaiʻulani);
“Knowledgeable, because we learned how we want to do things and developed a better understanding of where to go, though time-consuming” (Malia);
“River-like, because there were ebbs and flows, bumps, like a stream” (Senala);
“Eventful, as a synonym for productive” (Josie);
“Accomplished, because we got done all we wanted to get done” (Noa);
“Enjoyable, because it was a lot fun time” (Safiyyah);
“Challenging, because we needed time to figure out how to overcome the different challenges” (Sage);
“Interactive, because everyone was doing something, working together and doing their share in a very collaborative way” (Tehya);
“Interdependent, because we all worked together” (Jessie);
“Rewarding, because it began unsure but then arrived to where we wanted to be” (Inez);
“Whirlwind, because moving around a lot” (Valerie). I began saying that my work would have been ʻmake-sense,ʻ because when I see what they do it really all makes sense; all of those ideas and intentions happen, but then I cheated and added one more: privileged. Yes, Privileged in being able to witness their brilliance. It's actually a huge privilege to be able to witness what's happening with our amazing students.