It’s Thursday night and I cannot BELIEVE it is the last session of Making Media That Matters, 2018! The program always seems to move quickly, but this one moved at warp speed!
As we settled into a circle with our snacks, Vera talked to us about the last 11 weeks. She discussed the importance of the films created, as well as the significance of the relationships we developed. She shared sadness in saying goodbye, but pride in all of the work students contributed. I felt myself becoming emotional…it’s hard to get to know these girls, see them on a weekly basis, and then just have it END. As a teacher I should be accustomed to this, but somehow, I always feel mournful about the end.
We checked in with each of the production teams to see where they were in the filming/editing process and what they would be working on for the final session. One team was almost finished filming and was going to be working on editing. Another production team had some voiceovers to complete, while the last team was going to do a few final reshoots at the ImpactHub space. Vera asked each group to provide a few clips of their footage, so she could make a promotional video for the screening (coming up Dec 1st)!
I walked around as the teams set up, snapping pics for social media. After a few insta posts, I wandered over to Vera, who was setting up a tripod, mic, and camera to conduct some film evaluations. The idea was to have some of the participants share their experiences of MMTM on camera, so that we could use it for future programs and grant purposes, but mostly to get feedback on how students felt in the space. What can I say? We like affective responses here at MMTM! 😊
I sat down in front of Vera’s camera, so she could white balance and test sound on a live subject. We chatted about how quickly the program had gone, and I watched a crew getting ready to film a scene nearby. The film is titled @MiaSchaffer and is about a teen youtube personality. I proudly watched one of the participants talk about sound preferences and angles with authority…this is what it’s all about – helping girls take charge of their films and manifest their own creative visions.
Vera struggled to get audio working after several attempts on the mic, so I walked around again and checked in on the Anxiety team. I sat with them for a few minutes, watching one of our facilitators, Noa, completing the voiceover. The character was supposed to be having an anxious internal dialogue, breathing hard and attempting to calm herself. We were all shocked at Noa’s natural “presence” and performance. She knocked it out of the park on the first try! If that whole writing thing doesn’t pan out Noa…I think you have another career waiting! :P
Eventually, it was time to settle in to our final mahalo circle to say goodbye. We will be seeing each other in a few weeks for the final film screening, but there will be no regular Thursday night check-ins and sessions (cue the tears)! Vera said a few words and mahalos to students and staff, then turned it over to me for our final circle question/topic. I asked everyone to look at the person on their left and to give them a sincere compliment. Kristle (one of our filmmaking instructors) bravely began with a heartfelt compliment to Pumehana (one of our social workers/facilitators), and we progressed around the circle. Compliments like “I love your fashion choices!” and “You always make me laugh and make the work fun!” and “Your voice is so soothing that I think you should do audiobooks!” made us all laugh and feel the warm and fuzzies. There were a few tears and hugs as we progressed around the circle, and I loved hearing all of the thoughtful compliments and admirations.