• Katie Caldwell

2017 MMTM productions on the big screen!

It’s the day after final screening of the films from Making Media That Matters, and I’m still flying high on the goodness of our concluding evening together. I got to the space early to help set up, but Vera had it all under control and ready to go (I’m convinced she doesn’t sleep). I loved watching the participants stroll in with their parents, as sometimes the resemblance between parent and child was overwhelming. The students quickly ditched the ‘rents and ran to their friends, and pretty soon the place was filled with excited family members, bored siblings, and nervous participants. 😊

Our small space filled up quickly, and I wandered around to chat with the students. Most of them were a little anxious to show their films, and one even told me that they hadn’t yet seen the final project (the editors and directors of the films often work overtime to complete the movie without the rest of the crew). One of the participants brought leis for the entire staff and all of the other participants, which was incredibly thoughtful. I asked the main actress of one of the films if she was nervous to see herself onscreen, and she nodded yes with widened eyes. “I just hope it looks and sounds real,” she said, “and not like a bad play.” I laughed, gave her a hug, and told her that she would be brilliant.

The third and last film, Traculus, began, and the audience really seemed to react to its originality. This film is creative and abstract, featuring a young woman (one of our own staff members!) as a high school student; distracted and fantasizing about food during a timed exam. The film shows the student drawing pictures of food absent-mindedly on her test, then suddenly, the food appears on her desk and she begins to devour it decadently. After the film was over, the filmmakers gathered to take their turn at answering the audience’s questions. This group is full of comediennes, so they had us giggling and laughing the entire time. I asked about the music selection and one of the participants answered, “Well, they left it up to me. And if you leave it up to me, you’re going to get a film set to a sitar.” 😝 They even joked that they wrote in the scenes about food because they just really wanted to eat pie and ice cream on set. They explained the process of stop-motion and how long and laborious it was, and discussed the process of making the drawings come to life. And then, we were finished! Vera thanked everyone for coming and concluded our screening. Everyone lingered afterward, and I made sure to hug students and meet parents. I told one Mom how fantastically smart and creative her daughter is, and she beamed with pride and enveloped me in a giant bear hug. I’m sure hearing that about your child never gets old! Another Mom came up to tell me that her daughter always talks about the “girl that tells funny cat stories” at MMTM (guilty!) and that she just had to meet me because of this! 😊 I will truly miss these quirky, intelligent, hilarious, and talented students. After we put away the folding chairs and cleaned up the space, the staff gathered for one final group picture and to say goodbye. Hugs all around! I will sincerely miss the staff, the participants, and the laughs. MMTM is an amazingly special program that gives teenage girls confidence, a unique skill, and a venue in which to tell their story. I am delighted to have been a part of it. Here’s to next year!