This week has me thinking a lot about art and how we go about including people in it.
Participants this week mainly focused on storyboarding, finalizing their ideas surrounding their films, learning how to operate a camera, and what angles might work best for whatever story they’re trying to tell. Everyone works and learns differently. Some ask questions throughout while others sit quietly and observe with their cameras and mics off. For our Saturday session, we had an in-person session lead by amazing Kristle Backe and our certified COVID compliance officer, assistant, and incomparable leader, Vera Zambonelli.
This allowed for students who were willing and able to come and learn how to operate a camera in person. While this was open to everyone who was able to attend, it wasn’t required. The majority of participants stayed home but this didn’t hinder anyone’s abilities to learn. Those in-person and those at home were informed on what they needed to know by the hard work of our instructors who crafted detailed, step-by-step guides on camera usage and angles. As evidenced by previous camps held during the pandemic, where in-person was not a possibility, participants are still able to make films while in quarantine. With enough instruction, preparation, care, and understanding, they were able to continue creating and telling their stories.
While the (re)formation of camps in the recent past is certainly a result of adapting to our current health climate, there is something to be said for the idea that things have to be a certain way when making art. We all can’t wait to return to having these camps in person and I definitely can’t wait to start writing with my friends in coffee shops and going to concerts again. I know that for many of us art is something we often need to be in person for; especially with mediums like filmmaking, spoken word, and music. We have to travel somewhere, pick this thing up, speak into that mic, practice for this length of time, coach these actors on that blocking, etc. This is movement and placement that has been interrupted. This obviously is difficult for many of us who are able and love going out to do these things with other people. I just suppose I’m curious about what it could look like if we continue what we’re doing now once it’s a little safer to be with each other in person again.
What happens if we decide that in-person and virtual can continue? Side by side? That those who want to and are able to can come to in-person events and those who can’t for one reason or another can stay home and tune in from there? Remain active participants despite the physical distance. Continue to produce profound, impactful, moving work alongside those of us who have returned to the rows of crowded chairs and queues going all the way around the building. What if we keep that up and think about how to continue expanding the capacity for art-making and creation beyond what we’ve been used to? Continue adapting into the future no longer out of crisis but out of a need to bring more in?
That’s something I’m thinking about this week.