We knew that week 5 of Making Media That Matters was going to be production-intensive. We are already half way through our program - where did the time go? We have only two sessions in which to film before moving to post-production. So, after a quick check-in with the team members, a healthy breakfast and some other program-related planning, the participants came in, naturally gravitating towards their crew members and talking about their film’s production.
When it was time to begin, we all sat in a circle to open the session. Katie asked, “What are your three most favorite TV shows - or show that you watch over and over?” - a question that helped us all to make even more connections, and additionally provided a list of what I want to watch next! Questions like these are really important, as they let the staff know what the participants are watching, but also to prompt us to think about ourselves as media makers. This question also makes us critically think about what we like about our chosen programs, and why.
Then, it was time to get to work and coordinate the locations of their films. Our beloved space, the Waiwai, turned easily into a film studio. Four different crews designed their sets and started producing their films. It was quite wonderful to see everyone working together, learning together, and supporting each other. Two production teams set up bedroom scenes, somehow transforming some benches and work stations into a teenager’s bedroom. One participant ran up to me and asked, “Can you tell there are two tables and benches put together to make the bed?” I laughed and said, “You all worked that furniture like a puzzle and somehow make it work!” I will never stop marveling at their creativity. I love walking around the space on the first day of production, hearing the directors call “ACTION!” and witnessing the teams collaborating on sound, light, and shot lists. “QUIET ON THE SET!” reverberated every few minutes throughout the space, and we diligently complied. One team walked around outside the Waiwai, trying to find a suitable place outside in which to film, and the last team set up in the Waiwai vault.
I watched the film mentors circle around the teams...always available for questions, but also keeping their distance to offer the girls autonomy and power in their own media-making.
I’ll let the pictures speak, as they capture what was unfolding in the space and what we as staff have the privilege to witness.
The time went faster than ever and before we knew it, we needed to pack up and take down the thoughtfully-built sets. We concluded the session having each crew reporting back what was accomplished and discuss next steps.
Then, it was time to say our goodbyes, which are becoming warmer and warmer by the session.
Once all the participants left, the team circled up for final check-ins. We were all tired (utterly exhausted!) but deeply content because of what we are facilitating in the space. In this context, “happy tired” makes definitively sense!
To see more pictures taken during this session, go to our MMTM page!