I love Saturdays! I love them because Saturdays mean Making Media That Matters (until November 2, anyway)! Saturday mornings, the team meets to chat about our weeks as we set up the space to welcome our participants. Saturday is when we gather again to learn about filmmaking, about each other, and what matters to all of us. It is simply splendid to witness the convergence of all this vibrant energy in just one place!
We opened the session with a fun game - “two truths and a lie,” led by Katie! I like this game a lot because we learn things about each other that we otherwise wouldn’t, also because it’s a game that speaks to how we may project our assumptions onto other people, just based on the way they carry themselves.
Once the game was over, we reviewed the footage that was captured in the previous session (the interviews that the girls filmed to practice lighting, camera angles, etc.). We commented on framing, composition, lighting, and focus, but additionally discussed how to make sure that our subject is comfortable as we film them.
Next up - editing! The review session was followed by the screening of a short video that (in its simplicity) beautifully captures the editor’s job. We then transitioned to a quick introduction to Adobe Premiere Pro. With each student taking turns (to ideally make each person comfortable with the software), everyone created a project, imported media, cut the clips, added titles and transitions, and learned how to export.
After learning how to export the file, each participant transitioned to a different station to explore how to use our audio recording devices.
It was an action packed morning! But then, we decided that some introspective, quiet time was in order. Once they completed the audio lesson, we asked them to spend some time alone. We wanted each person to take their journal, and reflect on the themes that are important to them, what messages they want to share with the world. All of a sudden, the space became incredibly quiet; some lost in thought, some expressing themes by drawing images, and some writing actual story ideas related to the themes they are passionate about.
Once time was up, we circled up again and (by acknowledging that this is a youth centered learning space), I opened up the floor to suggestions on how they wanted to organize themselves into production crews. Did they want to form the group first and then work a story together, or listen to all the theme ideas and then form the groups?
Two opposite positions emerged, but we were able to find a way that seemed to work for everyone. We shared some theme ideas and why they mattered, and then formed temporary teams based on similar or common ideas. The forming of groups was prefaced by explaining that if it was not an entirely good fit, it was possible to join another team. The room was energetic and quite a few shared their themes and why they felt it was important for a (possible) film.
Lunch break arrived and we all enjoyed an extremely delicious curry and rice that Keoni prepared for us. It was like a home made meal that made us feel like a big family. We lunched together, adding a tone of conviviality that made everything feel even more special.
Happily fed, we transitioned to the character development workshop led by Noa.
In groups, the participants started working on their main character. It was very productive and when asked what stood out for them during this process, many commented how transformative it was to hear other people’s ideas, to come together and create stories together. The participants mentioned that the workshop led to something different from what a single person could do, something that was more enriching because it was the result of different voices, combined. Another thing that stood out was that issues of mental health seemed to affect several people in the room. The workshop brought to light how common it is, and hearing that other people go through similar challenges eases the struggle a little.
And, once again, it was 1:30 pm and time to bring our session to an ending.
A hui ho, till next Saturday - already looking forward to it!
More pictures can be found on our MMTM page!