by Robyn Bykofsky
I have been facilitating media literacy and video production workshops with Bay Area youth and educators for over 12 years and the Youth Film Lab was the experience of a lifetime. It was the first workshop I taught in which teens produced and edited their videos within 4.5 hours and then an hour later screened the videos to a live audience at the Oakland School of the Arts Black Box Theater. How did we accomplish this task? First, we had a talented and motivated group of 14 teens from all over Oakland. Second, TILT (the youth media program at Ninth Street Independent Film Center) and Disposable Film Festival (DFF) crafted an action-packed curriculum that had the teens on the flip cameras right away. Teens were able to express themselves in the hands-on video activity When People See Me. This effective icebreaker allowed the teens to quickly get to know each other and therefore they were ready to jump into a brief discussion about using mobile media for social action and change.
The next hands-on camera activity focused on Media Aesthetics and the importance of framing camera shots, sound and lighting. Teens were broke into teams of two to explore the neighborhood as they practiced different types of camera shot-sizes, angles, and movement.
- Extreme close up of a small object that has big meaning
- Smooth pan of the street
- A shot (any size and angle) of a reflection that represents YOU
- Smooth tilt up to a positive message