Our project is still moving along, in its new post-COVID form. We have transitioned to having the students tell their stories in shorter formats. As of now, they are using iPhones to conduct man-on-the-street-style interviews, which they then edit into mini vlogs using apps like iMovie and Reels. This has been a positive way for us to get students behind a camera and get some exposure to things like interviewing and editing.
We are looking at the possibility of compiling these short videos into a short film or mini documentary, as a way to wrap up the larger project – and present it as a finished piece. Our partner AOC Community Media would be an integral part of helping us with that final piece. They have also come to Clearport to give presentations to the students – something we want to continue with them.
Given this new approach, we have found success in meeting students where they are, and giving them access to as many parts of the storytelling process as we can. They’ve gotten time behind the camera, as well as exposure to the interviewing process, writing, ideation, art direction, voiceover work, and editing.
The past couple of years have been challenging for many of our students, some of them even experiencing trauma firsthand within their communities. Our mission is to not only continue to be a safe space for their self-expression, but also to instill in them the importance of telling your story – and how that can make a huge social impact.
We do still have funds remaining to purchase a Canon camera, a group subscription to AOC and Adobe subscription. We know that these items will be necessary when the time is right, but we want to spend those funds when that time comes.
Not much has changed since the last time we checked in. In our last update we shared our plan to restart classes in the next school year. The goal is to begin the first week of school. Our focus for this school year was to identify a new group of students with an interest in media. We have 4 students and plan to add 2-3 more before classes start.
We have decided to have students record smaller portions instead of a short documentary. This will allow them to record, edit and view a finished product in a shorter time frame. We believe this will help keep them engaged and increase the sustainability of the project. This will also help us avoid having an unfinished project due to instability some of the students face.
We still have funds remaining to purchase a Canon camera, a group subscription to AOC and Adobe subscription. These items will be purchased in the fall. Although we had to delay our project, we know it was the right choice. We are still excited to have the class done right. We look forward to sharing an update once classes begin.
Our team’s last update ended with us looking optimistically to the upcoming school year. Unfortunately, we were not able to resume classes due to the many changes with students, schools, and at The Clearport. The lives of our initial group of students resulted in them moving, being virtual, graduating early, and other personal situations. As a result, we reassessed our plan and delayed it once again.
Before the delay, we purchased equipment during the summer in anticipation of the school year. We were able to safely record a few video clips that were posted on Clearport social media accounts. The Self Interview set consisted of 2 phones, a microphone, a ring light, and light box. The best part was seeing their reactions when viewing the final product. I definitely see those clips as a glimmer of hope and a sneak peak of what is to come.
For now, we will focus on developing connections with a new group of students who display an interest in media and film. They will take classes when we resume in the summer or Fall 2021. I struggled to find the words to describe last year’s impact on teens in our city. I think it is still best that they tell it on their own, when it is safe. Until then, we are patiently waiting and looking forward to that time.
Let’s start with the good stuff! We were able to begin Lighting and Camera classes before quarantine. This was by far the student’s favorite class! I think it is because they created amazing selfies. In this class, students learned how to use lighting to reflect different moods and impact their storyline. Each student was responsible for using lightning provided to create a different mood/effect as their homework.
During the next class, Kids N Media students practiced teaching other Clearport students lighting techniques. It was interesting to see which student took the lead in teaching. It was also surprising to see who the students chose to teach. The teaching aspect was a great way for students to connect with one another.
Now for the not so great news. The quarantine has completely changed our timeline. The Clearport Learning Center closed along with all schools and after-school programing. We decided that teaching the classes online would take away significantly from the program and thought it best to adjust the timeline. We will not be able to finalize the new schedule until August 1, 2020. Our current plan is to pick up where we let off in July. If possible, we will try to make up a couple of classes in August.
We are looking forward to getting back together in July!
Kids N Media is currently in the second month of classes! In January the topic was Introduction to Production. Based on the large number of students interested in December we decided to have the first class of the year in the Recreation area of the Clearport. Our intention was to allow more students to get an overview of the program. However, after this class we decided to go back to allowing 4-5 students in a classroom setting. The Recreation setting and large number of students seemed to be more of a distraction than a benefit. In the Intro to production class, students learned about the many positions that it takes to make a film happen. This was definitely an eye opener on job possibilities that could be open to them. In the second class they dove into filming techniques and then got their first assignment. Students were challenged with using what they learned to interview their peers at Clearport. They really enjoyed this part, as it allowed them to talk to students they normally didn’t interact with. The students used a cellphone without lighting or microphones. They are interested to see how the quality will improve after adding lighting and audio to the filming process. Currently, we have only utilized $150 on lighting and microphones. We pushed back the purchasing of camera equipment to February. This will utilize the bulk of our budget. We made a change to the schedule to allow for additional partnerships. Lighting classes will be in February and Storytelling is in March. We will be sharing Interview clips on Instagram and Facebook. Please look out for that information on our next update. Thank you for keeping up with our journey!
There is no doubt that the 24-Hour Citizen Project was one of our team’s most memorable moments in 2019. Within the last few weeks we have made some progress and are excited to share with you some things we’ve learned.
Let’s start with the great news first. We held our first class on December 6, in partnership with AOC and it was a huge success! Christi Tracie taught a media literacy course focusing on perspective. 30 teens participated in the class. Christi was able to keep the class exciting by having an interactive presentation and ending with challenges for the students to compete in. We were able to use staff members phones for challenges when taking pictures.
Before the actual class, we started off with addressing a few challenges. We didn’t have as much time to organize and schedule the first class as we originally thought. This was a result of us working with a 2-week window instead of 4 weeks for December, due to the Holiday and competing school events. This is something we will need to consider for upcoming classes. Secondly, although the students enjoyed the class and took several photos, they were apprehensive with sharing it with the public. Their reasoning was that “The internet trolls aren’t kind”. The students feel the pressure of look 100% on point, needing a picture without a hair out of place. I hope that we can break them out of being afraid of sharing. Thirdly, we designed our courses to be with 4-5 students, based on the first course we may need to offer it to more students initially.
As of now, we have stayed on course with our time. Our next steps include purchasing software and Equipment, creating Engaging challenges for the January class, and deciding on a platform to share our video updates.
That’s all for now, looking forward to giving you an update after the next classes is offered.