January 2013 Live It! Project Report
Hector Santiago Bautista Aniceto, Filming My Future, Veracruz, Veracruz, Mexico
This project was conceived from my love and passion for Film and Television and it attempted to do three main things. First of all, it attempted to bring youth with a special interest in the audiovisual media to explore the world of TV and Film production. Second of all, it also wanted to help youth develop their creative skills and potential. Finally, it tried to encourage participant youth to become change makers in their communities through their art.
In order to fulfill these three main objectives, the project was planned to be a two weeks Television and Film making workshop. Initially, I was going to work with two other students from film and communication studies at the Universidad Veracruzana. In this way, I envisioned a group of 15 participants with ages ranging from 12 to 18. The workshop would take place within the campus of the Universidad Veracruzana and would count upon the sponsorship of the Gran Café de la Parroquia Radio to give it a more official and institutional appearance. Throughout these two weeks, participants would learn the theoretical aspects of TV and film production such as writing a screenplay, using the cameras and the different types of shooting, editing the final work and distribution. Moreover, they would also learn the practical aspects of production by making a final short film or short TV report in groups. These creative pieces would portray the participants’ vision of a better future for their communities. In this way, participants would be denouncing the injustices or problems facing their communities. Consciously or unconsciously participants would be exerting their role as global citizens by inspiring others, thus, helping others become also change makers through their actions. In order to do the latter, the participants ‘work would be published in various social networks, video channels, and media providers. Finally, participants would not just be left alone after the end of the workshop; they would use me and my collaborators as resources for whenever they wanted to talk about career opportunities in the entertainment and communication industries.
Nonetheless, things not always are as they were first planned. This is one of the biggest lessons I learned during this project. The main problem I faced was the declined of my collaborators to help me out with the project, they claimed having family and money issues that would not allow them to be in the project. So, this made me shorten the number of participants, which became finally eight. At the end of the day, I basically did everything by myself, I bought the food and materials that would be provided during the workshop, contacted the people from the university so they could allow me and the members of the project to meet at one of the University´s classrooms. I talked to the director of the department of communication studies and after a week of conversations she accepted my project and even helped me publicize it among the first year students of the university. Radio Parroquia, GCPW.TV, was always there supporting me, they offered their cameras and microphones in case we needed them. Naturally, I also worked doing the posters and advertising materials and contacted local newspapers and radio stations so they could publicize my workshop. Due to the time wasted contacting all these different people, plus the fact that I was still during the holyday season in Mexico, the project started on January 14th. Since the project started just 12 days before my return to Macalester, I also had to shorten its length to only 6 days, one week. Moreover, due to the smaller amount of participants, the group decided that only one short film would be made. Participants choose to focus more on film making rather than TV making because they alleged having more opportunities within the university and locally to learn about the TV industry, yet the content of the workshop dealing with TV making was not deleted completely. The content of the workshop did not change either and it was a plus for me to have a smaller group of youth because I was able to manage the workshop and the short film making process more easily. In terms of the final publicity of the short film, there were basically no changes, I posted it on Youtube, Facebook, twitter, the local Radio and TV station where I interned at also broadcasted it and made us all an interview and now I am bring it to Mac.
I feel that the main achievement of the project was the creation of this short film called by all the participants as “Indifference.” This short film portrays the life of a child and how the indifference he sees among the adults surrounding him impact him. The message is that it is never too late to start making a difference; we can do simply actions such as put the garbage in its proper place to avoid pollution, denounce crime, inculcate good values among our children, etc. The whole process of making the short film from the start, when in a discussion the participants came up with the original idea till the end when we attended the interview at the local Radio station and helped each other share the short film among our friends was full of learning. The participants were very engaged in the discussions and I was glad they were interested in starting to make changes within their communities. Some of them would like to become TV reporters and broadcast journalists and others film makers and always have that social message within their work. We also created a Facebook group through which we keep in touch. I also post information regarding Film and Television programs in Veracruz, Mexico and at the international level. I see this sustainable nature of the project as its second best achievement. I feel confident that this project served its participants as a start up in the world of film and Television making and that our relationship will continue in the future.
I feel very privileged for having had the opportunity to carry on a project that allowed me to share some of my talent and passion with others, and that such experience even lighted up the flame within youth from my hometown to pursue their dreams while helping to build a better society. I would encourage other Macalester College students to take these kinds of opportunities because they challenge you, fulfill you and above all make they make you grow not only as a global citizen, but as a human being.