August 12, 2014
Local film making workshop a success

Twelve persons on Union Island are now equipped with film making skills after completing a Low-Cost Film Making Workshop, hosted from August 4 to 7, even as two facilitators fell ill with Chikungunya-like symptoms.

The Transformative Resilience in a Changing Climate (TRAC2) Participatory film/video training {{more}}workshop was hosted by Radio Grenadines Inc and conducted by Tom Miller, Nuin-Tara Key and two support persons from PrettyGoodProductions under the “Our Place on Earth” global project.

The workshop covered a number of areas in film making, including: story boarding, shot types, sound, interview techniques, community mapping, and filming. Participants gained practical knowledge in the operation of a video camera and tripod, sound recording and interview techniques, as part of a field exercise.

Two short community films were also shot and edited, using knowledge of shot types, story boarding, community mapping and other elements of film making.

The goal of the workshop was to implement a low-cost participatory video training program to build community capacity to share and disseminate their stories and success around the world, to propel innovation, experimentation, and adaptation in the face of climate change.

Two days into the training, the two support persons for the workshop fell ill with fever, rash and severe joint pains, all symptoms of the Chikungunya virus spread by mosquitoes. They were confined to their hotel rooms for remainder of the training. Three residents who were invited to attend the training also were ill with similar symptoms and were unable to attend the workshop.

When asked about his assessment of the workshop, Tom said “the aptitudes of the participants were very high; they were attentive and engaged; this was useful in moving along quickly. We covered a lot of ground in four days. We had a great time in Union Island, even though two of our team members fell ill with Chikungunya. It was great to collaborate with Radio Grenadines to bring this workshop to Union Island.”

Tom also stated that this workshop is the first one conducted in the Caribbean region by his team and the next one is planned for Barbuda.

Participants at the workshop were exposed to what a career in filmmaking entails and some indicated their interest in pursuing it as a career option in the future.

Participant Philmon Taylor commented on the skills he gained from the workshop: “I never did a course in film or videos before, so this workshop gave me a foundation; so now I know what direction I need to go to further my film skills. Because of the training, one of my goals now is to be a cinematographer. I never knew about that word before the workshop.”

Another participant, Maxwell Exeter, stated that the most exciting part of the training was the field work, “going out in the field and shooting videos was exciting, I learnt how to shoot, direct, act and being comfortable in front of the camera.”

Participants were awarded certificates for their participation over the four days. Director of Radio Grenadines Stanton Gomes extended his gratitude to Miller and his team for accepting his invitation to conduct the workshop in Union Island and indicated his desire for an advanced training workshop in the future.

The team journeyed to Union Island as part of their world tour to conduct interviews with several community groups such as the Environmental Attackers and other groups that have been involved in climate change projects.

Tom is the director and producer of a documentary film “Our Place on Earth.” Nuin-Tara Key is a research and policy consultant in climate change and urban development, both are from New Mexico, USA.

The documentary film will be an on-the-ground portrayal of people’s lives as they spearhead climate change initiatives in their own communities. The goal of this documentary is to turn the fear-based climate change film on its head by leading with a message of hope and positive change.

The film will be an important driver to expand public understanding and support for community-based adaptation efforts, and also a forum to share indigenous and more traditional forms of knowledge.