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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Into the Groove Now

The kids are doing such an awesome job with the cameras – taking great shots. And the film quality from the little cameras is so nice – it really picks up the light well and you can even film inside a hut. (Just wish there wasn’t this glitch with having to convert all the Flip films before using with Adobe….)

We have stories in production by now on several topics – change of attitude towards religion, use of coconuts and their byproducts, the local dispensary (clinic), early marriage, games children play, the Kaya ceremony and traditional dances, poor performance in school, water, economic activities, child pregnancies, town cleaners, and disability from the angle of tradition and from the angle of a disabled man who’s gotten ahead in life. You can hear the kids analyzing, looking at things in a broader way, thinking through their stories and how they will show different angles of the situation/issue/story. It’s so cool to see them building up those analysis and communications skills.

We’ve been trying to do both filming and editing, splitting into groups to make the most of the equipment and space, transportation, etc., and it’s been flowing really nicely! The power outages have been a small issue but we’ve got great laptop batteries – extra batteries for each laptop, which means we can work without power for up to 6-8 hours on each laptop. So power is not such a problem with editing if we do it in small groups. Yesterday the water went off too, and we got a little nervous that the training center staff would go home for the weekend and leave us without water, but it came back on again around 9. Relief!

As for internet access, there is this amazing little modem that you can get for like $40 and you just buy minutes for it like you would for a mobile phone. Connect it up to your computer and run internet off the 3G network. I’m wondering why I don’t have one! And if it’s possible to get one that works in multiple countries with local sim cards. I’m sure I should already know this, but I don’t so will investigate…..

We’ll finish up filming and editing at least the rough cuts today. Tomorrow we’ll do the follow up planning with the youth and the evaluation. They will go home and I’ll stay here till Wednesday night with 3 of the older community members/youth to make the final edits and do the transcriptions and translation, as well as ensure all the photos are captioned and everything is organized. Lots to do still, but we are getting near to the end and we’re on track. It’s cool to see how much discussion goes on when they kids are editing about what to put in, what to take out, what makes the story and what angle. Really feel that it’s important that they do the process from beginning to end. We can polish their videos after if necessary, but it’s important that they put them together from their own point of view.

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