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Reel Change: Community Visions

Reel Change: Community Visions

Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC)

Program Summary

Reel Change: Community Vision is a collaborative learning experience where students imagine, research & create media that describes a new vision for a community they value. During this interactive workshop, high school students articulate their understanding of community, develop a vision for their neighborhood, and utilize collaborative mechanisms of the internet to create infographics and advocacy videos to inspire change. Participants explore the questions: How do you define “community”? What matters most in your community? How can we collaborate to develop a new vision? Researching, planning, production and distribution using web-based tools and resources will follow. Using their social networks to invite input from friends, family and neighbors, students share their projects through online community-building platforms such as changebyus.org. This workshop fosters active participation in civic life and creates a model for collaborative, advocacy-oriented media-making projects.

Students will meet at the JBFC from 9AM – 3PM at JBFC for 4 Fridays in July and collaborate outside of class through shared web-based resources. During the workshop, participants examine infographics, maps & advocacy videos, and assess techniques to create meaning and impact. In small groups, participants determine their core interest and research the aspects of the community they seek to change. All research will be organized and shared using web-based collaborative tools, and then distributed with final projects, showing the entire creative process. Students will learn composition, camera work, shooting, editing and data visualization. Experientially, students will also learn about best practices of social media, privacy, and source acknowledgement. Final documentation includes reflections and lessons learned so that this experience can be shared, strengthened and replicated.

Participants will be affiliated with the Chappaqua Summer Scholarship Program, a nonprofit that invites students from underserved schools in the Bronx to spend 4 weeks exploring educational opportunities in our area.


Day 1 Morning
• Icebreaker & introductions
• Introduce goal of 4 day workshop:
–Participants will create an advocacy video and an infographic that represent their vision of the path forward for their communities
• Big Paper Community mapping:
–in small groups participants create a map of “the community” or “the communities” they belong to and identify their community”™s assets/challenges –
• Participants identify common themes –and select the most compelling aspects of their community that they would like to see develop in the future
• Facilitator assists the formation of 5 or 6 interest groups. The focus selected by the group will be used as the basis of further research and for idea generation.
• Participants view and discuss examples of advocacy videos/ infographics and examine the techniques to create meaning and impact.
• Facilitator assists the interest groups in brainstorming ideas for an advocacy video/infographic that will communicate a vision for the future of their community. Group selects its strongest ideas.
• Participants discuss sources and methods for researching their topic on and off-line. They will be introduced to Padlet as a web-based tool to organize and share the statistics/quotes/videos/photographs/graphics that they will find in their research and tools like http://www.yourmapper.com.
• Out of class learning: Participants photograph elements of their community that have significance to them; and elements that they would like to change. They will share using a class blog. They can also use their own social networks to invite participation and input from their friends, families and neighbors
Day 2 Morning
• Camera and composition workshop: Participants learn basics of using a DSLR camera (including exposure, focus, and composition) for photography and video with hands-on introductory challenges and experimentation.
• Participants gather in groups to discuss findings from the past week, and determine main themes they plan to explore.
• Storyboarding session: Students examine various methods of storyboarding, and begin constructing their own visual outline of their video, and determine the form of their infographic.
• Research and Production: The afternoon will be spent researching the identified issues; gathering found/archival footage and photographs; and filming the live elements of their videos
• Out of class: Students explore infographic creation tools such as visual.ly and tableau, and share their findings on the class blog. Students continue to share research on their topics.
Day 3 Morning
• Production continues
• Participants introduced to the editing tools, Photoshop and iMovie
• Participants begin editing/assembling the elements for their projects
• Discuss web-based distribution and sharing; create plan for how best to disseminate projects at the end of workshop.
• Out of class: Students will research http://nyc.changeby.us and other collaboration and distribution platforms.
Day 4 Morning
• Participants finish editing
• Participants show a rough cut of their PSA and first draft of their infographic
• Participants revise & prepare for a public showing of projects.
• Participants upload & share advocacy videos, infographics and research – in person and online.
• Reflection & discussion

JBFC’s Media Arts Lab, down the street from the theater, houses a 60-seat screening room, sound stage with green-screen capability, 16 editing suites, animation suite, recording studio, and classrooms.

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