Positive Media Hawaii’s Youth Project, Keiki Voices, presents the final videos by recent graduates of our 10-week workshop curriculum. Enjoy these two short pieces that encourage healthy eating habits to avoid obesity and diabetes and feel great. I was brought in to coach a group of eager 5th graders from Ali’iolani Elementary who wanted to enter a local video contest, the Olelo Youth Xchange.
The video below includes their two contest entries in the PSA category which required a time limit of 30 seconds. The first piece is called “It’s Your Choice” and takes you down the rabbit hole of what can happen if you drink too much sugar. The second is called “Your Body On Junk Food” and mimics the old anti-narcotics campaign from the 1980s (“Any Questions?”) except alluding to junk food instead of drugs. Most of you know I believe junk food is the new recreational drug, so I was thrilled throughout this whole workshop to be helping these Young Masters get their important message into the world. It’s why I started Keiki Voices!
For this project, Positive Media Hawai’i was funded by the 21st Century Community Learning Center grant, which we received for the 2013-14 school year, you can read about the details here. Ms. Kelly Bright was the grant’s Coordinator at Ali’iolani Elementary and had coached this same group of students last year to enter the Olelo Youth Xchange video contest. When she heard about the Keiki Voices program, she knew it would help her students understand how to make a better video, so she called me. The Olelo contest has strict rules that any video being entered had to be entirely made by the kids, from coming up with the idea, to doing the camera work, and even the editing. I relished the challenge to turn this pack of rowdy and intelligent youngsters into a contest-winning video team!
I had 10 sessions with the students. For the first session I covered camera basics and how to frame the different shot types (close to wide) and angles (low to high). This is the beginning of understanding how to tell a story through the lens of a video camera. In the next session I had them explore how to make deliberate choices about the way to frame the action so they can consciously influence the emotions of the viewers. Isn’t that what good storytelling is? We then explored how to take an idea and turn it into a script and/or storyboard by working in groups and turning a poem into a video. Every stage was interactive with them producing media and getting feedback from the group.
Now it was time to start focusing on the contest. We needed an idea. I took them through my favorite brainstorming technique called Bubbling (I talk about it in another blog post here) and from that session we molded their best thoughts into two solid ideas, then into scripts. We had to script this tightly because we only had 30 seconds to tell the story. We had two sessions doing camera work and then moved into the editing room. Luckily, Ali’iolani Elementary had a computer lab with Apple computers running iMovie, which makes it really easy to do simple edits. I uploaded the raw footage to several different computers so any of the kids who wanted to give editing a try could experiment. We picked the best version to submit to the contest of course!
Well, Ms. Kelly Bright was right, and one of our submitted videos was selected as a finalist in the contest!