05/06/2012 12:28

Solomon Islands students in a movie-ing weekend

By Fr Ambrose Pererira, SDB. The 4th weekend Media Seminar, organised by Don Bosco Technical Institute and attended by students and staff from St Joseph’s Tenaru, St Nicholas, St John’s, Bishop Epalle and DBTI, was all about movies. It was held at the Don Bosco Animation Centre, Kola Ridge, Solomon Islands, from 1st to 3rd June, 2012.

Students worked their way through the basics of making short films, learning about every aspect of the film-making process. They then put their new understanding to the test. Each school produced a short film that focussed on an issue they felt to be of importance for them and for the Solomon Islands. Subjects ranged from domestic violence and work ethics, to the benefits of living with technology.

The intensive process of film making in a very short time frame was a significant challenge to these budding media whizzes, but they all rose to the challenge and succeeded in their aims. They even had time to spare for their ongoing newsletters and articles, documenting the events of their lives and their respective schools.

It has been an exciting opportunity for these young people to learn new ways to express themselves. Their understanding of issues that affect everyone living in the Solomon Islands today is unique, and they are able to bring a new perspective and sense of purpose to a discussion of these issues. As technology changes and becomes more accessible, they are well equipped to engage in the dialogue that will lead the country into the future, using humour, candour and subtlety to deal with sensitive situations.

The weekend had several animators assisting the students. Penny Chilton communications and drama teacher at Don Bosco stressed that the students develop their ideas and state it clearly in ‘The Pitch’. She also dwelt on the Pre-production, highlighting screenplay and storyboards, production that involved a shot log and the post production that consists of editing, addition of sound and titles. Jacinta Isaacs screened locally made short films and encouraged the participants to highlight one issue. Ron Mondez, Luke Houpere and Mana Utsunomiya helped the participants as they went through the different stages of the process.

“It has been fun and interesting, but it has also involved a lot of hard work”, said Diana Kokili, St Nicholas student. “Scripting and filming tips have been powerful for me this weekend”, said Georg Elvistt, Don Bosco student. “The media programme has been very useful as it enlightens us on the huge amount of video material available for people to view”, said Patricia Uvikatchie, St. Joseph’s student. Maria Kavoa said, “It will be wonderful that we can put into practice all that we learn at the sessions and at the many activities”.

The students have worked hard to deadlines. “Understanding and using the basics of the different media will give the youngsters the possibilities of sharing their views, concerns and reflections using social media formats. It is important that they are encouraged, supported and guided as they go about their task”, said Fr. Ambrose Pereira sdb, coordinator of the programme.

The last media seminar weekend will be held in August, with an exhibition of student work to follow in September. (CBC Communications 050612 – giorgiolicini@yahoo.com)