18 October 2006
I joined Sandra and Dani in a ‘Drop Media’ session they were running with young people. The group of young people, aged 9 – 12, were all very busily engaged in different activities. I observed the group as they rehearsed a video they were making about the food that they eat at school, and the lack of chips that is currently causing much debate. After the rehearsal they returned to the script and the storyboard to refine the plan and the content for the video. The young people told me that they enjoyed using the camera, and / or being in front of it.
Other young people were writing scripts for different videos that they wanted to make, and others were making music and images.
As the session drew to an end, and parents began to arrive to take the young people home, I was able to talk to some of the participants without interrupting their work. The young women I spoke to, Sam, Jazmine and Jamie-Lee told me they were writing a script for a news programme, and producing music to go with it. They told me that they thought the work they were doing was going really well. I asked what they enjoyed about it and they said that they loved coming up with ideas for the news script. They explained that they have written scripts and made videos before, but that each time they do it the process becomes quicker. The young women also said that they liked everything about coming to Drop media sessions because it’s so much fun. They added that they got border at home.
I asked what other things they would like to do at Drop Media or other workshops. They said that they just liked doing different projects and would be interested in doing anything. One young woman said she would be particularly interested in making computer games. However, they agreed that they enjoyed being able to do work together and for it to just develop out of their ideas, as they went along.
They told me that they can and do make so much different stuff, like writing and music and images, at Drop Media, that they just keep thinking up new ideas all the time, and that these ideas are so many and varied that there is always something that they are keen to do. Jazmine explained that when working at Drop Media, you get one idea, then from that idea you get another idea and then another idea comes out of that and you end up with so many different ideas that you often have to compromise in order to explore different people’s ideas as well as your own. She said that it is often the case that they work out ways of using lots of the different ideas in one piece of work, such as in one video.
The young women told me that they enjoyed writing scripts, filming and editing because they have so many ideas of things that they want to make films about. Their ideas are the central motivation to the work that they do, which is why the non prescriptive approach of Drop Media engages them, as it allows for their exploration and pursuit of their own ideas, rather than being about them making a prescribed thing, or working on a specified theme.
One young woman also said that her family, especially her Nan, loves it when she makes films as they enjoy watching the films she has made. In this respect the fact that the films she makes can be saved to DVD is important, as she can then give copies of the films she ahs made to her family.
The three young women then talked about taking their films into school, and showing them there. They said that it would be great if there was a big screen at their school so that they could show their films to the whole primary school; infants as well as juniors; or to show their films on a massive white board in the school hall. They thought there weren’t enough opportunities for them to show the films they make, and were aware of how other young people might be inspired to make films themselves if they saw the work that has been made at Drop Media.
The young women then told me about a film they made before, about pets in the city, and told me that it was so popular that they ran out of copies.
I asked what their ideas were at the moment for future projects. They told me that they wanted to carry on making films, about different things, as they had so many ideas for films they want to make. They also want to make comic books and have lots of ideas for comic book stories. One young woman said that she would like to be able to send her films off, to film producers, to get feedback and find out what they think of her work.
I asked about their school, and whether the work they do at Drop media is something that is important in their school. They told me that they don’t find school as stimulating as Drop Media, because they don’t have the chance to just get on with their work in school like they do at the Drop media sessions.