Did we tell you the Kopila Kids are also budding filmmakers?
With school back in full swing, it was time for Britt and I to jump head-first into our role as teachers at Kopila Valley. Since we were going to be spending so much time filming the students and the school, we decided to switch gears and put the kids behind the camera for a documentary video workshop!
Armed with five donated Flipcams (thanks to Brittany’s family!), we kicked off two days of hands-on workshops with the 6th-, 7th-, and 8th-graders. First, we held a group discussion on the basics of a documentary, and the kinds of things the students would want to document. It was fascinating to learn about the subjects they were interested in — we talked about everything from their soccer team and their teachers to more serious topics like arranged marriages. We then ran a practice interview exercise to get them asking the right questions, a task that conjured some serious giggles but also some serious reporting right off the bat. Then it was time to split into groups and start producing films!
Each group decided on a topic they could tackle within the school’s gates, and after a quick course in Flipcam basics we sent them out of the classroom with a camera, a checklist, and one hour to make a movie!
The kids had a blast interviewing each other and the staff and volunteers and getting B-roll shots of their subjects. They set scenes, tracked down the teachers who were experts on their topics, asked tough questions, and continued to giggle a lot as they interviewed each other for the first time on camera.
After the hour was up, we collected the cameras. We couldn’t wait to see what the kids had come up with! With some quick editing by Britt and myself over the next few days, the films were ready for Kopila Valley’s first-ever documentary film screening!
Everyone laughed, applauded, and cheered on their classmates as we watched their videos together in the school’s computer lab. Already, the kids were ready to talk about what they learned and how they could improve for the next round. We hear whisperings that a Kopila Valley news team will be emerging in the very near future, and I personally can’t wait to see what they churn out next!
Want to see the results? Here are a few of our favorites – and trust me, it was pretty darn tough to choose!
And we even taught the boys, too!
(Photos by the fantastic Brittany Brothers and Benjamin Heiber. Videos by the uber-talented Kopila Kids, of course.)