Hummingbird Films’ John Feldman has developed several unique Digital Video Production workshop formulas and has led workshops at Universidad San Francisco de Quito (Galapagos, Ecuador); Columbia Greene Community College; Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood; Hudson High School, Hudson, NY; Morris Memorial, Chatham, NY; The Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School, and others.
Here’s a video about sex and AIDS made by Hudson High School students:
Engaging Teens in Peer to Peer Communication through Digital Video Production. Under the direction of filmmaker/teacher John Feldman a group of students work together to make a short video about an issue that impacts their lives and is of real importance to them. The video is a piece of “peer-to-peer” communication, allowing the student filmmakers to directly speak to their peers through the medium of digital video. Past workshops have addressed teen sex, teen drinking and driving, and male sexuality in the media.
Here’s a film about drinking and driving made by Chatham high school students:
The purpose of each workshop is to:
- Teach the students communications skills.
This includes research, talking to experts, organizing one’s thoughts and presenting an “argument,” writing, shooting, and editing. Most importantly, the students are empowered to communicate clearly and to have and express their own opinions. Through video (and sometimes through fiction) the students have an opportunity to express feelings and thoughts which might otherwise be hard to express. They can “hide” behind the mask of fiction. At the same time the process forces them to understand the subject matter and their relation to it. Workshop participants find that they have to speak directly to their peers about difficult but important subjects both as colleagues during the filmmaking process as well as through the film itself.
Here’s a fictional film about social media made by Great Barrington Waldorf High School students:
- Teach the students the basic skills of digital video production.
This is not a film class in the traditional sense. The students don’t make their own short films. Rather this workshop is about communicating content. Students are introduced — in a hands-on manner – to all the crafts that go into a professional video production.
- Deliver a finished product on DVD and on the web which is of professional quality.
The final product will be of a professional quality so it can be widely screened to encourage dialogue about the social issues being addressed. Since the video deals with critical teen issues, it may impact the real-life decision-making process of individual teens who view it. Hummingbird Films takes responsibility for assuring that the product is of professional technical quality. Our previous workshop videos have been shown on national cable television and are available on-line and in our screening room.
Workshops for adults teach production by engaging the students in the production process itself. From coming up with an idea and writing a treatment, to shooting, editing, and finishing a DVD, each workshop gives students hands-on-experience. Mr. Feldman’s Digital Video Production Workbook serves as a guide for the workshops and for students to use when they make their own videos. See workshop videos in our Screen Room.