Important moments in recent history have been created when a person uses their mobile phone to capture the event. The George Floyd murder is one recent example.
Most people using their mobile phone have had no training in filmmaking. DTSFF think that these sorts of films are important for progressive filmmaking and we have created a special category with a cash prize for the best amateur film. DTSFF is also planning to set up an Amateur Activist Filmmakers Network which will include training and support in mobile phone videography.
The Dare to Struggle Activist Filmmakers Network will involve trade unionists. First Nations people, students, environment, community and resident action, LGBTI and human rights activists.
Up to 15 people from Sydney, Wollongong, Newcastle, Melbourne, Geelong, Perth, Brisbane & Hobart can take part in the workshops. And of course any other city or state that has people and an interest.
A minimum requirement would be that participants possess a mobile phone capable of recording video or a digital video camera and a computer (preferably a laptop) that they can edit and load their material with. Also we would encourage community and activist groups to send one or two of their group where they can pass on the skills to their group rather than train the whole group.
We could like to see up to 100 trained people producing films around the struggles that they, their union and their communities are engaged in.
The DTSFF will also establish a common social media internet site for all the programs to be loaded to. The site will be linked to as broad a community/union network as we can create.
The training will be done by professional filmmakers. Sessions will concentrate on developing production skills and editing skills. After the first training session, each participant will be required to film something that will form the basis for the second training session which will occur soon after the first. Titling, adding narrative and music would be taught, along with encoding and uploading the video to a social media site.
The end aim is to establish a network of activist filmmakers, all connected with each other and the struggles that they, their community and their unions are involved in.
You cannot have a democracy in which some groups are denied a voice in the media.
– Wendy Bacon
What the training will involve
SESSION 1: Scripting and production
Divided into 4 areas:
- Script development & production planning – includes planning and researching for a production, developing interview questions, interview techniques, writing and visualising a narrative.
- Using the mobile phone as a camera, both technical and composition will be taught.
- Sound recording and understanding lighting.
- Mobile phone videography support equipment – tripod, monopod, gimbal, external microphone, headphones, lights. (This could be an optional session).
People will use their own mobile phones.
SESSION 2: Post-Production
Will concentrate on post-production, editing video footage into a finished video with titles, graphics, narration and music added. Basic editing via a mobile phone will be shown enabling people to immediately upload material to social media. Most of the time however will be spent editing using a laptop/computer.
Editing will be taught as a four stage process:
- Editing the content (juxtaposing interviews, a presenter, voice over, music);
- Adding visual overlays;
- Titles, graphics, polishing the video with a colour grade and sound levelling;
- Encoding and uploading the video to a social media site.
Register your interest
In the digital age, we can all participate in the documenting of injustice – whether that injustice is directed against us or others.
Ordinary Palestinians used their phone cameras to explode decades of bogus esablishment media narratives by filming their own oppression at the hands of the Israeli army and state-sponored settler militias. They seized back control of their own narrative from those who wanted them silent or silenced.
The rest of us can learn from what they achieved.