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Changing How We Speak to Girls

adult-businesswoman-company-325924“8 Ways to Encourage Girls to use Use Their Voices” by Allison Riley, from Girls on the Run, describes how important it is for adults to change how they speak to girls. I especially liked #1. Ask her, #2. Teach her that her voice matters, and #8. Encourage her to think critically when she sees conflicting messages. 

These are simple ways adults can help girls feel strong, valued, and empowered. Girls need to know that their voices are important, and unfortunately, they receive the opposite message every day. Consider this list from an article by Grace Weaver (also at Girls on the Run:)

Girls like pink.

Girls wear frilly headbands and bows.

Girls assume the role of a damsel in distress, not a superhero.

Girls are not messy.

Girls should be quiet.

Girls play inside with dollhouses, not outside with skateboards.

Girls like to look pretty.

Girls aren’t as tough as boys.

Girls like to read and do crafts.

Girls don’t need wilderness or survival skills.

Girls should be careful that their clothes don’t distract boys.

Girls are vulnerable targets.

When girls have the same opportunities as boys to explore, get messy, and experiment, they grow stronger and more confident. They become more self-reliant and daring. They are far more likely to think for themselves instead of accepting someone else’s opinion. These are the skills they need to succeed in life.

 

Visionaries: Female Filmmakers 1910-Today

Screen Shot 2019-01-28 at 2.50.36 PMI’m happy to share Visionaries: Female Filmmakers 1910-Today. Girls’ Voices Matter staff member Kacie Clark researched and wrote this compelling and interesting account of eight important women in film. From Alice Guy Lache, born in 1873, who started her own film company in 1910, to Best Picture winner, director Katherine Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty) these women have broken barriers and created some of the most memorable work in film today. We hope this document will inspire you!

Announcing: Girls’ Summer Camp, July 2019

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I’m happy to announce that our Summer Camp is scheduled for July 22-25, 2019, in Eugene. The camp will take place at the director’s residence in Eugene’s Southwest Hills neighborhood, which features a large backyard with water fountain, plenty of shady places to write and film, a vegetable and flower garden, and six friendly hens!

Build Your Own Camp: Students can choose up to three from the following list:

  • Creative writing: write your own poetry, non-fiction, fiction
  • Basic photography: learn the basics of photography using DSLR cameras
  • Basic filmmaking: direct and star in your own short, personal videos
  • Comics and graphic novels: learn how to write and illustrate your own comics
  • Video games: how to make your own video game from scratch

Enrollment is limited to 16 students. Enroll here.

Questions? Call Girls’ Voices Matter Director, Erica Goss, at 408-205-1957, or send an email to ericagoss@comcast.net.

THE FEMALE FILMMAKERS OF BBC AMERICA’S DYNASTIES

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Here’s an inspiring article about the women filmmakers who work for BBC America.

 

Chickens Star in Haiku Video!

The visual haiku is a video art form that follows the rules of haiku poetry: three short scenes, each a few seconds in length, that illuminate a moment in time. Traditional haiku finds its subject in the human experience of nature, but poets have written haiku about many other topics.

At Digital Storytelling of the Pacific Northwest, our students will learn how to create their own visual haiku. It’s an easy, fun and endlessly creative way to make lots of beautiful, short videos.

Using a watercolor I made a few years ago and a couple of scenes of my backyard chickens, I made this haiku video last weekend. I used Adobe Premiere Pro to edit and color-correct.

OUR STORY, MISSION, VALUES, AND COMMUNITY

Girl making a picture with an old camera

Digital Storytelling of the Pacific Northwest is the daughter of Media Poetry Studio, an arts-based educational program for teen girls that started in 2014. Here’s the story of how Media Poetry Studio came to be:

In the Spring of 2014, California Bay Area Poets Laureate Erica Goss, Jennifer Swanton Brown and David Perez had an epiphany while discussing their plans as community poets. We wanted to reach out to young people, to involve them in creative writing, and make opportunities for them in the literary arts. Over several discussions, we developed a two-week summer camp for teen girls, one where they learned how to make short films based on their own poems. We called it Media Poetry Studio, and our students’ work can be viewed here.

In 2017, Erica moved to Eugene, Oregon, and began Digital Storytelling of the Pacific Northwest. We offer a summer camp and workshops throughout the school year. Our first Fall Workshop for Teen Girls begins on Tuesday, September 25, 2018.

Our mission: We empower young women to find their voices though filmmaking and literary art.

Our values and community focus: We value each student’s unique voice, talents, and abilities. Our workshop is a safe, supportive community for girls to experiment with creative writing and technology. We give students the opportunity to tell their stories and show us what they think and feel.

You can sign your daughter up here.

Please contact Erica Goss, Director, if you have any questions.

THREE SPLIT-SCREEN VIDEO EFFECTS

The split-screen effect is an easy way to add interest to a video. Below, we’ve created three sample videos using this technique.

NOTE: we used iMovie to make these samples.

 

Sample 1. Basic Split-Screen effect. Screen pushes from left to right.

 

Sample 2. Split-Screen with right clip reversed, using “vintage” and “blast” filters.

 

Sample 3. Picture-in-picture effect using “silent era” filter.

 

THREE SIMPLE VIDEO TECHNIQUES

At Digital Storytelling of the Pacific Northwest’s Fall Workshop, students will learn tips and techniques that will add interest and appeal to their videos. Three of my favorites are the mirror shot, overlays and see-through animated masks. I’ve added samples of these techniques for your review below.

NOTE: I used iMovie and Adobe Premiere Pro to make these samples. During the Fall Workshop, students will learn how to use both programs.

Sample 1. The mirror shot. I added music and a fade at the end.

Sample 2. Overlay. Light leaks give this clip a unique look. I added ocean and seagull sound.

Sample 3. See-through animated mask. I added ocean sounds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The making of The Fairy House

 

Telling stories and craft-making are two healthy, creative activities that benefit teen girls, helping them gain confidence in their abilities and encouraging them to try new things. One of the options we offer our students at Digital Storytelling of the Pacific Northwest is instruction in making the how-to or demonstration video.

My video “The Fairy House” is an example of a how-to, story-telling video. The inspiration came from a newspaper story about Theresa Ojibway, a woman from New Jersey who makes fairy houses. She makes tiny beds, chairs, ladders, and doors from natural materials, and leaves them in parks for children to find.

Theresa Ojibway’s story inspired me to create a video about a woman who makes fairy furniture. Over a two-week period in the summer of 2016, I did the following:

  • researched photographs of Ms. Ojibway’s creations,
  • made my own versions with twigs, glue, twine, fabric, and craft-store items,
  • wrote the screenplay,
  • filmed myself in my backyard.

It was an extremely enjoyable project, as it allowed me to fulfill the roles of screenwriter, actor (just my hands!), set designer, prop builder, videographer, editor, and producer. The only task I gave to someone else was that of narrator. A former student of mine allowed me to record her telling the story of the Fairy House. (My son painted the fairy-mobile.)

I filmed the scenes with redwood trees in a park near my house, and since it was summer, I had to deal the hard bright light. I used various settings in Adobe Premiere’s Lumetri Color to get the dreamy, brownish look of an old book or postcard. For the furniture-building scenes, I covered a plastic table with brown postal paper and shot some of the scenes through pots of flowers.

I have lots of “blooper” video, times when the wind scattered my carefully arranged twigs, or the fragile, twiggy furniture kept falling over, or when my dog, who appears at the end, refused to stay on camera. I’ve often thought of making a video of just those scenes!

Enrollment is open.

Warmly,

Erica

Erica Goss

Founder and Director

Digital Storytelling of the Pacific Northwest

Your Questions Answered

Almah_Shoot 2Parents deciding on a summer enrichment activity for their teen girls naturally have many questions. Below, I have listed answers to the most common questions I’ve received about Digital Storytelling of the Pacific Northwest.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What will my daughter learn?

A: She will engage in creative writing, storyboarding, video production, setting up scenes, set design, directing, filming, videography, editing, special effects, and animation.

Q: What is the student-teacher ratio?

A: We accept a maximum of 24 students, or 8 students per teacher.

Q: Your camp seems expensive. Why is it priced at $589?

A: Our camp is two weeks in length. Camp days are six hours long. That’s sixty hours of high-quality instruction in a supportive, small-class setting at less than ten dollars per hour. Considering what our students learn, it’s a bargain!

Q: Is this a new camp? Have you run this camp in the past?

A: Digital Storytelling of the Pacific Northwest is new to Eugene. I co-ran two similar camps in the California Bay Area, in 2015 and 2016. For more information on those camps, please visit Media Poetry Studio’s website.

Q: During the summer, I’d like my daughter to spend some time outdoors. Your camp seems mostly indoors.

A: We will spend approximately ¼ of our time outdoors. We have photography and filming field trips planned for Skinner Butte Lookout and Skinner Butte Park.

Q: What will my daughter have to show for her time at your camp?

A: Your daughter will have several short videos she made herself. She will have had the experience of working in a small, supportive group, of increased self-esteem, and the feeling of empowerment that comes from learning and working in a team-oriented environment.

Enrollment is open.

Warmly,

Erica

 

Erica Goss

Founder and Director

Digital Storytelling of the Pacific Northwest