DAREarts Blog

Discipline, Action, Responsibility, Excellence

Film Making Rocks! – Part 2

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Marten Falls First Nation, Ontario
Reports from DAREarts Artist-as-Teacher Linda Carson
An intense brainstorming session with students in Marten Falls.


Monday August 20th, 2012 – Day 1
We had 15 geology students discovering the difference between a rock and a mineral, and diving into activities to identify and categorize various mineral and rock samples. Throughout the day, the geology students switched hats to become film students, learning about the power of film to tell a story, and basic camera techniques. The teaching team was surprised to find students of all ages were new to geology and had little knowledge of the mining industry and all the jobs that it creates.
Kaitlyn Ferris of Noront Resources, led an activity that used rice to demonstrate the four stages of mining, with a focus on reclamation. Both of Kaitlyn’s groups had very in depth and interesting discussions around jobs and the change they wanted to see come to their community.
The group went on a “Rock Walk” down to the river. Marten Falls has an amazing array of rocks both because of the eskers in the area and the river. Several students became very keen to identify rocks and minerals and found some incredible fossils. Other students gravitated towards the cameras to record the outing and rock finds.
The film world and the geology world came together when we watched the Engage Learn short film examples of “Water”, “Kenya ”, “Fatherland ” preview, and the film created by the young Webequie campers. We then began to brainstorm a theme and a premise for the movie. The students decided to focus on the theme of “change.”
We had a core group of keen students who were with us throughout the day, showed great commitment to the project and were very keen to begin shooting their movies.
Tuesday, August 21st, 2012 – Day 2
Today was a day of teaching the students about commitment.  We worked with them to find the commitment to follow the project through so they could see their great ideas take shape. It was important to us that we resisted from diving in and doing the work for them, and instead kept searching for ways to inspire the students to find the discipline for the project within each of them.
A constant change in pace and activities within the workshop worked well with the students. As a result there were lots of successful moments. There was a great sense of ‘community’ as everyone watched our team put their shoot together.
Every day brought something new during these summer months of no schedules. We were optimistic that tomorrow will bring together a movie for our core group of kids that have committed their time and found the focus to finish it.


Wednesday August 22nd, 2012 – Day 3
And what a day! Our core students returned with their full commitment, excited to learn and full of energy. Hopefully the students noticed that with their focus and that little bit of extra effort, the project suddenly sparked and started to fly. Everyone, including the facilitators, had an amazing day, learning and creating together.
The ripple effect of the project became apparent. Even though we only had our seven students signed onto the film, community members of all ages were watching their progress, asking questions, tagging along to shoots and cheering them on. During our helicopter shoot, Allen’s camera suddenly ran out of batteries, moments before the expected arrival. Lindsey, one of the construction workers from Marten Falls, ran to his Quad and took us back to home base to pick up more batteries and another back-up camera. We made it back to the cheers of everyone on the construction site. There is a feeling of pride in Marten Falls, that they have this young committed group of youths working hard to get their film into the competition. Some of the kids who almost joined us on day one used to have a slightly cynical attitude, but now we saw them quietly watching and hopefully thinking, “Maybe next year I’ll sign on for the full program.”
Three students arrived on time and were acknowledged for their commitment. The others also returned but were late in arriving. The students had to make a decision if they wanted to be 100% committed to the project. The students did not turn around and go back to their video games but instead they came in and joined the group, ready to work.
It was a brilliant afternoon of work! At the end the day, the teachers were feeling exhilarated about how far the students had come and proud of their commitment to their project.

Late in the evening, Sophie and Kaitlyn were out looking at the Northern Lights, Felix was editing. Everyone was super happy with the day. Yesterday the teachers had to pull the students along, today the students were leading.

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