Compassion In Action!

Program Summary: The focus of World Without Hate’s Compassion in Action Filmmaking Program is to give teens a medium in which to tell stories that focus on empathy, compassion, acceptance, forgiveness and nonviolent action to overcome cultural barriers or social bias. Students are given instruction on how to create content using the very same tool that influences their daily lives, the cell phone.

Participants in the program focus on three sections of basic filmmaking: writing, capturing video, and editing. Once they have a base from which to work, students begin capturing all the video needed to translate their scripts to screen. The “capture” is followed by editing video and audio, adding music, and designing credits. Throughout the program, students not only learn story development, filmmaking skills, technique and editing, but also team building and creative problem solving. Film professionals and program volunteers share their time, talent and expertise, mentoring and inspiring students. Through Compassion in Action, students from varying ethnic, cultural, religious and economic backgrounds come together to create narrative or documentary style short films.

Writing: The first part of the program focuses on putting students’ pre-submitted stories into a three to five-page screenplay. Students receive support in the writing process from film and theater professionals who help with script development. These professionals share ways to compile a three-act structure within a short film format.

Filming: Before filming, students receive basic cinematography themes and methods instruction. To simulate the use of their cell phones as the main source of media capture, the program uses iPod Touch as both video and audio capture technology. As the students explore and progress, they also learn how to set up long, medium and close-up shots, practice how to set up a scene and regroup with instructors to review footage and receive constructive critiques.

Editing: Once participants learn how to use the editing suite, they begin converting their work into short features. With the support of teaching artists, films are completed and reviewed. Final cuts debut during a special film premiere event for friends and family of the filmmakers, a special way to celebrate each students’ hard work, dedication and learning.

Students often begin the program intimidated by their task, but by the end of the special film premiere, they are confident in their abilities to create stories using their own voices. Most of all, these voices are directed to awareness of the power of empathy and compassion in their lives. We are hopeful, through their participation in this unique program, that this awareness can produce as profound an effect on their further development as the film-making skills they learn.

Compassion In Action – Short Films Program for Teens

Produced by World Without Hate

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