Thursday, February 16, 2017

Four Legs of the Buffalo: Youth Film Project: Idea for anyone to consider.

I wonder if this would be an idea worth pursuing.

Four Legs of the Buffalo: Youth Film Project

Four Legs of the Buffalo is a film project which takes place in four different Native communities; Dakota Cree and Ojibwe. Each community will have youth film their daily lives and activities for the general society to see a glimpse of the live of a youth in the Native community today.
What is life like for the Indigenous Youth? Do we really have knowledge of what they face? If you ask the youth “what do you want to be when you grow up? Where do you see yourself after school is complete? Where do you see yourself in five years?”
The young people of the Reserves in Manitoba have different lives than those of the youth in the city. With many obstacles and many benefits of rural community life the Indigenous lives are alien to the broader society. A film collaboration between the four Native reserves would demonstrate their life similarities and differences. Some communities have a strong grasp of the language of their ancestors, while some communities are in danger of losing the language all together. Some communities are isolated or semi-isolated while others are situated next to larger towns or cities.  Many communities are dealing with so much social ills the effects are devastating. This project will allow the communities to learn about each other as well as give the wider audience a peek into their lives.
The project is entitled Four Legs of the Buffalo. There is a story about Earth and its lives. As with the Buffalo legs, the Earth has four lives. It is said that the Earth has lived and died three times before (with the ages of Technology, Water, Fire) and we are on the last life of the Earth. The story outlines the position of four and the strength of four for life. As it is so of the Buffalo roamed strong with four legs. Like the four legs of the Buffalo this project will be stronger with the four communities. The contrast, the similarity, the connections and the differences will be highlighted by the youth in this project. The project will need four strong mentors from each community to ensure the project gets completed. The project will need the four communities to support, to buy into the project and to take ownership of the project in order for its success.
A professional media company will train the youth and mentors in proper use of the cameras and take part in the edition process.

Project Activity:

Four communities will take part in a film project aimed at youth. The youth will be either in high school or active in community generally. The communities will use existing resources such as a teacher, a Child Family Worker (CFS), a Addictions Counselor ( NNADAP) worker, guidance councillor, School Teacher, health worker or cultural worker to act as the project leader and mentor in each community. The key is to use and existing resource person with the time energy to see the project to fruition.
Each community will be asked to support the project by providing the personnel to oversee the youth and follow the project to fruition.  Each community will be asked for a capital expenditure for a semi-profession camcorder and accessories will be required in the project.
The youth will be responsible for “normal activity footage” and for some interviews of peers in the community. The film is to catch the lives of youth in the Reserve. Some of the interview will have in depth conversations with the youth; their dreams, their reality.
A community call out for participants will take place for selection of film directors and participants. A maximum of eight youth to capture footage and do interviews of peers and other interested participants in the community. A balance of male to female participants would be ideal but it will ultimately be at the discretion of each community.
The Community will send the youth to Winnipeg to take part in a two day workshop on camera techniques and editing.
A mentor will be sought out in the community to assist in the leadership role of the project at the community level. The youth will enter into contracts which emphasize the responsibility, commitment and conduct to participate in the project.
The mentor will be responsible for the logistics of camera and equipment usage as well as the necessary release forms and waivers. The mentor will be responsible for the sign out of the equipment along with securing the memory cards of camera footage.
The project will set a time table of 8 weeks for training and for film footage. Editing will take place in Winnipeg and will be limited from two to four weeks. Editing process may be limited to two members of the film project from each community taking part; for practical reasons of managing the editing process.
A company such as Just TV in Winnipeg would be a great group to work with. It is a project group based out of the Broadway community and Spence Neighbourhood. They take part in training youth for the film industry. They have valuable expertise and work with the Indigenous community. Veteran Television news person Mr. Jim Compton is another valuable resource to network with. The amount of Indigenous talent is abundant in the Manitoba community. Seeking out an interested and willing partner will be key in the success of the project.

To engage youth in learning skills, commitment responsibility and to become aware of their opportunities and create awareness for society in general.
To show the World What the life is like for the Indigenous Youth. A cross section of communities will demonstrate similar and differences youth are faced with.
To bring the world into the lives of the young Indigenous and their activities dreams obstacles and realities.
The Four Reserves will be divided between east west north and south regions. To create linkages with other communities, build networks and to engage in building lasting relationships.

The Reserves will utilize existing resources to manage and oversee the project; Schools, CFS, Health centre or NNADAP program workers or local police service.  The success of the project will be greatly influenced by the mentor and the commitment of each youth.
A film company will have camera tutorials for each student and project manager. Just TV or other Film groups in Winnipeg will be sought out to assist youth in the film industry.
The project manager will be responsible for safe keeping of equipment and logistics of waiver forms, keeping recording cards for editing.
Skills acquired: basic camera skills, interview skills, editing skills, responsibilities.
Finished project to be taken to APTN, local Schools, Winnipeg School Division no 1 and to be later released on youtube.

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