Bikalpa – an Alternative in association with Everest Policy Institute and with the support from Atlas Networks, Samriddhi Foundation & Accountability Lab, hosted its first 5 days residential ‘Liberty Film Making Workshop’ at Youth Development Centre Itahari, from 28th December to 1st January.
The idea behind the workshop was to make participants realize the true potential of visual media in fostering progressive change and enhancing their understanding on public policy issues. It also aims to encourage individual in the process of storytelling through visual medium and equip them with skills required for sensitizing targeted stakeholders and the general public. Besides, that workshop also envisions in creating a network of young, independent aspiring filmmakers in visual storytelling who would be spreading the ideas of individual and economic freedom in their respective regions.
This workshop was divided into three parts. First part was a class-based film-making workshop for 5 residential days featuring several key film-making concepts delivered in different sessions from various resource persons.
On the second part, participants were divided into 4 groups after the training to complete their final film-making project based on the idea pitched by the participants during the training. On the third part of the training, 4 videos prepared by the training participants was screened in front of a large audience.
Following the workshop, 22 participants from diverse sector and organizations participated in this workshop. The workshop event was flagged off with opening remarks from Mr. Basanta Adhikari (Co- founder of Bikalpa an Alternative). After welcoming all the participants, Mr. Adhikari shared the objectives and overview of the training, detailing the idea behind the process of how it started, key issues behind it, why it was important and how it was all made possible to bring this training to Itahari, outside Biratnagar. He also presented a briefing on “Bikalpa an Alternative”. Following this, the remainder of the workshop was facilitated by Bikalpa’s team members and few other facilitators.
Over the 5 days, participants were engaged and learned different aspects of film making in these sessions. The program comprised of the following topics.
- Introduction to Movie making and key concepts of film making
- The key elements of camera: Exposure, Focal Length and Composition
- Cinematography: Using Camera works and Photography artistically
- Public Policy: To provide a brief introduction to public policy
- Script Writing & Screenplay
- Advocacy: Effectives tools for advocacy
- Light handling and Sound Art Direction
- Editing: Compiling video, audio and image into a compelling work of art.
- Director’s Job, The Making- Challenges
- Idea Pitching,
- Group Formation & movie making on the site
Summary of the session
At the first glance of the training session, Punam Giri, Member of Bikalpa, introduced movie making and key concepts of film making. During his session he stressed on the topic what cinema is, history of cinema, how moving pictures cinema evolved. He also highlighted on historic view of South Asian cinema and “Talkies” which further clarifies the participants to understand about film making history.
On the other session, participants witnessed various tips on photography and Lighting where Punam talked about the basic rules of the photography. He shared three basic elements of exposure: Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO which is used in three different combinations according to the type of photography. He also explained that photography is the art of learning by doing; one need has a passion and patience for it. While talking about lightening he said Lighting is one of the most important aspects of creating a video because it allows setting the mood of the video. He talked most commonly-used techniques for lighting like: Key Lighting, Fill Lighting, Back lighting and explained practically during the session.
Sarwagya Raj Pandey
Sarwagya’s session included tips on how to convert a story into a plot and how to market issues by converting them into a compelling story. His other sessions included familiarizing the participants about the works of art director and the use of colors in production design. He also summarized the entire film making process from a director’s point of view and also talked about the difficulties involved in film making process. He also moderated a session in which the participants prepared a one-minute film silent film as well.
Ratna Jyoti Shakya
The sessions moderated by Ratna were Cinematography and Editing. In his session, he talked about the elements of Cinematography, role of a cinematographer, shot sizes: Telling what they see, camera Angles: the art of manipulation and camera moves. During his sessions, he also played short movie clips to make participants understand his lecture. In his editing session, he talked about the basic step of editing, essentials cuts, and skills required to be a good film editor. In his own words, He said “Editors are called the third storytellers of a movie because, after the writer and director, the editor will construct the narrative and truly define the story that audience will see”, so it also important for editors to have some cinematic knowledge of the movie. Participants were delighted to know these techniques and had good conversation on the topics that where shared.
The basic practical editing part and sound session was moderated by Nischal Rana. In his session, he talked about the importance of sound design in movie making. During his presentation he shared the importance of sound and its impact on overall film making. He also stressed on the different uses of music and sound effects and demonstrated its uses.
He also took a session on editing where he familiarized the participants with the workflow and the proper management of footage, sounds, and images. He also talked about the basics of how to combine shots together by proper application of transition effects.
He facilitated two sessions on “Introduction to public policy issues” and “Why visual media advocacy is important?” Speaking at this session, He said, we rarely speak about public policy issues that is hindering our life. It is important to see the issues through public policy angle and need to act on it. In his presentation he highlighted the public policy issues and gave numerous examples to clarify the participants. During the session he also shared about having a lot of opportunity here in Nepal. He continuously raised questions on topics like why are we still poor and economically backward, what kind of policies should be adopted, and so on. Since the objective of the session was to help the participants identify new approaches to understand policy problems and its solutions. This session allowed participants to dive deeper in policy issues.
In his second session He talked about “Advocacy” and “Lobby”. He said Lobbying is a form of advocacy where a direct approach is made to legislators on an issue which plays a significant role in modern politics. Both lobby and advocacy increase the scope of influence to improve policies and achieve structural change. He further shared Issue for Advocacy, Advocacy and Lobby-Planning stages, issues of concern, collaborative learning by designing campaigns. During this session, Bikalpa advocacy video was showcased and encourage participant to identify such issue for making movie after workshop.
In this session of leadership and Team work, the main focus was on team-building among the participants and to enhance their leadership potentials during field work. Here, facilitator used games to build conceptual understanding of team work. He also shared the importance of teamwork and how film making is all about team work. Throughout the conversations in session the participants delved into various unique perspectives and looked at how each individual has their own definition of leadership. Team building activities was played before the session to make participants realize the importance of team building and leadership in film making.
Besides this, sessions such as acting, group division, and idea pitch were also included in the workshop. In acting class participants were introduced to basic idea of acting. In this session, participants learned the difference between acting in theatre and in cinematic films.
In the idea pitching session, all the participants presented their idea stories, out of all those ideas 4 stories were selected for short film making project. On the final day of workshop, participants were divided into 4 groups, were they work as team for the preparation of their movie.
Facilitators used participatory tools like games, exercises, individual reflection, group work, interactive discussions, films, role plays and other creative modes in workshop. Sessions went interactive and had open conversations throughout the training program.
Film Screening Day
The 3rd and Final Stage of Liberty films workshop “Movie Screening premier Program” was held in Itahari on January 10 2018.
During the screening program, 4 movies made by the graduates during the workshop were showcased. The short movies stories were based on the individual freedom, property rights, Right to Livelihood issues and corruption due to government intervention. The program saw more than 160 attendees during the program.
The program was hosted by Mr. Basanta Adhikari and the Chief Guest of the program was Laxmi Gautam, the deputy mayor of Itahari. Other dignitaries included Mr. Som Gautam, Mr. Prajwal Parajuli and Mr. Loknath Dhakal from Itahari Jaycees.
After the of screening, the chief guest during her speech said that the films made her realize that as representatives of the people, they needed to work with the people to bring change rather than enforce law onto the public. She also told that she would share that message with her colleagues. After showcasing the movies, the graduates and the artists involved in the movie were handed over the certificates and token of love from the deputy mayor and the dignitaries. The news of the training and film screening was widely covered through different news sources, the news appeared 13 times through different online news channels.
We expected 24 participants for the training but we end up with 22 participants due to some participants name pulled out at last hour.
As the participants were from different cities, we had difficulties to form their group for the field work movie making project.
Application link: http://bikalpaanalternative.org/liberty-film-making-workshop-2018/