“A film is never really good unless the camera is an eye in the head of a poet.”
— Orson Welles
On the evening of 3 March, we hosted a film showcase of Stories for a Better World, a project (funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund) that we started last summer.
The project was the result of the collaboration between different people, voices, skills and experiences, but it had at its core six young people: Liz, Maria, Lily, Nene, Jessica and Jaal.
These young people learnt about the Universe Story, co-led the summer school, and taught younger kids about cultural creation stories too. They performed, made giant puppets, interviewed scientists, and wrote the storyboard for the culminating film, which marks another important achievement in Global Generation’s visual literacy.
Working alongside these young people has been an unforgettable experience for my partner Alex (who edited and co-directed the film with me) and I. The production of the film wasn’t easy. The project itself was, from the start, a multi-layer project using cultural creation stories and the scientific origin of the universe as a doorway into sustainability and a deeper understanding of the plight of bees.
“What should the film be like?” we asked ourselves. “How could we give a short film the ability to represent such an important and delicate subject? What visual language could we use to cross fragile territories such as the interface between science and religion, for example, using animation and storytelling? How could we reach children and teachers at the same time?”
The making of the film took us through different moments: cosmic ones, of chaos, direction, explosion and implosion; of calm and passion, going from the small detail of a stain on the camera’s lens to the big question of how to show that this project includes all faiths without sounding preachy.
Hopefully, we created something that will take the audience through the same moments and questions.
“If the old machine story didn’t work, we need to embrace a new emerging story” says the bee/narrator of the film, encouraging the spectators to imagine themselves like primitive humans around a fire and looking at the starry sky.
What are our new stories? What images really do represent who we are? What messages do we want to express?
In this film, the camera was certainly in the head of young people and, as an educator would say, young poets who enquire make a project good enough.
The film will soon be on our website and it is dedicated to Aida, who is not born yet but gave Alex and I the energy to stay connected with the Universe all the way through.
New stories and new images are waiting for me outside Global Generation, but lots of stories for a better world will still be told at the Skip Garden in the next few months, especially with the new upcoming location.
To be continued…