Stand up and say to yourself in a loud, low voice, “KA-pow!” or “SOMEONE STOLE MY BICYCLE!”, while bouncing up and down, rocking side to side, or walking in a circle. This warm-up exercise opened a session of The Hideout Media Lab program- preparing their actor-participants for filming by releasing any discomfort form their bodies.
From September to December 2018, Illumine Media Project ran The Hideout Media Lab, a community-based arts initiative which brought together a group of youth from the Scarborough region to experience both media analysis and media creation. Building on a previous pilot project, this series of workshops gave participants the opportunity to analyze themes in Illumine Media Projects’ youth-created web series, How We Grow, in order to reflect on their own neighbourhoods and communities, as well as to create and develop their own artistic projects, through script-writing, acting, filming, and recording.
Project Coordinator Sama Kokabi tells us, “We would show an episode, talk of themes, and let youth come up with their own”. Participating youth developed both their artistic skills and leadership skills by determining the content of the film and through their use of the available film equipment. But while able to choose their own paths for the project, youth were never left alone in their endeavors. Thanks to the amazing project team, youth had a technical support system for each creative session of crafting their film.
During the project, participants developed a film that follows the story of a female immigrant student’s life as a cricket player while she works through the rough terrain of balancing school friendships with fellow peers and extra-curricular activities, all while aquainting herself with a new country and culture. This experience not only lead to the production of this film, but also gave youth the skills needed to develop future film projects of their own.
In interviewing Sama, she notes that the project was about trying to produce a “film with a meaningful message”. She explained the need to incorporate diverse communities into the film, and that the project needed to provide youth with the ability to talk about or write about what they are seeing in the world around them. A key focus of the project was to consider what different communities were going through and what their take on the content was.
What’s next for the Hideout Media Lab? While the 2018 sessions were based solely out of the L'Amoreaux Community Recreation Center in Scarborough, the group hopes to expand future rounds of programming to other areas of the City, opening the project up to a wider array of participants.
On behalf of ArtReach, we would like to congratulate The Hideout Media Lab on completing their final film, and for a very successful program! (Check out the film here!)