With 2017 coming to an end, Lights, Camera, Learn, has taken on yet another project. This time, it’s in Sharjah!
In partnership with Emirates Red Crescent, Lights, Camera, Learn has organized a weeklong program immersing 33 girls (ages 10-14)who had fled war-torn Syria, in filmmaking activities that aim to both empower and educate them. The goal by the end of the week is to have had the girls write, create, and act out movies or music videos of their own making, having picked up the skillsets necessary to hone in their English speaking and writing skills along the way.
Upon their arrival, the girls played a quick game of Zig Zag Boing to warm them up for the rest of the day. The game - which focuses on the verbal and visual communication between its players -also helped break the ice between the kids and the Lights, Camera, Learn team members. We then had a round of introductions, followed by a dance off that ensured that everyone was both well acquainted and in high spirits!
Then, the real work began. In order to discern the girls’ linguistic abilities, we split them into four groups, and had them take part in different activities, rotating every 20 minutes between each station.
The activities - which ranged from identifying and acting out certain emotions; carry out various improve skits; playing the “Walk Like…” game; and learning/singing along to the lyrics of a song – helped us identify each girl’s strengths in order to later amplify them in the filmmaking process. The last activity of the day entailed a brainstorming session, during which each group came up with one idea for a short skit they were then to write a script for. The purpose behind this activity was to prepare them for the work of Day 2, which would mainly revolve around starting the creative process of writing the scripts of the movies they wanted to film for the rest of the week.
We started off the second day with a quick round of Zig Zag Boing. Now that they were a little more familiar with the technicalities and the over-all gist of the game, the girls gave it their all. It was the perfect warm up for what would later turn out to be quite an intensive day.
We started off the day’s activities by dividing the girls once again into four groups. Stations were set up with activities meant to kick-start the process of brainstorming what movies they wanted to create over the course of the week. Each group sat down with a team member, browsing through various movies and film ideas posted online.
The girls explored the different kinds of movies that have gained momentum and traction as of late, such as YouTube make up tutorials, short films, parodies, song covers, and the like. They then voiced out their opinions in a discussion session that followed, highlighting what they liked and what they didn't. Each group also spent some time learning the different movie genres they could choose from, after which each group sat down with its director, and they agreed on a single movie idea.
We then started scriptwriting.
After having spent two days brainstorming, planning, and writing, the girls were ready to bring their movies to life. Each group sat down with two LCL team members to help them rehearse and memorize their lines. This proved to be challenging at first. Given the fact that this week-long program served as the first time most of these girls had ever been exposed to English at this caliber and to this degree, the girls oftentimes struggled to pronounce and enunciate some of the vocabulary coherently. This process took up the entirety of the third day, but was perhaps the most educational in terms of grammatical and phonetic exposure to the English language. It was a productive – albeit lengthy – process to say the least.