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Crossroads in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Crossroads Sabah training

by Nazreen Nizam 

Even though both cities are located in Malaysia, the situation regarding migrants, refugees and stateless people issues are vastly different. In Kuala Lumpur, the perspective is more straight forward and we were able to collaborate with many more organizations that are working within the issue. In Kota Kinabalu, however, due to a long history of migration of Filipinos to Sabah and the recent Lahad Datu incident, the issue is much more sensitive and we had to deal it with delicately so as not to cause any uneasiness among the communities there.

The workshop design for Kota Kinabalu was also different from Kuala Lumpur. Instead of a session every weekend for four to five weeks, we had a workshop stretch of four days. As we were working mostly with citizen journalists and one other resource person from a Filipino migrant’s organization, this design worked better for everyone.

On day one, after an introduction about EngageMedia and our Crossroads project in Malaysia, we started with a session on story ideas and video advocacy. We went through a presentation to understand how videos can be used for advocacy. We also screened a few samples of advocacy videos so that the participants could get some ideas on how they could do theirs. Following that, we brainstormed on ideas of issues surrounding the theme and listed down details on each issue through discussion.

We then selected the best three out of five ideas and thought together about how they can be turned into a story for their videos. We also had a discussion on who would be their target audience and what the messages and goals for their videos would be.

Day two was a session on storyboarding. Here, the participants refined their story ideas by turning them into storyboards. After presentations of all the storyboards, we then went through the six basic camera shots. Samples of videos were shown with explanations on the purpose of each shot.

The next day, we conducted a session on video-shooting which consists of basic camera handling skills and general Camera functions such as the auto and manual focus, pan/tilt guidelines, white balance, backlight, and tripod handling. We went through what needed to be prepared before shooting and guidelines for the actual shooting day and the processes that come after the shooting.

On the fourth (and final) day, we focused on video editing and on compression and video distribution. In this session, the participants learned about various editing techniques, frame adjustments, encoding, and uploading/downloading techniques. We also covered video distribution techniques and introduced the theory, concepts and term on video compression.

After this four-day workshop, the participants went to do their shooting in one week, followed by editing sessions for another week. The three videos from Kota Kinabalu will be compiled together with over nine other videos from Kuala Lumpur for the upcoming Crossroads video advocacy toolkit.