One of the most fun activities we did in Camp Chindwin was to have a Short Film Lab in the morning of the third day. The participants were grouped into eight teams and were tasked to plan, shoot, edit and submit short films in two and a half hours. The teams were given carte blanche as far as the topics were concerned. The resulting films was a testament to the talent, skill-level and creativity that abounded in the camp. More than that, the short films gave a snapshot of what life and times in Camp Chindwin was like.
Team 6 did a film about the participant’s impressions on the camp, capturing footage as the other teams worked on their short films.
One of the teams did a short feature interview with Ju Ju, the woman who cooked all the meals for the camp venue. The interview, which was conducted in Burmese, tackled how Ju Ju found herself working at the Bago Centre. The team even managed to subtitle the edited video into English within the time frame!
Another team did interviews with the staff that the centre, focusing on the ecological values of the venue.
Yet another team captured the “wild life” in Camp Chindwin with a short film about the insects at the venue.
One team did a short silent action film about one of the camp “rules”: if you’re late for the sessions, you either sing or dance (or both). The use of stop motion animation, one of the expertise of one of the participants, was a clever way to get “dialogue” in.
Using finger puppets, one of the teams paid homage to the “unofficial” Camp Chindwin song — The Banana Song.
Group 2, shot and edited an instructional video on coffee-making entirely on an Android phone.
The last short film was about the “myth” (that the team invented and propagated themselves) about what it means to see a snake in Bago.
All of the short films were screened during the closing of the camp.
The Short Film Lab was such a fun exercise, and I’m really glad that we did it. It was much-needed break from the discussions and technical skill sharing sessions, and provided the participants another way to work together.