blog-post

Training Community to Film

By Ashim Shrestha

CARAN

Community Arts Against Antibiotic Resistance in Nepal (CARAN) is a project designed to develop and pilot test an innovative intervention using community led solutions to address the problem of antibiotic misuse at the level of individuals, households, communities and district, and inform the national policy makers. 

First Pilot Test – Site selection

In this blog, I am focusing on the new experiences and challenges I encountered during this pilot test. It was more exciting than the pretest, yet different one. As a result of lessons learnt, I had some to-do lists in my mind this time which were aborted during pretest. With new experiences and understandings from pretest, I was all set for CARAN’s first pilot test.

One of the local schools was recommended and decided by the gatekeeper and participants for the workshop to take place, although the exact space was yet to be decided. We visited the school premises few days prior. Unlike pre-identified community hall in pretest, it took some time to identify the space that would better fit for workshop to enable us to project power point presentations and screening of footages. The classrooms were either alongside the highway, too small, too big resulting in echo sounds or too bright (without curtains) that would bring issues in projecting workshop materials and videos taken by participants. At the end, we determined school library, large yet cozy and dark, as workshop venue considering the movements to be made by participants during activities.

Day 1

As per participants’ suggestion, the workshop was scheduled to start at 6:30 am on first day, half an hour earlier than pre-test. Upon arrival of all participants, albeit few came about an hour late, the workshop started with a fun filled introductory game prior to introduction of CARAN team members. As scheduled, I introduced the filming equipment to the participants. As an experience from pre-test, I had realized that there was a need of a visual learning for the participants that would enable them to use filming equipment such as Go-Pro along with demonstration. Taking this into account, I came up with a simple video for the participants. As the participants were given chance to play with equipment, the excitement on their faces were evident effortlessly. Some participants stated that it was very first time they had ever seen and operated the Go-Pro while some were curious to explore if it had similar or more features compared to android phones. I was keen to address their curiosity with expectations so that they would attempt the learnings during their field activities. Though initially reluctant to play with filming equipment and conduct interviews, the participants seemed to enjoy the session. We, however, had to end workshop for the day considering it was started late.

Day 2-4

On second day, the first activity was to project the videos of interviews taken by participants in their respective groups, which I had slightly edited. It was great experience to observe expressions of participants as they shied to see themselves on screen; laughing and side talking. Presentation on filming and interviewing techniques was left behind for second day rather than on first day as originally planned. As I was going through my presentation slides, the participants’ uttering explained that they seemed to recall themselves what they did correctly and what went wrong during the interviews. Remaining time for second day till half of time on day four of workshop were related to activities on general drugs, antibiotics and its resistance.

As pre-test and this first pilot test events have helped us learn, we should always be flexible in our schedule and be ready to adopt as per situation and need.   

Day 4-5

Remaining time for workshop on fourth day and fifth day focused more on filming techniques (such as shooting B-roll and 5 shot sequence) and pre-production for filming. To help participants get general understanding on these topics, I had few footages prepared. For this, I came up with simple yet good sequences which I had used during my presentation, for instance, taking shots for hands first, then cut to face close up, mid shot, over the shoulder and odd angle shot. After theoretical and mock sessions, the participants seemed to have understood the filming techniques by fourth day. To add on, I also briefed them about film editing which would add value in understanding the filming techniques. The film editing included cut away, b-roll, and footages needed to be taken from different angles that would be easier to join later. It took some time for the participants to mock the 5 shot sequence whilst imitated shots similar to mine that I had presented them previously. I quickly realized their difficulty and debriefed that there were multiple other ways to capture the shots if thought differently and creatively in their field visit.

While for workshop on day five, the participants were introduced about pre-production of filming, including script writing. They were overwhelmed and ended up with lots of queries which I tried to address at my level best. Their queries basically revolved around what needed to be done, where they could film, who they could involve in their films, and such. After the participants seemed to settle down and on board, they were requested to split into their own groups and create script of their own, based on the discussions related to general drugs and antibiotic resistance, which they would be filming on latter phase of the workshop. This was the very moment I was longing to see the excited chaos of participants which was not possible during pre-test. We provided them with some time to prepare the same. All the groups then pitched their scripts they planned and wrote as requested. To my pleasant surprise, all the groups came up with different scripts and ideas that they would like to film. Some groups wanted their film to be fictional while some wanted make a documentary. Furthermore, while pitching their scripts, the participants were discussing on how they would like to capture the footages beyond their scripts. It was prodigious to conduct the session and learn the participants’ views. I am very keen to learn how the participants will take the footages as they have planned and discussed with us, which I will talk about in my next blog.

Conclusion

All in all, I enjoyed all the activities related to general drugs and antibiotic resistance along with facilitating my sessions on filmmaking equipment and pre-production for filming. They were more informative and participative than pretest. This has certainly been possible due to eagerness of participants to learn and provide information through different activities throughout the 5 days’ workshop. I hope the learnings by participants on general drugs, antibiotics and their resistance through our workshop will assist them in generating awareness on antibiotic resistance and its prevention to improve health of their community people.

(This is a part of series of blogs by Ashim Shrestha for CARAN Project.)


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