Posts filed under ‘Doing Good’
The Third Annual Young Minds Digital Times Competition presented by KidThrive.org, encourages students in grades 6-12, for free, to create short films, documentaries, and public service announcements. Registration is now open!
“The competition is a way to honor the amazing work kids are generating in the digital creative arts,” says Jaclyn Bell, Competition Director, “This is the next wave of digital education; not just knowing the tools, but being able to use them well and manipulate their boundaries to produce something relevant, meaningful, and in our opinion, beautiful. Plus, we have some surprises and further opportunities coming up for students once registration is underway.”
The competition features two tracks: Young Filmmakers “Doing Good” and Young Filmmakers Freeform. In the “Doing Good” Track, students are invited to create public service announcements relating to social issues the public should be informed of, or relating to an organization that works towards social good. In the Freeform Track, students can enter films on any topic into six different categories: documentary, short film, animation, music video, non-moving movie, and comedic creation.
A Grand Prize Winner from each track receives a prize package to attend the 2012 South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas. First place winners in each category and age division (6-8 grades and 9-12 grades) take home $200 and Judges Choice honorees receive $100. The school with the most student film entries that make it pass the Public Voting Stage will also win $1000.
The chance for the public vote will end March 30th, and the films that make it to the second round will be viewed and critiqued by industry directors, actors, filmmakers and producers.
Competition registration runs from October 4th, 2010 to February 18, 2011, with films due by March, 19, 2011. Films enter a three tiered voting process, beginning with public voting March 22-30, 2010. Winner announcements will be posted May 20, 2011 on the Young Minds Digital Times website.
These days, most people are concerned about protecting the environment and “going green.” Individuals are recycling, reusing and reinventing more than ever. There seem to be thousands of eco-friendly tips and techniques out there for earth-conscious adults to use, but today’s teenagers are also looking for new ways to be green.
Today’s teens are more wired up, plugged in, worldly and savvy than ever. Many care deeply about the threats facing our environment, and are committed to making difference. To help in this earth-friendly endeavor, here are some green lifestyle tips geared to teens and tweens.
To help save the environment and their budgets, teens are purchasing distinctive, stylized clothing from area resale stores. Getting bargains on name brands and gently worn clothing at a fraction of the cost, teens are being economically responsible and following fashion trends. Their one-of-a-kind garments, accessories, and jewelry can really make a fashion statement and add personal style to their wardrobe. Plus, they are saving thousands of garments from ending up in landfills.
Teens are looking at product labels now more than ever, looking for “green” alternatives. The purchases they make on their beauty, hair, or personal care products, feature all-natural or organically certified ingredients. Many commercial shampoos, conditioners, skin cleansers, moisturizers, makeup and other products contain a host of chemicals, additives and generally bad-for-the-environment ingredients. Natural and organically certified personal care products do not contain these harmful ingredients and still come in all of the fresh, fruity scents, colors and shades that teens like. In fact, many are made from recycled, reclaimed or organically grown materials and are manufactured using methods that save natural resources.
When toting school supplies, teens are choosing an earth-friendly backpack or tote made from reclaimed or organic fabric. There are countless styles out there, from stylish messenger bags to traditional slingback bags. Also think about the supplies that are put in those bags. Notebooks, paper, pencils, pens, markers, rulers, folders and book covers are all available in green versions that have been recycled, reclaimed or revamped in some way to save resources and materials.
As teens start thinking about their future, they are considering pursuing a green careers. Now more than ever, many different career fields are expanding to include green branches or offshoots for environmentally conscious individuals. Eco-friendly careers include environmental biologists, sociologists, social movement organizers, earth-friendly business owners, environmental attorneys, public relations professionals, educators, science teachers, green construction builders and architects, green city planners, environmental fundraisers and grant writers, community affairs managers and foresters, to name just a few.
Global warming is at the forefront of serious issues concerning America and the World, and topics such as alternative fuels, recycling, and environmentally friendly products are being discussed more and more. Although environmental issues are a serious matter, it seems that they will affect future generations more than any others. Teens are becoming more familiar with the “green” movement and developing opinions of their own about the state of the environment. The above tips, and more, are ways teens are beginning to “Go Green”.
For more on how teens can go green, check out Teens Turning Green.
Riley Carney is just 16 years old, but she realized early on the link between literacy and poverty. At 14, she founded Breaking the Chain, an organization that strives to provide educational opportunities for children living in poverty, both in the United States and abroad. Her activism has helped to build two schools in Africa and create a literacy center for children in a battered women’s shelter in her hometown of Englewood, Colo.
Riley, who has raised more than $90,000 for her charitable projects, is a Build-A-Bear Workshop Huggable Heroes finalist. Now in its seventh year, the program recognizes outstanding kids for their contributions and community service by awarding 10 children a $7,500 scholarship each and another $2,500 to donate to their pet charitable causes.
Riley accomplished this by making two different videos to create awareness about literacy, which she showed at her high school/middle school. Also she began selling T-shirts which she designed herself, and by conducting a “jeans day” at school — students paid to wear jeans for the day — and by mailing out a large number of letters to members of the community. Today, her fund-raising efforts, and the two novels she has written, shows how much Riley, and literacyTee has changed the world.
“I’ve always been concerned with the welfare of children, since they can’t advocate for themselves.” says Riley. ” There are so many tragic things that happen to children around the world and they have no control over their own destinies. The cycle of exploitation and poverty can be broken through education, and the most important thing we can do to help children take control over their own lives is to provide them with the ability to read. Because there is a correlation between literacy and poverty, creating literacy opportunities is the key to eradicating poverty and exploitation.”
Teen Philanthropy is on the rise. Youth voice, youth involvement, youth participation, youth-centered programs, community youth development, meaningful youth engagement, youth civic engagement, child-friendly communities… Each of these titles are meant to summarize initiatives that are active, empowering, and democratic experiences for young people as they create change in their own lives, as well as the lives of others in the organizations, institutions, and communities they belong to. Stories such as Riley’s are not only inspiring, but prove that big change is possible.
Only 19 days left to register for the Young Minds Digital Times Student Film Competition. We have fantastic prizes for our winners, including two Grand Prize packages to attend the 2011 South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas. Other first place category winners will take home $200 in cold, hard cash. The teacher with the most student film entries, and the school with the most student film entries in Track One: Young Filmmakers Doing Good, will each win $1000! But you have to register first!!
Registration is open until February 19th. The competition is free to all student filmmakers grades 6-8 and 9-12. Film entries are due March 19th. And check the rest of our blog posts for filmmaking tips and tricks.
One of the biggest misnomers about filmmaking is that you have to have a budget and expensive equipment, yet educators and filmmakers alike can spark creativity and innovation without spending a dime.
That means that the excuses of “I don’t have the equipment” or “I don’t have editing software” aren’t allowed anymore.
You Don’t Even Need a Camcorder
With the variety of footage now available from archives, remixing is becoming the new filming. From advertisements to film trailers, from short films to art installations, films made almost entirely from existing footage are now seen everywhere.
This trend began in the same way as audio remixes, with illegal mixes created by talented individuals on the edges of the law. However, today these innovators are now urged on by huge companies such as Viacom and General Motors to re-edit their advertisements. This technique was also chosen by New Line Cinema to remix the trailer of the recent Antonio Banderas film, Take the Lead, the first ever sanctioned audiovisual film remix by a Hollywood studio.
Cell Phone Cinema
Cell phones have also become a useful tool in the filmmaking process because they offer a cheap, easy alternative to camcorders. Mobile-as-movie cameras are breaking the motion picture mold, putting a touch of Hollywood into amateur filmmakers’ hands. How-to workshops have sprung up from Boston to Abu Dhabi to Rio de Janeiro, and Paris just held its fourth film festival devoted exclusively to movies shot with cell phones.
Even decorated director Spike Lee is jumping on the cell phone film bandwagon. He’s creating his own films with a Nokia N95 and the help of his son.
“He’s 10 years old, and he’s much more technologically advanced than I am,” Lee told Advertising Age. “The filmmakers who are going to take advantage of [mobile filmmaking] are the people who think ahead of everybody else, the visionaries. This stuff is really uncharted territory, so who knows where these devices and technology is going to take us in the future.”
Free Online Editing Tools
Once the visuals are compiled, editing must commence, but surely video editing is too resource-intensive to be done over the Web, right? Wrong! Many free online services allow you to do things like scene transitions, cuts, splices, loops and audio overlays. Most of them offer online editing and enable easy control of the video experience with the ability to send your creations to friends via e-mail and/or by embedding films online. Here are some tools to consider:
While none of these free services are going to put installed editors such as Pinnacle Studio, Adobe Premier or Final Cut Pro out of business, they do offer a way for filmmakers to have fun manipulating their multimedia digital content.
In my classroom, with no budget for film equipment and software, a group of students created an award-winning short film using nothing but Paint, a stock Windows OS drawing program, and PowerPoint to complete their timing and editing. Expensive tools are not necessary – all you need is a little innovation.
Once you think of an idea for producing a film, investigate the options you already have available to you before you let a price tag hold you back. Free and accessible tools are available and user friendly. Hollywood is just starting to grasp the conce, and you can too.
The second year of the Young Minds Digital Times Film Competition (YMDT) is just days away! Starting September 28, students can register to participate in the ’09-’10 Competition. This year’s competition is co-sponsored by KidThrive.org and Converge magazine. As always, there’s no fee to participate. You’ll find all the details live on the YMDT website starting on the 28th. Some exciting improvements to this year’s competition based on your feedback:
- Expanded time line — films due in February 2010
- Larger cash prizes for students
- $1000 cash prizes for the teacher and school with the most entries
- Two new categories to show off your work
Be sure to check back September 28 for all the details! We can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to!