|Cleveland, Ohio, USA|
|Film & Video|
"We teach African orphans to use video then cut them loose to interpret the world around them. See the process and results in this documentary film."
Everyone has a story; we all just need to figure out a way to communicate it. I use video. For this project I want to teach others who may never have touched a video camera how to use video, a very accessible technology, to tell their stories.
We will be traveling to Kakamega, Kenya to to work with orphaned Kenyan children who have been rescued from the street. We will be spending 3 weeks with a group of children. We will teach them how to use a simple camera, how to take great pictures, and how to tell a story visually.
Then we cut them loose to tell us the stories they want to tell which we will help assemble into mini films. We will also examine their nation, their neighborhood and their futures. These will then be collected together into a complete video.
We will also be shooting extensive stock footage and B-roll to support this and future productions.
was started over 20 years ago by Herb & Virginia Veith of Cleveland, OH. During a visit to Kenya, they were overwhelmed by the plight of the street children. The children were in the street because they had nowhere else to go. Many had lost their parents to AIDS which has ravaged Africa for many years. The Veiths were determined to do whatever they could to help.
Before long they had established a single orphanage. They started out helping 10 children. They knew they had to fully trust God to provide for the needs of the children, and God was good. With the help of many supporters and many individuals, the mission has since grown to 75 children in two locations, one in Kakemega and the other in Oyugis, Kenya.
Over the year's many orphans have been helped physically, mentally and spiritually by Many have gone on to high school and college and entered the working world with great training and good jobs. Several now serve the orphanage where they grew up.
We pray this video will help in supporting MTTF. Please consider a donation to this very worthy cause. For more information check out their website: http://www.missiontothefatherless.org
The final video will contain three sections. The first is an overview of the political, economic and spiritual condition of Kenya, a look at the plight of street children, and a brief history of the orphanage and the area it is located.
The second section will chronicle the process of selecting and teaching a group of children from the orphanage how to use the cameras. The first series of stories we will produce will be stories where the filmmakers directly assist the production in a primary way.
The third section will be the videos produced by the children themselves, with the filmmakers in a purely supplemental role.
The biggest problem I have had with working with other footage of these and other African kids is most of the footage involves them gathering around the cameraman and the camera, intrigued by the novelty of it. The camera affects the surroundings.
The idea here is to detach the camera as much as possible by letting them become very familiar with it. This way the children can tell their stories as freely as they are able. The camera, in their hands, becomes just a tool for achieving that. We will achieve this goal by getting them familiar with the cameras and simple video story principles as quickly as possible. Then we progressively remove ourselves from the process as much as possible.
Each night we will upload the video to a computer and do a rough cut of each story, which we will use to build on the next day.
Other times we will be conducting interviews with various people and shooting footage around Kakamega and other parts of Kenya . We feel it is important to document the environment where these kids grow up in order to provide context for their individual stories.
We will be shooting most of the video with a Canon XHA-1. We will use this camera for all the interviews and as much Kenyan stock footage as we can get before the presence of the camera and the cameraman start to alter their environment. We will edit with Final Cut Pro on a MacBook.
We will also be using 2 or 3 personal video cameras, most likely Flip UltraHD Video Cameras. These are the cameras the children will be using. The advantage of these cameras is they are small, simple to use, have a very small footprint and are relatively inexpensive. They also take excellent video if used correctly. We will have a small but stable tripod for each camera.
We will face limitations on quality audio using cameras other than the Canon. The Flip Cams are OK for audio but not great. We will probably overcome this problem by recording the children narrating their stories over a rough cut toward the end of the process and having that available as a back-up.
We will pack as many items which we can use as props as needed. We will have prepared sample videos about ourselves to use as teaching tools.
We will capture all footage to "bulletproof" hard drives every and back up those files to another drive as often as possible.
We will also use the personal camcorders to shoot stock footage and B-roll (footage which does not move the primary story forward) where the larger camera would be a distraction and again unnecessarily alter the environment. We know there is no way we are going to disappear. That's what we are going teach the kids to do.
If it is possible, we would like to leave one or two of the personal camcorders behind when we leave. If possible we would like to set up a way for the footage that is shot with them to be uploaded to the internet so we can retrieve it and expand the project when needed.
began work in video and film production in 1985. In 2010 he started Girt Mind Video to communicate how God works in various Christian missions around the world. His recent production credits include work for International Friends, Tyndale Evangelical Seminary, The City Mission, ReachGlobal, Providence Church and several others. His work has taken him not only all over his home town of Cleveland, OH and around the United States but also to The Netherlands, Hungary, Germany and Italy. He specializes in what he calls "backpack" productions which are simply productions designed to take cameras where they rarely go with a minimum of equipment. As has been mentioned earlier, his ultimate goal is to reduce, hopefully to zero, the impact the presence of a camera and its operator has on the things it is shooting. This will be his first project in Africa. His website is www.girtmind.com.
Also on the team are Janet Maltbie (PRODUCTION MANAGER) and Amanda Meeker (ARTISTIC MANAGER). Janet and Amanda are raising their own support for this project. If we are blessed with any overages beyond our expenses, they will go towards their costs.
We will be arriving in Nairobi, Kenya on July 21, 2012. We will then fly to Kakemega in central Kenya and spend the next three weeks working with the children at the orphanage. I will return August 13, 2012 and the rest of August will be used for post production to actually assemble the film.
It is important to us not to arrive in Kenya and begin exploiting people and relationships to advance our vision. It is a fundamental part of this project to respect the humanity of everyone involved. We are committed to modeling the life and love of Jesus Christ during the entire project. We will constantly be alert for times we may be negatively impacting lives and stop it. We will also look for opportunities to help wherever we can, however we can, using the resources we have available to us while we are there and afterwards.
Just to give you an idea of some of the ideas we have which we may or may not use:
1 ) The initial production involving both the children and the filmmakers could be acting out a Biblical story like . We will use this opportunity to teach fundamentals like how to do an establishing shot (setting up the scene) and close ups and how to match them. We will also do some acting and will use props. We may be able to modify the story to some extent to give it a Kenyan flair. Guess who gets to be Goliath?
2) The children, although helped considerably by the orphanage, remain extremely poor, with most of their worldly goods kept in a small box or case under their bed. We want them to tell us, in there own words, "what is in your case and why is it important to you?"
3) There is a slum with many people living in it just outside the wall of the Mission to the Fatherless. How do the children of the orphanage interact with the community around the walls? Are there stories outside the walls?
Thank you for considering a contribution to this project. We are excited about getting going on this and believe this may be a great way to get more people involved in some significant way with global Christian missions.
Please let us know if you have any questions at girtmind at gmail.com.
PLEDGE OF: $25.00 or more
$25 + Partners receive a copy of the "'Telling Stories' - The Orphans of Kakamega" on DVD.
PLEDGE OF: $50.00 or more
$50 + Partners receive a copy of "'Telling Stories' - The Orphans of Kakamega" on DVD PLUS bonus updates with production highlights, photos, status and stories about the children featured in the video.
PLEDGE OF: $100.00 or more
$100 + Partners receive all of the above PLUS they will receive on screen production credit as "Contributing Partners" and will receive access to exclusive bonus DVD features.
PLEDGE OF: $500.00 or more
$500 + Partners receive all of the above PLUS they will receive on screen production credit as "Associate Producer." They also receive one time royalty free use of most available Kenyan stock footage (excluding individual stories) for non-commercial purposes only.
PLEDGE OF: $1,000.00 or more
$1000 + Partners receive all of the above PLUS they will also receive on screen production credit as "Executive Producer." They will also receive unlimited royalty free use of all available Kenyan stock footage (excluding individual stories) for non-commercial purposes only.
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