This year, five of the Phase II Scholars took part in producing their own short videos. In collaboration with Seattle-based Reel Grrls, an organization mainly for girls to feel empowered and discover their potential through media production, our students planned their own stories, learned film techniques, investigated how disability is portrayed in the media, and edit video footage.
We started our workshop with a presentation on the Disability Rights Movement. The purpose of this presentation was to give us a background on the negative stereotypes associated with of people with disabilities, along with the medical and social models of disability. We also watched videos related to disability rights, such as comedian Stella Young’s TED Talk on people with disabilities as objects of inspiration, an episode of a video series called, “My Gimpy Life,” and various notable clips featuring people with disabilities in movies.
At the same time, we developed basic abilities to record and edit videos through mobile devices, including the iPod Touch and the iPad. We learned the different types of shots, such as wide-shot, medium shot, and close-up. The purpose of these videos was to convey a message regarding a stance on disability and an issue, guided by the creator’s story.