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Story of Self

February 23, 2018

If you had to complete your first short film, what would you do it about? What if the film had to be about yourself? What if you only had two weeks?

The Making Media, Making Change (MMMC) spring 2018 students completed their first video project: the Story of Self. Students were asked to reflect and explore their personal experiences. They were tasked with sharing a personal story through short film using knowledge and skills gained from the first few weeks of class.

Students participated in story circles where they shared their initial ideas. They struggled to figure out how to express their experiences through film. Mentors and peers gave feedback and ideas about how to approach their unique challenges. Nine days later, they shared rough cuts with one another and gave each other tips and tricks to improve their work. Some went back and reshot everything. Others added slight changes. A week later, MMMC students, instructors and a few SPNN staff gathered for the Story of Self screening.

The films each reflected the unique individuals who made them. Each person had a different style to tell their personal story. Some chose voice-over narration, some chose to speak directly to the camera, and some chose to include no dialogue. A couple individuals asked a friend or sibling to be their stand-in in front of the camera, while others willingly played both cameraperson and talent. Regardless of the style or topic, all films touched on important topics that have shaped who they are today and displayed the courage in telling stories of the self.

The Story of Self is the first of three film projects. This assignment allows students to explore the art of filmmaking. It also challenges them to look inward and explore how to tell their own vulnerable story. In turn, it might better inform the way they tell others' stories.

This project was produced through MMMC, a college course offered by the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA) in collaboration with SPNN. All Story of Self films from MMMC Spring 2018 can be viewed below.