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Primakara Premiere

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STMIK Primakara is a new information technology college in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. Among IT institutions, it is quite unique for its focuses on global education, creativity, and student entrepreneurship. A couple weeks ago, we met with college president, I Putu Agus Swastika, who was very interested in Bent Marble and our workshops. Due to his students’ already busy schedule and workload, we decided to offer a custom weekend workshop in video editing, using Adobe Premiere Pro software.

The students were highly talented, and extremely motivated to learn the basics of this industry-standard program. In our Saturday session we covered various topics including cutting and arranging video clips into the film’s timeline, adding photos, music, and text, as well as basic effects, transitions, and sound mixing. As with all Bent Marble workshops, it was truly impressive how much our students were able to absorb in such a short period of time. Indeed one of our core beliefs is that digital filmmaking is much easier than most people think. And, best of all, our Primakara participants left the workshop feeling confident that they can continue to work in Adobe Premiere Pro, as they take on documentary and video projects for school assignments and of their own design.

Here are some photos from our Facebook page that show the participants focused on learning:

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Well tomorrow night we leave Bali to “premiere” our workshops in another faraway place… Bangalore, India! And while we’ll surely miss all the good people we’ve met and friends we’ve made in Indonesia and around Southeast Asia over the last several months, we are also eager and excited to experience the next chapter in Bent Marble’s story. With this in mind, in only seems appropriate to genuinely thank you for letting us share our story, thus far, with you. As storytelling teachers and professionals it truly means the world to us;)

Stay tuned!

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Smooth Operators

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Not long ago we had the chance to work with some talented kids at the Jodie O’Shea Orphanage in Denpasar, Bali (an organization founded in loving memory of Australian, Jodie O’Shea, who died tragically in the Bali terrorist bombing of 2002). There we gave a one-day documentary camerawork workshop to a group of students, aged 12 to 17. The goal of the class was for each participant to learn to become a “human tripod”, in essence to use their body, itself, as a stabilization device for their camera, as they performed a variety of still and moving shots.

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Being able to shoot handheld like this allows for a degree of flexibility that is very important for documentary work, where you never know where the action will lead next. And while the concept is simple, to shoot smooth, professional-looking shots is actually quite challenging, as the smallest quiver or shake of the camera in your hands can lead to footage that looks like it was shot during an earthquake!

IMG_2900_retouched_webWhile most of the participants had little to no experience with cameras before, it was truly amazing how much they learned-by-doing in just a few hours time. The earnestness with which they took on this challenge can be seen in their faces as they focused, framed, and followed their shots. And in the end much of the resulting footage was truly astonishing… rock solid and stable! As a result, the students finished the class with a real feeling of confidence in what they had achieved, and hopefully also inspired to further pursue their interests in camerawork and filmmaking.

One of the goals of Bent Marble workshops is to bring filmmaking to the common man/woman/child, and demystify what may seem like an intimidatingly difficult form of art. We strive to have our participants experience the joy of success, before they have time to doubt themselves. And with such success comes snowballing confidence, creativity, and learning. Camerawork, for instance, may seem complex, and many may initially feel that they “don’t have an eye for it”. But in our class we briefly provide a few pointers and then encourage our students to try. And they soon realize that it isn’t rocket science after all… just a whole lot of fun!

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Like cinematographer or videographer, an “operator” is one of the names given to a professional cameraperson. And while none of the youngsters we had the pleasure to work with at Jodie O’Shea Orphanage are professionals, just yet… boy were they super smooth!

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Back in Bali

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Well after a little lapse since our last workshops.. we’re back! And we’ve recently finished a very successful run at the Montessori Bali School with 10 through 13-year-old students in Bali, Indonesia. The participants’ previous filmmaking experience ranged from little, down to none at all. But what they created by the end of the workshops was absolutely inspiring! Student films range from covering serious themes that bring a tear to your eye, to humorous moments and interviews that inspire another kind of tearing. We truly couldn’t be prouder!

Importantly, our success at Montessori Bali School could not have happened without the support of their amazing teachers and staff. In particular, Program Director, Kate Ludick, was hugely instrumental in getting our workshops started, integrated into the students’ schedule and curriculum, and keeping them running smoothly on a daily basis. And teacher, Tallis Hobbs, welcomed us with a spirit of friendship and solved our occasional technical problem as well.

Please check out some of the fine films that these students produced, and share a tear with us.. be it of compassion or joy!

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(Click here to visit Bent Marble on YouTube)



And here are some pics from our FaceBook page that show the participants hard at work.. and enjoying the fruits of their labor as well:

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We are currently offering workshops at two schools in Cebu, Philippines. Stay tuned for updates!