Thoughts from Youth Filmmakers
We asked the Bay Area Video Coalition filmmakers, Ray Archila and Lauren Lindberg, to share with us their thoughts about the project they worked on this summer with Inspire USA/ReachOut.com which involved recreating stories from youth in San Mateo County.
Here’s what they had to say:
Ray: Working with these stories was interesting. I personally remember going through some tough times of my own and dealing with it through the use of media, writing, and art. To hear other people’s stories was really inspiring especially when you read one that you can relate to. One story that I really related to was the “Success is different for everyone.” I remember days when I felt stressed because I felt my grades had to be great and I couldn’t fail a class. I related a lot as well because I also realized sometimes you can only be good at one thing, and not only that, but you have to have fun and relax or else you’ll get burnt out quickly.
As a filmmaker, it was a challenge to get the stories of the individuals across without changing the core content of the story or just completely changing it. We tried our best to keep the stories as is. Visually, it was a challenge not to over exaggerate a negative image that would depress someone rather than uplift them. So, we had to figure out subtle ways of conveying things.
Overall, I feel the stories came out great, they all have a strong uplifting message that we can all learn from. After going through my own personal issues and reading about others who have surpassed a tough time, I feel that a healthy state of mind is key. Emotional health and our state of mind is just as important as our physical condition and I hope we all learn to better take care of ourselves, both physically, mentally and emotionally.
Lauren: Working with Inspire/ReachOut really opened my eyes to all the help out there for those going through mental health issues. I think that a lot of people going through a difficult time don’t know that there are online communities like ReachOut that offer stories, facts and help/guidance on a wide variety of mental health issues. What ReachOut.com offers is very cool, and through this experience I will be able to educate others about ReachOut.com and what it has to offer.
I felt that the eight stories offered a variety of different experiences, emotions, methods of coping, etc. I felt that because we were given such a variety, we were able to pick the four stories that represented a collection of issues that many teens would be able to relate to. These stories all offered background information, the issue the person dealt with, coping, overcoming that issue and moving forward.
I think that the messages all the stories had were great because they were about real and personal issues, but they will leave the viewer/reader feeling hopeful. I think anybody could watch any of the four videos and see a little bit of themselves in the character, and share with the character the happiness and the feeling of hope when the character overcomes the problem.
You can take a look at the videos here: