Nearly three years in the making, Girls Write Now finally finds itself engaging in its first Digital Remix Pilot. The world of writing is and has been changing to fit the new millennium. Using digital media, many writers are giving new life to their work; and with “e-literature” growing in popularity over the years, GWN leaped at the opportunity to give our girls the chance to digitize their ink.
With Youth Board support, the many-faceted ideas of the curriculum planning team, volunteers, and an impossibly vital crew of Parsons graduate students, a highly effective digital curriculum was created for the girls. And so, as the second semester of the school year begins, so too does the GWN Digital Remix Portfolio Pilot.
Mentees and mentors gathered at Parsons The New School for Design, on Saturday, February 11, and met with their fearless dorkShop facilitators Julia, Lara, Lauren, and Monica. The pairs had all come prepared with at least three pieces of writing they wanted to remix: one of their own written pieces, one piece chosen from the 2011 GWN Anthology, and one piece solicited from Figment.com. The focus of this dorkShop: using photo and video to help tell your story – in other words, visual storytelling.
Before exploring the city for photos and videos they could use in their stories, pairs were introduced to a photography concept called the ‘rule of thirds,’ giving tips on the most effective way to use a video camera, and, for conceptual purposes, encouraged to create a story board. Afterwards, mentees and mentors went out and scoured the area around Union Square for relevant media. They returned with an array of photos, which included shots of litter, statues, abandoned alleyways, disgruntled puppies, and scurrying squirrels.
With all the photos and videos they could need, the facilitators guided the pairs through the basic functions of a program found on Macintosh computers called “iMovie.” They were taught tactful ways to use special effects, to adjust the time of a single frame, add text, and much more.
The next dorkShop, on animation and design, is Saturday, March 10. Until then, mentees and mentors will continue editing their remix movie — and we all can’t wait to see what they come to produce. We wish them luck on their endeavor and success in the pilot!