“… united in our belief that storytelling shakes the world, we dedicate this course to the advancement of young women, girls, and non-binary youth of colour within film, media, and technology.”
Malakai, Made In Her Image, founder
Creative Solutions, which includes SmallHD, Teradek, Wooden Camera, and Lightstream, is collaborating with Made in Her Image, a nonprofit movement dedicated to advancing young women, girls, and non-binary youth of colour in film, media, and technology. The CS initiative, “Their Point of View,” includes a Cinematography Workshop, Mentorship Lab, and Giving Tuesday events—all aimed at enabling new voices to tell their stories.
The events kicked off with an online cinematography course taught by filmmaker and USC School of Cinematic Arts instructor Savannah Bloch. “We started with the basics to set a good foundation. “I adapted my USC lessons because not everyone gets to go to film school.” Student Ebonee Marrow called Savanah’s class, “Amazing” emphasising that Bloch’s insights and opinions were invaluable. Fellow student Asuka Lin concurred, “Savannah broke down aspects of cinematography skills in an open-minded step-by-step, super-informative way that was very accessible.”
The next activity was the Mentorship Lab. On November 13, Creative Solutions’ Community Team welcomed the Made In Her Image founders, instructors, and eighteen aspiring filmmakers from teens to twenties to their Burbank showroom. The goal? Educate, inspire, and build confidence in a safe and inclusive environment.
The Made In Her Image principals were there in full strength, including founder Malakai. She believes “everyone should have the tools to unlock their creativity and tell the stories that have yet to be told.” Opening the Mentorship Lab, she added: “Seeing us all come together is so wonderful. You are not alone.” Next, mentors and students alike shared their intent for the day: “give with an open heart,” “learn, “be supportive,” “be gentle with myself,” “be inspired and to inspire,” and of course; “Breathe!”
For the educational portion, Creative Solutions set up four class stations, each covering a different on set position. Creative Solution’s Mariah Martinez taught How to Rig Up a Camera. Cinematographers Natalie Kingston and Cristina Dunlap presented Focal Length and Camera Lenses. Gaffer Kay Zhou led students through Cinematic Lighting, while Framing Your Shot was taught by LA-based writer/director Kristy Choi.
Each instructor had their own technique. To demonstrate her directing process, Kristy Choi sat on the floor amid a menagerie of plastic farm animals: “I wanted students to understand different shots: wide, medium, over-the-shoulder. Why use one shot compared to another? I was amazed at how fast they got it.” Jireh Deng, an economics and international studies major at CSLB, was of those students. “Here we are getting practical knowledge. In university, it’s academic. Now we’re putting theory into practice.”
At the end of the day, Chloé Collins, creative solutions head of community, was pleased by the enthusiastic response. “Instilling confidence in creatives has always been a big part of Creative Solutions’ mission. We know how much representation matters and believe everyone deserves to have access to learn and develop skills to tell their story. Our team was inspired by the work of Made in Her Image and is thrilled to be a small part of these future filmmakers’ journeys.”
Creative Solutions will support Made in Her Image in honour of Giving Tuesday. From November 30 to December 14, 2021 anyone who purchases MIHI merchandise and completes the form at https://link.cs.inc/mihi-cs will be entered to win a SmallHD Cine 24 High-Bright Monitor and a Wooden Camera Ultra QR Articulating Monitor Mount. All proceeds go to future MIHI courses and events.
Collins concludes: “Creative Solutions is thrilled to collaborate on such impactful projects. We hope to continue endeavors where we can improve access to hands-on education as well as celebrating representation on set.
Header Photo: Back row: Ashley Versher & Malakai, Made In Her Image; Kat Chen, Christian Mason, Chloé Collins, Mariah Martinez, Andrew Ng, Creative Solutions
Front row: Makayla Nicole, Stephanie Figgins, Jessica Ramirez, Jocelyn Keen, Made In Her Image.
(photo by Kat Chen)