SAIIER 2019:Film Making Apprenticeship
by RV and Claire
We are making movies on and for Auroville. We are also teaching film making. It’s a project-based learning process whereby the competences/skills/knowledge are tackled through practice.
The filmmaking apprenticeship program covers the areas of pre-production, production, and postproduction. It’s an an individual tuition where each student writes, shoots, directs and edits his/her own film and contributes to others' projects on specific areas. The apprenticeship is opened to students after High School, who are motivated and have a project. The duration of the apprenticeship depends on the pace of work of the student and on his/her needs.
This year we taught 5 students. We had the collaboration of several Aurovilians for different projects, participating with script-writing, voiceover and other work.
- One student is still working on her full length documentary about single mothers of the bio-region that she started 2 years ago. She is in her fourth year of apprenticeship with us. The movie is almost completed, it has required a lot of research work. The student has chosen to collaborate with an Aurovilian musician to create an original music track for the movie.
- One student completed one short movie, “Walking meditation,” which was screened at Kino Auroville. Some of her footage was used in a movie done by OutreachMedia about the proposed highway through Auroville. She is working on a mid length documentary about Eco-Service, and is in her second year.
- One student started working on a short movie about daily routines as a metaphor for the path of transformation. She decided to stop in the middle of the year, due to other commitments and changing life circumstance.
- One student is working on a short documentary about artists in Auroville. She is at the shooting stage, and has started learning editing through short exercises on different subjects. She is in her first year.
- One student stopped this term. It was our decision as she could not commit, the work was not sufficient to progress.
- Two students contributed to the Auroville Art Camp 2019 by filming the event, each one with a specific project.
- We will complete a movie on Isai Ambalam School in April 2019.
- We will complete a movie on Nandanam Kindergarten in April 2019.
- We created 5 teasers for the Auroville Art Camp 2019 (watchable on our YouTube channel, ‘aurovillepictures’).
- We worked on the project “The Vedas” with Jean Yves. The script is written, the structure of the introduction and the first chapter are almost completed (images/structure of the editing).
Of 5 students this year only one was a youth; we did not receive any requests from the youngsters despite of having spread the information by different channels. It means for us that there is not a need for now.
The project for Isai Ambalam School was challenging as we had to work with the existing footage that was done for the movie on SAIIER. We chose to do a more classical documentary as Isai Ambalam wishes to use this movie for showing to the parents of the potential students and to fundraisers. One of our previous students accepted to do the voice over, it was a very nice experience and a great collaboration, as the fact that he learned how to make movies with us enabled him to understand immediately our need.
The project for Nandanam Kindergarten was also challenging as we had to work as well with the footage we already had. We chose an impressionistic way of telling the story.
The project on the Vedas is a research project. And it has been a research on many levels: the first challenge was to read The Secret of the Veda by Sri Aurobindo, the second to find the right posture to serve the purpose of the movie.
The main challenge for us this year was time. We had to postpone our projects as the amount of work with the 3 projects we took this year plus the apprenticeship was too much.
- We wish to continue our collaboration with Jean Yves for an educational documentary on the Vedas.
- We wish to focus more on movies on Auroville.
- We wish to rethink the apprenticeship program as it is today. The current students we have are now autonomous, and there is no need for a program at this stage; we will be available for them as mentors and will accompany them in their further path on film making. As there is not a visible need from the youth after high school, we wish to dedicate ourselves to the projects of movies for Auroville.
- We have a new documentary project, “Why Auroville?”, a full length documentary on the raison d’être of Auroville. The script is already written.
- We received again this year requests from Aurovilians to collaborate on movies but we have had to refuse as we had no time.
We wish for next year to commit ourselves to creating documentaries for Auroville, having apprentices working with us on each project from the phase 1 of preparation till the final stage of postproduction. This offer will be available for our current students but also for new students to come.