Redshade Productions: FILM 101 Workshops


FILM 101: Community Filmmaking Workshops

The purpose of this series of community workshops is to help community members learn basic film and video making skills, theory, and media literacy for the purpose of creating their own short films and video using new digital media making techniques and equipment. Through these workshops, the video making process will be examined from ideation and production to editing and exhibition with participants learning marketable skills as well as learning how media affects its viewers and how control of imagery affects how viewers perceive cultures, social issues, and news reports.

Learning how to create their own videos and short films will also fill in a missing gap in the creation of media: the voice of Native peoples, whom make up only a fraction of all media representation in the US. Native American voice has long been overlooked in media mainly due to Natives having so little control over the making of media that a sense of distrust in telling their own stories prevails when the hand of anthropology has not endorsed it.

This workshop also aims to teach its participants how to read the messages prevalent in media. Media Literacy is key to learning how media messaging works on general audiences overall, and how perceptions are engrained in society about cultures and peoples are influenced by those who are in creative control of media imagery. Messaging is the single most important thing in media. Yet, it is the most overlooked aspect when viewing it.

This workshop is aimed at the Native American Chicago community, ages 16 and older, to properly educate the community both in how to construct media that represents us accurately and also how to look at the media that depicts us in a new way. It is vital that through first-voice self-representation in media that the Native American community can become more of a powerful voice in telling our own stories.

About the Program:

This proposal is for eight, 3-hour Filmmaking Programs for 8 to 12 participants. The workshop is for ages 16 and up because we tend to over-emphasize on youth interaction with media creation. They are already knowledgeable in it. What we have is a Technical Gap between Youth and Adults who do not know how media is created. Program participants will be broken into equal-numbers groups to work on two to three final projects. Whose scripts will be shot will be determined through work shopping and feedback sessions, as well as, those who simply get their scripts done on time.

Every participant will be assigned a crew spot in the final films and all will be required to act in the films. Everyone will learn crew responsibilities, i.e., directing, camera, writing through the discussion and in-workshop exercises. The final films will be edited and screened on the latter half of the final workshop day for invited friends and family, and possible community members.

The Workshop Goals will be:

+Teach participants how to write a movie script; includes creative writing, screenplay format and story structure.

+Teach participants how to plan and produce a movie;

+Teach acting techniques to perform on screen, and

+To act as camera operators, directors, and other essential crew;

+Teach participants how to edit a movie using software, to edit sound effects, and music;

+Teach participants how to promote and present their movie;

+Teach about screening rights, copyright, clearances;

+Teach participants how to look at popular media through a differing gaze, to learn the overt and subtle messaging media presents.


We live in an era where almost anyone can make a movie and get it seen. Many films are being made with limited resources and widespread exhibition platforms. What remains is how does a Native community harness such technologies to be better able to tell our own stories with our own voice. The question then becomes, how can you put out the very best representation of yourself, your perspective, your culture, and your life that not only tells your story accurately, but in the best looking and widest-ranging way as possible? You are in control of the media you create, so you have an obligation to truth and honesty, to tell our stories accurately, and without bias towards anthropological structures. How do we see our people and culture now?

It is hoped that this workshop series sets the participants up for success in the creation of their own depictions of self, their ideals, their culture, and their community by providing them with the skills to properly create media that matters, speaks with their own voice, but also looks professional and is of good quality.

When media and how to control it are in the hands of those whom are under-represented and disenfranchised, it becomes even more important for a community media workshop to exist due to the increase of media platforms in the last decade that gives more control to content creators who excel at creating brands to be bought and sold, but still, surprisingly, overlook the under-represented and disenfranchised. When the community can control how it is represented and is able to control where and how to tell their own stories.

For more information on how to bring this program to your community, organization, or group, to discuss program requirements, and to inquire about fees, please feel free to contact Redshade Productions through our CONTACT US page.

We look forward to serving you and your community.