Lola Kenya Screen

Keeping Films for Children and Youth in Focus

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How I Made My First Film

By Catherine Kiambati

Lola Kenya Screen is an organisation that is established to promote mass media literacy among children and youth. It informs and educates them on various media perspectives.

It was from here in August 2009 that I got involved in filmmaking. After being introduced to Television Drama for Children and Youth on the first day by instructor Anette Tony-Hansen from Denmark, we also watched some short films on children and the challenges they face.

After this we had to come up with our own film. We came up with a story and wrote the script. Then we did some interview on camera to select the cast for our film; we were looking for confident and intelligent children who wouldn’t be shy on camera once the shooting started.

The film shooting took us long because we had to have several takes of each scene before the final print. We also had to record some background music to be played in some scenes and then finally edit the whole film under the direction of David Kinsella from Norway.

So what challenges did we face?

We witnessed some challenges in casting where some of the children weren’t co-operative; instead of looking into the camera while answering questions, some of them wandered around and even became camera-shy.

The shooting of scenes was another difficult task especially when everyone played the role of director; we found out that we had skipped some scenes or erroneously combined others. We had little choice other than repeat these scenes. To guard against similar outcomes we assigned clearly defined roles and came up with a director and a script supervisor.

We discovered that in every film that one intends to make, one must begin with a story one wants to tell. The story should have an introduction, climax, and a clear ending.

W e learnt to classify a film in various levels; the idea of the film, the script, target group, print and finally come up with the remarks of the film. One should make a script with roles that he or she can manage at a time in one scene. You should have good sound and a good crew during filming.

Making a film is not an easy task; it takes hard work, patience and intelligence. I liked the whole experience. Thanks to Lola Kenya Screen for the good work


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