We opened our 2nd day of camp with a presentation from Daniela Capistrano. The LAMPers immediately lit up when she told them she worked for MTV News. She was gracious enough to answer some questions about their favorite shows, celebrities and musicians – and even a tough question (“How and why do they come up with all the spin-off shows?”). She spent the majority of her presentation telling our LAMPers about other great organizations in New York City (Ghetto Film School, Starting Artists, and The Point) that allow youth to explore their creative aspirations in media careers.
Many hands went up when she asked who would like to have a job working in the various media. Thanks so much, Daniela, for your presentation and your help throughout LAMPcamp.
We then broke back up into our Girls and Boys camps, allowing us to pursue some very incredible dialogue about issues that impact their respective gender and how the various media they encounter reinforce, define and propogate these issues.
I was with the boys, so i can only report on what it was we did. Our main male LAMPcamp counselor put together an incredible media montage of various video and images that really got the discussion rolling. Images of Mike Tyson contrasted with Michael Jackson, or Christopher Reeves in his ‘Superman’ uniform with images of him in his wheelchair after his accident, or Wesley Snipes all muscled out as the main character in the movie “Blade” next to an image of Mr. Snipes in drag in the movie “To Wong Foo”.
We asked our boys “What makes a man?” And a fantastic discussion grew from there, as they talked about their own experiences and opinions and openly addressed topics that in other circumstances wouldn’t be comfortable to tackle (i.e. boys who want to dress up like girls). Some of it was received with laughter, some of it with some very serious tones – but all of it was simply a thrill to be a part of as afterward the LAMPers declared how much fun and educational that was.
We then broke out into our smaller groups and started working again on our group media topics. These projects are really going to be fantastic as we can see how the discussion on gender really is going to play out in them.
Some of the more profound moments from the 2nd day:
– It was declared that most of the boys weren’t comfortable with seeing two guys kiss (that it somehow made them less of a man), but thought there was an incredible double-standard that it seems so socially acceptable if two girls were to embrace (which had no impact on how they were viewed as women).
– After just shooting two takes of one shot for their “Thriller” tribute video, the LAMPers declared “Man, if it takes this long just to do two shots for a 5 minute video, no wonder movies take so long to get made and are so expensive.”
– Going through some camera tricks to show them how they can get some cool effects, one LAMPer said,”You’re gonna ruin all the illusions of movies for me.”
Tomorrow, we’re going to chat about their mobile devices, their digital lives and the best practices for how to have a positive online, digital experience. We hope to go into more detail about the private social network we created for LAMPcamp and how we want this to go beyond the completion of LAMPcamp at the end of the week.