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Pluswhat deal term 2: Limitations or opportunities?

The second term of our pluswhat deal is now concluded and it has been a beautiful experience!

We were able to implement what we learned from our first term and to see new results with our new pluswhat talents. We find it important to keep improving our activities, thanks to continuous inputs of the young people we work with. One of the most relevant points that we learned was to be ever stricter with our deadlines and to guide them even more in the ideation process, to guarantee that on the day of the film-shoot, the pluswhat talents will have everything in order. This decreases the amount of things that can go wrong on the shooting day.

In the months of September, October and November, Sema, Linn, Daniel, Shan, Manuela and Chirag came together to make 4 new videos while improving their abilities to create audio-visual productions from A to Z.

This group was very heterogeneous when it comes to cultural background and audio-visual skills: 3 of ours talents were coming from, respectively, Bangladesh, China and the Philippines and 3 had a Dutch background. Furthermore, Daniel already was already pretty good at editing videos. Also, Manuela, Sema and Linn already had some skills in the art of film-making, mostly on the conceptualizing part. On the other hand, Chirag and Shan had never done anything with videos before. It was great to see how the pluswhat talents worked together, helping each other not only on the technical sides, but also on the creative one, where also people with no audio-visual background can give very precious contributions and do not limit their imagination. During our pluswhat deal, we make clear to our talents the importance of using our creativity to create simple yet powerful concepts. With enough practice, everyone can start seeing the fact of having a short amount of time and a small budget as an opportunity instead of as a limitation.  

A snippet from our video promo shot during term 2: Linn is filming the paper ocean she made for the film “Don’t suck”.

One of the most tangible goals of our pluswhat deal is to help our talents experience in first person how to let their creativity morph into strong concepts and to turn the concepts into finish work, learning how to develop a very realistic and solid plan.

It keeps surprising me how the talents keep improving on their process from the first video they create to the second. This don’t only result in better-quality videos, but also in improving their project management, conceptualizing and production skills that the pluswhat talents can carry with them in their professional life. The pluswhat deal is a series of work sessions that see the repetition of a simple process. Concept ideation and planning, video shoot and post-production. During the first work session the talents need to come up with a concept for their videos in teams of two. The only starting point we give is to answer the following question: what makes you feel uncomfortable in the world around you?

A snippet from our video promo shot during term 2: editing the video valorising multicultural societies.

Giving so much freedom to the talents has its drawbacks, since not everybody feel creative or inspired to come up with their film-ideas. Our coaches, Aiman and Cristian, are always there to help, by making specific questions that help them shaping their ideas. Any part of their initiation concept which would make a film shot to complicated, time consuming or expensive, is simplified, with the help of our mentors.

The first step of the film-making process is the most important and probably the most difficult. A creative concept with a very executable plan represents a very strong foundation for high quality work.

While the shooting date is the most fun one, the post-production process is the most stressful one, since the time that our talents have to finish their film is limited. The fact that they feel the pressure allow them to focus and to bring their work to completion.

A snippet from our video promo shot during term 2: Shan and Daniel discussing the post production of their short film on food & cultures.

They theme of the 4 videos that the talents put out in this second term were:

Loneliness. An atmospheric short film, that follows 3 lonely people in their daily life. A message of sadness and hopelessness was communicated by the intense pictures and the looks of the characters. A nice video, that with the help of texts, is able to convey emotions to the viewer.

Plastic waste. “Don’t suck” was the short stop-motion film created by Sema and Linn. A very creative way of showing how the plastic that we use, in this case a straw, can kills sea life by literally transforming itself in a bomb ready to explode. We really loved this video, a simple strong concept with a very unique creative touch.

A snippet from our video promo shot during term 2: a plastic straw is turned into a bomb, from the film “Don’t suck” by Linn and Sema.

Prejudices. An short film with a comedic touch, where the watcher is asked to think twice about common prejudices where we place a poor person as a dishonest man and a good looking clean man as an innocent man. We liked this video and we discussed with the talents way on how to improve and why it is not completely solid from a conceptual point of view.

A celebration of multicultural societies. A food centered video that shows how Dutch cuisine become much richer and enjoyable with the addition of the food of the different culture that today are integrating in Dutch society. A fun and simple way to show how every culture make society richer and a way to make the viewer think about the benefits of having a diverse society. A very important message, considering the current climate of fear and seclusion that is happening in the European society.

A snippet from our video promo shot during term 2: editing the video valorizing multicultural societies.

We are happy that we are doing this project! We are meeting many amazing young people, that we enjoy working with and that share with us their creativity.