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Community Media pt 3 – May Day Multimedia

July 13, 2011

I recently met someone from May Day Multimedia. They produce really solid videos.

They focus on putting together short and medium sized documentaries. You might remember them from such films as “Ka Bel” and “Worker’s Saga”.

(they have a version with english subtitles, but I don’t think its online)

“Worker’s Saga” was apparently received really well by communities (so much so, that some people are actually selling the movie). Many people within the urban poor communities appreciated the humour. Many of the organizers used the movie to mobilize people for the May Day rally (and with it being only 8min long, it provides a good intro to education/discussions).

Many of their earlier documentaries would show the poverty in urban areas and then at the end tell people to join the rallies. Many people in the urban poor communities had labelled the movies as “poverty with rally at the end” movies. They didn’t really like them, because they already knew poverty and didn’t care to see more of it (the students usually found these movies more interesting).

They also tried producing videos of daily news, but found it really difficult to shoot and edit the videos within a day (I’m also guessing that distribution would have also been an issue). They felt they couldn’t compete with mass media on this level.

Now, they work closely with folks organizing workers to develop the ideas for the documentaries (and also to find out how the film is received). As a group they put together a script and then take it to the organizers to get their input.

The production of the 8min movie above took about 1 month – 5 days on the script, 5 days getting equipment + volunteers, 1 day shooting, 10 days post production (animation).

When watching all these videos I was thinking why were people putting so much time in making these, when the vast majority of the population does not have access to computers/internet, let alone electricity. What organizers were finding is that many of the younger organizers use the internet and will watch these movies. In this way, the movies become a way of transmitting ideas to the organizers, who then can transmit them to the masses.

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