For those of you that don’t know, The Outlook for Someday, is a challenge to all New Zealanders under the age of 24 to make a short film about any sustainable topic that is dear to them. It is now in it’s sixth year and is growing from strength to strength.

This project was one of the first that I was involved with as my role as an educator at Wanaka Wastebusters, so as you can imagine, I get rather excited about it. I’ve seen the valuable learning experiences that students gain from making a short film. It’s a fantastic medium for them to explore the vast area of sustainability and combine it with their creative passions. With so much modern technology now available to young people it is just getting easier and easier to make high quality films, the only limiting factor is their imaginations.

In 2007, three young people from Hawea Flat Primary School won a prize for their animated short film entitled “Melting Ice, Flooded Homes, The Future”. In 2010, Wanaka’s Young Changemakers entered a short film, which unfortunately didn’t manage to woo the appreciation of the judges. They did however, love making the film and learnt much about film making and also working together as a group on a fairly large project.

To help young people along with their entries the OFS crew run workshops about making films. This is a fantastic opportunity for them to gain new skills that aren’t always available to them without them having to teach themselves. As always, funding has been a limiting factor in one of these workshops being run in our district. This year saw a change to that. Wanaka Wastebusters worked with the OFS team and hosted the first ever Wanaka Outlook for Someday workshop. This full day event blew my mind!

28 young people from all across Central Otago attended the event which was run by Sam and Chris from OFS and assisted by myself and Caroline from DOC in Te Anua, as well as some very passionate teachers.

Events like this always inspire me. They have been carefully designed to empower young people in areas that they are passionate about. They often follow a similar format, but the details and tools used are usually tailored to suit the subject that is being approached.

A core part of the Outlook for Someday is to help young people grasp the ideas and knowledge behind sustainability. So many people think that it is just associated with being green and eco and often miss out the important parts of the equation such as the economic and social sustainability of our actions. Along with the ever important role of governance, these subjects come together in everything we do and carve the way that actions progress.

Caroline from DOC presented a wonderful demonstration about eco-systems and bio diversity. She used a stack of weetbix, arranged a little like a game of jenga would be. Each weetbix represented an individual element of an eco-system and when these were affected, each of the other elements felt their effect, or disturbance. This was a fantastic way to demonstrate to young people the connectedness of everything to each other.

DOC are really getting behind OFS this year. Rude “The Bugman” Kleinpaste has made an amazing short movie with them about the big picture, a view upon the world from a bugs eye view, you could say. It’s a fantastic way to get you thinking about the connections that exist between everything on the planet.

But anyway, back to the workshop, with a couple of movies watched it was time to start exploring the various realms of sustainability and start formulating ideas about to make a really short film about later on in the afternoon. The OFS crew had an amazing tool, which constituted of a jigsaw with various images all over it and the four strands of sustainability. This got everyone thinking in these dimensions and allowed them to explore what it was about these issues that they felt passionate about.

I’m sure it will come as no surprise that a hot favourite for the day was climate change and the effect it would have upon the so beloved snow sports we enjoy in our region. This was the perfect way to kick off the initial plotting of a short film that we were to make in the afternoon. Bullet points were written, basic ideas were written down and chosen to be a subject.

Most movies fit into a certain type of genre. But what are they? Do we really understand this as a term? After about 15 minutes of engaged conversation everyone was very comfortable with most of  the different types of film genre and could now decide upon which one their short film would fall into.

After a very quick lunch it was time to get back into it. To reach the next level if the process we had to understand a little more about the kind of shots that you use in films. Should we get up close and personal, stand in the middle distance or get way back from the action? The choice of shot is very important in getting your story across in the right way. Thanks to some very handy cardboard frames it wasn’t long before we were exploring what each of the different types of shot would look like. There is nothing better than hands on experimentation in my book.

With all of these new skills now in our toolboxes it was time to actually get going into the film. The brief was to make a really short film, three scenes, storyboarded and scripted as well as some post production in terms of music and graphics. At first I was a little overwhelmed by this prospect. My days of movie making were about 15 or so years ago. Technology has come a very long way since then and now this is all possible in around and hour.

Each team set off to film and put their shorts together. The buzz of excitement around the place was simply inspirational. Various different methods were being used. The phenomenal iPad was most definitely present and it can be used to create the whole things….truly amazing. Others chose to use digital cameras and laptops. Which ever method was chosen it seemed to be fairly straight forward. The excitement turned to frantic action as the end of the session loomed.

As we started to watch these short movies I was just transfixed. Not one of them was the same, there was humour, seriousness, oodles of creativity, and most of all, a room full of inspired and happy young people. Could we possibly ask for any more?

I can’t wait to see the entries to this competition as a result of this workshop. If you’re feeling inspired to make yourself a movie now, then make sure you pop on over to the Outlook for Someday website, check out all the entry requirements and the masses of help that is available to you there. You can contact the crew at any time if you have a question, using either the online forums or by emailing them. The support is there and all that you need to do now is take your dream and make it into a film…….are you still here? I thought you’d be over at another website by now……….