WMM Smartphone Studio Inspires Chicago

As part of our eARTh Project series, we have highlighted the impact of purposeful video literacy. Demographics that lacked the resources and opportunities to learn about content creation, were gifted with an education in how to effectively and efficiently tell stories, bringing them one step closer to being marketable in the work force at large. What they didn't count on though, was the education in real life skills, that can only be learned experientially.  

Twenty five teens in Chicago convened for the Untold Stories project, where they honed in on critical life skills, such as time management, scheduling, and the basic structure of writing. Adaptability became a central focus point, as they navigated circumstances and had to learn to "mold the interview to fit the script, or mold the script to fit the interview," as one student eloquently put it. They learned that sometimes the most important question is "what stories do we want to tell?" and...

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WMM Smartphone Studio Inspires St. Louis

We Make Movies teamed up with Apple Distinguished Educator, Don Goble, who then partnered with the St. Louis Cardinals and Mercy Hospital to bring the St. Louis Summer Stories program to a dozen rising seniors with little to no journalism or video production experience. The free, two week, immersive mobile journalism, video storytelling program focused around social and community development, and the teens were invited to learn how to operate the various donated Apple and OWC  gear to tell the stories of their communities. However, the equipment, software, and education they received was only part of the equation. The teens could not have asked for a more heightened experience, as they witnessed history in the making against the backdrop of the BLM movement and a global health crisis. 
 
With the world already adapting to a virtual way of life due to the pandemic, the skills of communication, problem solving, and media literacy have never been more...
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We Make Movies and eARTh Project Chicago Summer Stories Inspires Next Generation of Storytellers

Following the success of the eARTh Project in Compton, CA, We Make Movies partnered up with Apple and the Kerry Wood Foundation to bring the program to Chicago, IL. The third installment of the Summer Stories was helmed by Steve Douglass, an Apple Distinguished Educator. Twelve students from various socio-economic backgrounds and neighborhoods of both suburban and inner city Chicago, came together to get a crash course in how to make a movie with iPhones.
 
Without the fuss of navigating complex gear, the kids learned to tell their stories with the portable, lightweight, and easy to use filmmaking tools totaling less than $300. The program instead, "emphasised iteration, practical knowledge, critical thinking, and collaboration," an intentional design of Sam Mestman, CEO of WMM and LumaForge. His hope is that the next generation of storytellers will walk away with "situational awareness, presence, resilience, communication skills, and adaptability to new...
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We Make Movies' Brightest Philanthropic Venture To Date

The year 2020 may be recalled as one catastrophic dumpster fire after another, but there have been moments that positively punctuated this year as well. Some of these moments were created (and captured) by a few of our own forward-thinking filmmakers, Sam Mestman, Aubrey Mozino, Steven LaMorte (and a whole host of other affiliates), alongside Andrew Stein of The Orphaned Starfish Foundation. Our team pulled off several major technological feats, including organizing the first-ever virtual gala which accumulated $900,000 in charitable donations to be mobilized towards supporting over 15,000 orphans, victims of abuse, survivors of trafficking, indigenous communities, refugees, and at-risk youth around the world.
 
Please, let that sink in. In the midst of one of the most economically, physically, and psychologically trying times in modern history, We Make Movies helmed the production and broadcasting of a gala, complete with illustrious guests and speakers such as Jennifer Lopez...
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Video Literacy Through The Smartphone Studio

Community has always been the cornerstone of We Make Movies. What began as a small group of empowered filmmakers gathering to read one another's scripts, materialized into many films being made, followed by several incarnations of the group until the community reached global status. We boast an impressive roster of projects, host weekly events that cater to every stage of the filmmaking process, and provide educational support and practical services to filmmakers of all ilks looking to make what they want to see. Yes, we do that... but not without our community.

Through our innovative Smartphone Studio system, we have leveled the playing field for storytellers to tell their stories, while expanding our community. Filmmaking is no longer solely in the hands of the studios, and wealth does not dictate access to or success in the industry. We live in the age of the democratization of video production, and the gadget that nearly everyone has in their pocket, has...

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POV: Indie Filmmaker To Emmy Nominee Rachel Mason

 

In the spirit of the We Make Movies International Film Festival (which wrapped up a whirlwind virtual feat this past September 16-20), and all things indie, we sat down with the illustrious and fabulously eccentric Rachel Mason. A consummate artist, with sculpture, video and live performance exhibitions in esteemed museums around the country, an accomplished musician with 13 albums, and a filmmaker with three very different films, Mason never fails to surprise her audience. Her work often reimagines historical events and figures through an imaginative and cheeky lens, imploring the viewer to reflect on the essence of culture, perception, power dynamics, and what humanity has given credence to.  

WMMINTL: You directed and produced the critically acclaimed CIRCUS OF BOOKS, a film about your parents' iconic gay porn store during a time of intolerance against the gay community. Do you consider your parents to be rebels, revolutionaries, or simple pioneers? Do you...

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