Skins Machinima Workshop – Native Youth Program (NYP)

Skins Machinima Workshop – Native Youth Program (NYP)

  • Location: Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver, BC
  • Date: August 8th – 12th, 2016
  • Duration: 4.5 days
  • Instructors: Skawennati, Darian Jacobs, Erica Perreault

Overview: The Initiative for Indigenous Futures, in partnership with Contemporary Art Gallery, held a Skins Machinima Workshop for the 2016 Native Youth Program (NYP) in August. Skawennati and Research Assistants Erica Perreault and Darian Jacobs traveled to Vancouver to teach and aid six Indigenous youth to create their own machinima depicting stories from their cultures.

Tho’wxeya. 2016.

by Dusty Carpenter, Calvin Charlie-Dawson, Jennifer Pahl

The Madam. 2016.

by Latisha Wadhams, Karoleena Medina, Calvin Charlie-Dawson

She:kon! It has been a warm week here in Montreal as the leaves change for fall.

The NYP is a work-study program run in the summer to provide cultural knowledge and work experience for six urban Aboriginal youth (ages 15-16) enrolled in secondary school.

Everyone met for the first time at the University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology on Monday August 8, 2016. After a shared lunch the youth gave a tour of the museum, showing art pieces that they had chosen and held meaning to each of them. The tour offered a good look into the interests and personalities of each person.

Skawennati introduced IIF and Skins and explained the main goals for the week. The day ended with some homework as the youth were asked to bring in stories to get started with on day 1 of the workshop.

The rest of the week was a flurry of activity at Emily Carr University of Art + Design as the machinima were created. The youth decided to split into two teams to work, each focusing on a traditional story that had been brought in. One, called Th’owxeya, is a story about a monster who steals children; the other, called The Madam (pronounced “moddem”), told how a boy named Kumalagalis gained super powers. Often, a highlight of the learning phase is when people are shown how to customize their avatars and this workshop was no exception as beauties and monsters alike were created.

Participants were taught the basics of using Second Life, then made storyboards, jumped into pre-production, production and finally one team even made it to editing their machinima. The Native Youth Program inserted a pleasant addition to our usual daily agenda with a morning circle before the start of each day. The purpose of the circle was to share how the previous evening went, how each person was feeling and their hopes and expectations for the day.

The youth showed their enthusiasm and dedication as they chose to stay past the end time to try and wrap filming and editing for their machinima. The Kumalagalis machinima was completed and shown and the Th’owxeya team finished their filming.

It was a non-stop week and everyone’s hard work paid off. You can watch the finished machinima above!