World Bridger Media: Sustainable Media
Sample World Bridger Media Projects

Truth 'bout Smoking:

View this student-made video during the Truth 'bout Smoking project.

The goal of this project was to train a small group of teens to develop a video promoting tobacco prevention and cessation that would be shown in high school health classes. Instigated by the Wellness Coordinator for the Santa Fe Public Schools, the project spanned a month during the summer of 2002, and was hosted by Warehouse 21. The project involved four teens (two males, two females) from Santa Fe and Española.

Students were instructed in the principles of media literacy and basic digital video production skills. They also learned about "culture jamming," which is a method of using the language of harmful media to create new, positive media, such as "anti-ads." Students scripted a network TV parody called TBS: Truth 'bout Smoking. It composed three main segments hosted by tow street-level "newscasters." The first segment was a ten minute narrative, "EI: A Tale of Greed, Cool and Chemicals," about two mad scientists who design a dangerous product that alters a person's "coolness." The segment, done as a "dark comedy," depicts the creation, testing and marketing of "EI" (short for Ending of Individuality) and ends with a teen faced with the choice of whether or not she will consume the product, even though she knows it could harm her. The second segment consisted of section from an informational video by a medical doctor on the effects of tobacco on the body and its addictive nature. The last segment comprised of "man on the street" interviews concerning various topics related to smoking.

The final product is a 25-minute video with a lesson plan that was distributed to all 9th grade health classes in Santa Fe Public School. Knowing that the main audience would be ages 12-13, the teens created the video with an eye towards appealing to a sense of humor and rebellion. They incorporated a sense of play more common in youth culture and spoke directly to their peers through writing, acting and producing the educational video. The net result was that students in health classes responded more favorably to the message because they were not "talked down to" or bored with technical information.

Teen Media Conference:

View this short student-made documentary of the 2002 Teen Media Conference.

Every year the Taos Talking Pictures Film Festival, was held annually in April, simultaneously hosts a media education component, Media Forum. As part of the Media Forum, every year there has also been a Teen Media Conference (TMC) which brings together over a hundred youth from the region and nationally. Under the direction of Antonio Lopez, the 2002 TMC shifted its focus from conventional media literacy(students sitting in a room viewing films and listening to experts talk), to production. In addition to media literacy, the four-day conference incorporated a documentary production element, animation, film manipulation, screenwriting, copyright law, PSAs, screenings and youth media showcases. The goal was to create a creative and vital space for youth media producers to interact and share work, but also to provide mentorship and an inspirational showcase of alternative media.

The TMC was designed for both beginner and advanced media producers and also provided workshops for non-media producers interested in democracy, theory and media literacy. The tracts were designed to assist and instruct kids working in different levels of media: The Fiction Track (designed for media producers working in fictional storytelling, with a focus on film and video); Document This! (for mediamakers interested in creating and critiquing non-fiction work.), and Media Active (geared toward the more activist-minded mediamakers, featuring techniques for creation and distribution of do-it-yourself, grassroots media).

The balance of theory and practice was evident in the short documentary that was made by three film crews who went through a "boot Camp" digital video production course. Compared to other youth media intensives, the TMC combined the synergy of the Film Festival and its attending filmmakers, and the participating youth. It was a vital, energetic space in which young people networked and learned essential production and theory skills.

Get*Wiser:

View this short student-made documentary about the Get*Wiser project.

Working in partnerships with Warehouse 21, this summer-long project in 2001 was the result of a $40,000 grant from the County of Santa Fe to train eight teens who would teach underage drinking prevention through media literacy and design marketing materials, including print ads, video PSAs, a documentary, T-shirts and stickers.

A fourteen-minute video was one of the final products produced by the media literacy crew. It contains four segments: "Descansos" (PSA), "Chemical Lobotomy" (PSA), "Get*Wiser: Behind the Scene of a Youth Campaign," and "Addiction Pushers: Media and Consumerism." A four-page study guide was created so that third parties could use the video as a teaching tool. The video was broadcast on television (including during Late Night with David Letterman and The Simpsons) and was used as the central piece for public presentations.

Presentations were organized to be flexible, to be adjusted according to time and age appropriateness. In general, the media literacy crew was prepared to present anywhere from 40 minutes to 2 hours. The goal was to mix factual information with hands-on activities. Students took turns leading discussions and giving presentations.

A major part of the project's work was devoted to creating marketing materials around the theme, "Get*Wiser: alcohol is a brain eater." The logo resembles Budweiser, reflecting the impact of media on our beliefs concerning alcohol. A number of materials were created with the project's logo: Hand stamps, T-shirts, stickers, anti-ad fliers, posters, print ads, videos, and an anti-ad mural on display at a local shopping mall.

Medios y Remedios, Spanish Language Media Literacy and Health CD-ROM:

Produced by the New Mexico Media Literacy Project, this CD-ROM compiled Spanish language media clips and lesson plans focusing on health issues and prevention (you can get a free copy at this link). Released in August 2002, the CD-ROM is the first of its kind and is distributed to Spanish speaking teachers in New Mexico and nationally. As a content provider, Lopez had an opportunity to select media that had more culturally specific messages for Latino audiences, who deal with similar social problems as mainstream society, but are also facing challenges that are not necessarily addressed by other media literacy materials. Presentations related to culturally specific medial literacy issues as they relate to Latinos are available.


Ecoversity Courses:

As adjunct Professor at the unique ecologically based university, Ecoversity, Lopez designed courses and materials related to media and its impact on environmental abuse. Other topics include identity mapping and the ecological imagination. These courses, as well, are unique in their approach to understanding consciousness as a kind of ecosystem.

Broad Issues, a Youth-Magazine:

Published by Warehouse 21 Teen Center in Santa Fe. In the Broad Issues project students learned the history of do-it-yourself publishing and about the machinations of print media production. They study the production process and editorial structure of magazines and journalism techniques. From beginning to end, a magazine is created with a focus on youth issues, entirely produced by youth. Past issues included interviews with the Governor of New Mexico on his drug policies, teen artist profiles and youth artist portfolios. Consultations and trainings packages for designing similar projects are available.

Youth Employment Project at San Ildefonso Pueblo:

During this summer-long intensive in 2002, 25 youth at the Pueblo of San Ildefonso in Northern New Mexico engaged in scientific surveys of the biological species in their tribal lands. While the majority of students engaged in a number of scientific activities, a small crew was trained in digital video production and produced and a short documentary. This project was part vocational, part educational, part documentation effort for the tribe to assess the biological diversity of its lands. The project culminated with the crew flying to Washington DC to present to Federal officials and to the New Mexico State Senator Pete Domenici.

Digital Video Production Intensive at Boys and Girls Club of Santa Fe:

This two week intensive course introduced the concepts of visual literacy with digital video production. Students spent the first couple of days studying the art of moving image storytelling, viewing various mainstream and obscure examples of narrative, documentary and experimental video. Students then were immersed into the writing process, developing a short autobiographical script. Next students learned how to work with video equipment and editing software. Production schedules were drawn up and planned, and video crews were formed to complete their projects. Consultations and trainings packages for designing similar projects are available.