Sunday, August 16, 2009

Twee Riviere Media School

The School under the Syringa Tree
Michelle has been on an exciting adventure and journey with 6 of the young people from the village.

It all started with a vision to make a series of DVD's on "Sustainable Living". We were inspired by the Grobler family who live on a small holding near us, who are an amazing testimony on how a family of 9 can live off the land and support themselves. With virtually no financial income, they live a happy and fulfilled life filled with praise and worship, songs and music, wonderful food and the most precious fellowship possible.

Phil Cunningham of Sunrise Productions, kindly lent us a old but trusty JVC DV camera and a tripod. Without lights, boom mike, video monitor or any other accessories - we were going to make a video series, script, shoot, and edit (on open source sofware on Linux computers!)

However as we discussed and planned the shoot, we realised that we needed a crew.
So Michelle decided to get 6 of the homeschool children (including 2 who had just finished school) and she would offer to teach them all about media. And so the school under the tree came into existence!

Twice a week the students meet at our house, and receive about 5 hours of instruction, interspersed with workshops, video viewings etc. They have had instruction on introduction to film making, workshoping a concept, technique, scriptwriting, storyboarding, production. And will still do camera, lighting, and post production (as we try to acquire the equipment we need to complete the course!

We found a wonderful resource in the village - the local NG pastor has a passion for film, and has a large library of classic and art movies, as well as an extensive collection of Rob Bell videos which have been very helpful in showing technique and creative approaches to filming.

The students are excited and keen - and are discovering talents they did not know they had! We have talented story board artists, musicians, writers etc.

Our first episode will be all about milk - and the entire process of keeping a cow, milking a cow, making butter and cheese etc will be filmed and will culminate in a festive meal in the garden with milk tarts, cheeses, homemade breads and butter etc. (In fact every episode will end in a feast! Just what hungry film crew need!)

The Begging Bowl!
If anyone has or knows of anyone who has old or redundant video equipment - we are desperately looking for a video monitor, some lights, a boom mike and redundant computers we can convert into Linux machines (if they do not have legal operating systems) - we need machines to edit on. (as for tape drives...that would be a bonus). We even need discarded DV tapes which we are prepared to re-use for training.
We would welcome extended loans, delayed purchases or donations - but we are desperate for gear!

Our long term goal is to formalise the course and hopefully in about 12-18 months we trust that we will have a formal organised media school offering video and computer training in a village atmosphere. Watch this space!!!!


  1. Yay, yay blog is so cool. thanks for taking the time to write up and share what is happening - makes you feel so much closer! miss you guys!
    love teresa

  2. Dearest Alex, Michelle, Jethro & Georgia (and dogs!)you guys are so welcome and your land is waiting for you... we look so forward to you all being here! Love from us in the Kouga