Digital Media: Getting A Self Perception
It’s true that you only get one chance to make a first impression. Unfortunately for young people, if their first impression isn’t a good one then their perception can have a lasting negative impact from that moment onwards.
For a young person, issues regarding first impressions can range from walking past someone in the street to meeting a potential employer. These encounters can result in nothing, but others can be life changing, so it’s vital that young people have an understanding of how their actions and appearances can affect the people around them. Sure, we could preach that it’s the older people who shouldn’t jump to conclusions or to never judge a book by it’s cover, but regardless of blame, it’s important the young people understand how positive perspectives can have positive affects on those around them.
We worked with the SEN (Special Educational Needs) services within Halton Borough Council to develop a program that enabled young people who had been identified as potentially getting involved in antisocial behavioural groups, to help them see themselves from an outsiders perspective.
Creating a Perception
Working along side a professional drama coach, we asked our young participants to build a typical teenage character containing a mixture of attributes (hobbies, habits, likes, dislikes, quirks…) so that they could embody this relatable, yet fictional character (who they named ‘Sam’) instead of putting the participants themselves on the spot.
Recording a Perception
Then using digital video recording equipment and green screen technology, we got the participants to stage various scenarios that Sam might face in his life. This ranged from meeting up with friends, going to school, right up to attending a job interview. Using the green screen technology we were able to transport Sam to any location the young people deemed necessary and record his actions in the given scenario.
Accessing a Perception
Once recorded, we were able to play the footage back to the group and get them to access Sam’s actions in the third person. This enabled them to see how things like his attitude, body language, speech and the general approach to the given situation can affect the way other people saw him.
Improving the Perception
Once they had identified the things that Sam could do better next time, we went back in time to stage the same scenarios again. Using the same video cameras and green screen technology, we re-recorded Sam but got him to focus on the things he could have improved on from the first encounter.
A Different Perception
At this point we now have two recordings, one negative perception and one positive perception, that we can play back to back for the group to compare and contrast. It was at this stage that we asked them who they would rather meet and interact with. This was a very powerful yet relatable experience for the participants that we felt worked really well.
Please accept MakoEducation’s sincerest apologies.
This project was a great success and had a very positive effect on the young people involved. By combining cutting edge digital technology with fun and engaging drama techniques, the participants all left very positive feedback and the resulting footage went on to be premiered at Liverpool’s FACT cinema as part of the nation ‘Photovoices’ tour, which aims to provide young people that chance to speak out via the means of photograph and video.