"can you see me on screen?"
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32 children from various after-school care facilities in Leiden attend the Smallsteps vlog workshop this summer. The young vloggers are 8 to 11 years old. “It takes some getting used to, really,” location manager Andy explains. “They are suddenly holding a camera and have to work together with other children that they don’t really know yet. But as you can see: they love it.” Today is part two of the course: action in the Museum Volkenkunde.

Smallsteps vlog workshop

Media-savvy

On Wednesday the workshop began with a difficult theory class. “Some kids thought they would become instantly famous. Of course, that’s not how it works. Still, they already know quite a lot. For example, about accidents in challenges or how to deal with haters. It’s great that they can talk about this so openly together. “Afterwards, they learned why it is important to have a plan, to think about scenes and how a storyboard works. There was a little time to practise with the camera.

Time for real action

This morning they take the motorised cargo bike or a regular bike to the Museum Volkenkunde. Some of the children are enthusiastic, while others look a bit nervous. The children spread out in groups over the museum, camera and empty storyboard in hand. Fleur, Jules, Juuls and Nora are loudly wondering what they should vlog about. “We could go to China?” “Yea, awesome.”

At first, the girls are a little overwhelmed by the giant golden statue, the terracotta teapots, the Chinese script and music, but they soon discover the many screens containing explanations and games. “Look at those shoes. And here, they used to wear this during fights. Back then.” Nora does not really concern herself with the plan. She films the entire ‘journey’ through China.

“This is fail, guys, bloopers!”

In the meantime, educator Erik is discovering Japan. “This is just too much fun. There are games everywhere. I can see why they would forget about the assignment sometimes.”

Xander, Sis, Kate and Kyan are conferring. “Alright, the boys should be behind the camera. Over there, with the robots and transformers. And then we’ll do the intro first. Like ‘hi everybody’ and our names and where we are.” “Yea, and then we’ll film you while you’re fighting on the computer.” “And at the plushies, too. They’re so soft. I’d love to sleep on them.” “We’ll see what happens after that.” “I have an idea for another great shot, too. At the Buddha, and then we’ll sit like that too!” They agree, complete their storyboard and run back to Japan.

Teamwork

Noor, Daan, Kristianne and Juliano lost their storyboard. “Enzo Knol films it in one take too, right?” And they actually all want to be in front of the camera. “We could put down the camera here and all stand in front of this god, right?” “Can you see me on screen?” “We should put something under it, so it’s higher.” “Is it set to recording?” “Three, two, one, go!” And then they all have a loud fit of laughter for over a minute. “Does anyone know how we can delete videos?” “This is fail, guys, bloopers.” “Yea, people want to see this.” “Come on, we’ll go to the next shot.” 14) The educators observe their comings and goings. They will let the children do their thing and correct when necessary. Andy: “Some want to get started immediately, another looks doubtful and wants to think about it first, a third prefers to do everything themselves. Of course, today they don’t just learn to vlog, they also learn to cooperate.”