How extensive is the collaboration? Are we all working on 1 film? Are we all sharing the filming responsibilities, but creating individual shorts?
Collaboration can be understood foremost as a tone and culture of our group process. If you’re joining us on this experience, then we trust in your maturity, integrity and honesty. We want and expect you to express your ideas, interests and needs - this includes everything from making logistical choices on the road (i.e. where and when we stop to eat), to the sharp attention that is necessary from each person as we craft our short film together. We will discuss and decide things as a group. We will only wield an authoritative and definitive decision if it seems necessary to carry the momentum, or if our experience has taught us something that would eliminate a potentially laborious and/or dangerous situation.
Thus, whether our film is one 10-minute flowing narrative, that we all craft together, or a series of fairly independent 2-minute shorts juxtaposed together, we will allow this to unfold, as the chemistry of our group evolves.
How do the leaders prepare for these trips?
We read and watch anything and everything about the issues. Our primary goal is to just learn and understand the issue, we are not looking to support a certain agenda or viewpoint. We expect nothing less from each of the participants on the trip. We find people and organizations working on and passionate about the issue, and then visit the area at least twice, prior to bringing our CFTOR crew, in order to identify and solidify our contacts for the trip. We will send all that we have read, and the few pieces we strongly encourage you to read, in your introductory package.
How will you help us prepare, before leaving on the trip?
Once you have signed up for the trip, we will send you a introductory package.
This will include:
(1.) the logistical concerns - packing list, map of areas, rough itinerary, health and safety info
(2.) a few articles and/or chapters to read about the issue, and also a few inspiring u-tube and/ documentaries for you to watch about the issue
(3.) a few questions for you to ponder and answer (in a trip notebook)in order to fuel our initial meeting together
(4.) our guiding principles for how/why we conduct ourselves in an interview, and the philosophical intention of our inquiry and mixed-media shorts.
We will meet as a group before the trip. This will include a crash course in interviewing, filming and editing techniques, and also a conversation about the content and creative ideas for our study.
How can I earn credit?
Most schools allow students to earn credit for extra-curricular projects, as an Independent Study, PLP and/or Community Service. The student must learn the specific requirements and discuss this option at least a month prior to embarking on the trip. We have catalogued the Vermont Standards that you can expect to exercise, and show mastery in. We are quite familiar with this process, and will gladly support the steps to earn the credit.
Is there any free time?
YES. We firmly believe that the creative process hinges on time alone, and is essential for a successful group experience. Also, we will encourage times when we all minimize the chatter, i.e. on a hike, to allow things to settle in and marinate, to quietly unwind, and to be together in a different way.
We trust that we are all eager to challenge ourselves and push beyond our comfort-zones (that’s why we travel!) Just as important, we also trust that each person is aware of their own boundaries and knows when she/he needs to retreat from the group.
What skills can I be expected to learn on this trip?
Aside from the intangible skills that inevitably strengthen while traveling, while being part of a group, and during the creative process, you will undoubtedly exercise, and master, your communication and critical thinking capacities. You will learn how to conduct an engaging interview, how to efficiently and effectively research a topic, and how to prioritize and manage the various steps involved in creating content. You can also be certain that you will become quite familiar with the basic components of creating, shooting and editing a short piece - whether audio and/or video.
How much spending money should I bring on the trip?
We will provide meals, however we will be around many markets if you are inclined to broaden your diet.
We travel through many summer tourist destinations, and will have time exploring various towns and cities, so there will be opportunities to shop. We won't have much room to store larger items, but you might want to purchase something from your trip. Use wise discretion as to how much you should travel with, we are camping after all.
What safety protocols are in place?
We are all First Aid and CPR certified; we also partner with a doctor in VT to be 'on call' for the duration of all of our trips; all leaders are familiar with the nearest emergency clinics at each destination; we have private insurance coverage for each trip.