Workshops in motion

From left, Kelly Saxberg, workshop mentor, Brook Towle, assistant workshop leader, and Marcus Agombar, Vox Popular Media Arts Festival intern are involved with workshops in Thunder Bay.

Working in film and multi-media arts is all about collaboration, explained local filmmaker Kelly Saxberg.

“If you’re in an isolated region you need to find like-minded people to work with,” said Saxberg. “In film and multi-media, it is super-collaborative, you can’t make it on your own.”

With that in mind, Saxberg explained there are three workshops being offered through Vox Popular Media Arts Festival in partnership with Flash Frame Film and Video Network designed to encourage “the talent in Thunder Bay.”

The workshops will each last five weeks, giving participants the opportunity to learn about 360-degree Filmmaking, Acting for the Camera, and Introduction to Arduino, an electronics board used to make interactive projects.

“Our idea is we’re going to learn by doing,” said Saxberg, who will be teaching the 360-degree Filmmaking workshop that begins Wednesday from 6 - 9 p.m.

“We’re really excited about this workshop,” said Saxberg, explaining that participants will have the opportunity to learn the equipment, plan and shoot a film, edit it and show it.

Dennis Dubinsky, who Saxberg describes as “the best actor in town,” will be leading the Acting for the Camera workshop which also begins on Wednesday from 6 - 9 p.m.

“He knows a lot about acting in film and what that’s all about,” said Saxberg. “We have such a vibrant theatre group (in town) and filmmakers are always looking for local acting. Shooting a film and acting in a film is completely unlike theatre.”

The workshop is designed to cover the basics of how to audition, and what things to think about when a performance is being filmed.

“Everything is shot out of order, you have lights and the camera and the whole crew and sometimes you’re not talking at all to the person you’re acting in the scene with,” said Saxberg. “And you have to remember all about continuity and those kinds of things, so that’s what his workshop is about.”

Introduction to Arduino began Saturday from 1 - 4 p.m. Led by multi-disciplinary artist and educator Riaz Mehmood, the workshop provides participants with an Arduino kit.

“Arduino makes it very easy for people who don’t have any background in electronics or programming to do some quick prototyping,” said Mehmood. “It is good for getting information from the physical world through sensors, light sensors or sound or motion or touch.”

For example, Mehmood said, a simple use for Arduino would be to attach it to your home lighting so your lights come on when you clap your hands.

Each workshop costs $100 to participate and will be held at the Vox Popular Media Arts Festival headquarters at 310 Park Avenue.

The workshops are being partially funded by the Ontario Arts Council and partnership with the Thunder Bay Multicultural Association is providing the workshop fee for any First Nation or newcomer youth who wishes to participate in any of the workshops.

“Our priority is making all of this accessible,” said Saxberg.

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