Community Video Project--Maria Juliana Byck

 I welcome questions, feedback and ideas, as well as any suggestions you might have as to resources, organizations, or people, that might be helpful in developing this project.

I propose creating a video production project that is collaboration with the young people of Matera. Although this is mainly an outreach initiative, it will also be designed as a means to interface between the citizens of Matera and Unmonastery.

IDEA. Using film production as a tool for working collaboratively, creating community, and sharing stories we will address themes and ideas that connect the citizens of Matera to their place, its history and future possibilities. The students will be able to choose their own topic and approach. We will begin by learning about the Unmonastery and the identified areas of in need of development such as sustainability and intergenerational spaces. The students will research how local traditional practices have addressed these needs in the past. This approach will acknowledge the expertise and skills developed over generations while exploring how new technology and social innovation can improve or compliment traditional practices. This project will provide a way for young people to interact with elders in the village to learn more about local customs. The films we produce will reflect the character, ideals and dreams of Matera, and explore ways to incorporate the unique qualities of the town and its people into a series of short films that can be used locally to spark conversations and distributed internationally to connect Matera citizens to a larger global community.

OUTCOME. The outcome of this project will be a series of short videos that express the creativity and uniqueness of the young people in Matera. At the end the students will have basic video production skills and ability to continue producing videos. The aesthetic and form of the pieces will evolve from the subject matter and might include animation, live action fictional narrative, documentary interviews or experimental approaches. The final videos will be appropriate for Internet and film festival distribution.

Sounds interesting

Video is definitely one of the most powerful media for outreach, and video production is a skill many young people could use to promote their own initiatives.

This also adds to the other thread I’ve seen on working with students of Matera, you might wanna couple your project and build an even stronger offer to universities and high schools. [Rita O] I believe is already on this. Maybe [giuseppecik] could also help recommend students’ initiatives or spread the word on this?

Maria, have you done something similar in the past? Showing us some of your work would also be interesting, and a good teaser :slight_smile:

I would love to collaborate!

Thanks for the feedback.

I would love to collaborate with other projects to create strong partnerships with local university and high schools.

I have worked on several community based video projects, in San Francisco, NY, Vietnam and Greece, some of which I will show at a screening in Matera to inspire students. I am looking to get some youth videos from Plural+ with Italian subtitles from RAI Educazione.

Here is a link to the project worked on with high school students in Greece last summer SIFFY

and to the pieces we made with University studetns in Vietnam:


great examples of storytelling

thanks for these videos, they are quite inspirational. Can’t imagine what wild thoughts Materani have to share :)

examples i found interesting

Not sure if this helps, but I came across this short movie of a teen navigating the web for hours, in between facebook chats and skype calls. The whole movie is a recording of his screen, and is meant to tell the story of the Internet generation and our/their fascination with it. It’ a different optic, but i thought it was powerful storytelling.

Another idea i loved was tackling lack of confidence among young teenagers through reinterpretation of a pop cultural habits like the “selfie”:

Something like this might also work in different problematics, especially intergenerational ones. Anyway, just wanted to share these with you :slight_smile:

Thank you!

Yes, sharing ideas and good video projects helps! These are wonderful examples. Its is alway great to see different techniques and approaches.

I look forward to screening and discussing many films as a way to inspire and tap into creative engery. Examples and thoughts on possible topics to address are always welcome.

Perhaps a weekly movie night would be a great way to bring people together.


another example

Hello Maria, :slight_smile: and Noemi!

This project seems realy interesting, looking forward to hear more about it has it happens!

Today I saw this: link - some “mini doc’s” made in South America, reminded me of this thread you´re having here. ;- ) 

So much to say!

the more I read your projects, the more I feel we are so very lucky to have you all in our community! There is so much to say on video production in Matera, also because the city has been filmed by so many filmmakers from Pasolini to Mel Gibson. However, what makes radical change is your approach: this is not about transforming Matera into Jerusalem and dressing people up for the great movie: this is about working with the local community, enabling them and sharing stories with them. First thing that comes into my mind is the Cinema Ambulante experience: the guys from Cinefabrica used to travel around Basilicata with a truck, arrive in a place, film all day, then produce a short documentary overnight and screen it the next ay in the local piazza with all the people from the village. After that they would screen movies from the cinema industry: mobility is an important way we have to overcome problems such as living in remote areas, access to cultural products, isolation.

I saw some of their videos are translated: here (Senise) here (La Martella)

Can’t wait to know more about your project and, when possible, give a hand with contacts and places!

Would you be up for making a short video of yourself, explaining your project, ecc?

Here is the plan

[mariabyck] if you want to join the Community Call tomorrow, please feel free!

Video Resources in Matera

Hi, would be good to know what video resources are available in Matera. people, places, equipment. I’m looking to create a new type of “open studio” there. Low tech, but doing new and innovative stuff. part school, part discussion space, part live studio. Video expertise would be a core part - all though we would have an emphasis on live rather than simply post-production.

Also would be looking to see what online reseources would eb available to support this in terms of advice, mentoring, teaching, research, and editing?


This is a great idea. I will not be in Matera until March 5th but would like to start discussing the resources locally as well as online support in terms of advice, mentoring, teaching, research, and editing that would benefit the project soon.

Perhaps we can have a google hangout in the next week to devise a good approach.

I am curious what you mean by “emphasis on live rather than simply post-production.”


Live Dojo

Yes - the emphasis would be on “live radio and TV”. Something like Hangout-on-Air - crossed with live streaming. This does not exclude more conventional video production, as live shows require pre-produced content, and often post production, but stil the emphasis is on live.

There are a few reasons for this, not only does live work make it more exciting and immediate, but it also works well with the vision of creating a local festival in Matera that we proposed as part of the UnMonastery Radio project. This involves live accoustic performances in cafes around the town, streamed live to a network of local (and international) venues. I’d like to extend this with alos creating a live streaming video station based at the UnMonastery (or perhaps elsewhere in Matera).

We want to be using this studio for a range of uses - to invite a local audience in for discussions, as well as inviting an international audience in via Hangouts - and projecting these into the studio space where a live audience can participate. I’ll be bringing the mixing sofstware and some hardware to do this to Matera in March.

Finally we want to use the studio as a base for the Viral Academy to teach media and coding skills - this course is based around live streaming of the content utilising Hangouts-on-Air and participants can be online or in the space. This school or Dojo would be part live TV studio, part open autonomous learning space.

Live Dojo Equipment

What we really need for this are:

  1. Good quality USB based HD webcams
  2. USB extension cables
  3. A modern computer with Thunderbolt porst able to cope with multiple USB camera inputs (expensive)
  4. Lights
  5. Green screen (paint or material)
  6. A set - physical objects, views, models, virtual sets (3D models)

I’ll be able to bring:

  1. A 4 year old MacBook Pro
  2. WireCast mixing software
  3. A logitech HD webcam
  4. Sound mixer and mics
  5. Could bring cables and assorted Linux based laptops - but these are heavy for plane



Some live TV projects that I really like are waffleshop and some of the early paper tiger television work explained in Paper Tiger Reads Paper Tiger Television  especially for their use of green screen, live music and handmade DIY aesthetic.

I have an Logitch C910 HD pro webcam and can bring if we need it.

unMonastery Studio

Here is an example of a video that we recorded earlier using the unMonastery Live Studio that I set up at the unMonastery a few weeks back. The problems with internet connection at the unMonastery made it difficult to use for live broadcast, and @mariabyck’s project changed to emphasise individual portraits so the studio proved not very useful as a means to engage local people in video production and training.

However this example is interesting in terms of how the Live Studio can be used for documenting internal work and passing on learning:

What is useful about this technique is that the documentation process takes zero time, and the process of documentation becomes fun. Both are important. All the time it actually takes is spent on passing on the knowledge to someone (in this case @K). K would have had to sit down with Cristiano and go through the spread sheet in any case.


Hi @mariabyck, the opensourcecinema site closed down in 2010 after the release of RIP: A Remix Manifesto. The film was the site’s only raison d’être. The site was an online platform for downloading, mixing and uploading media. More here. Mozilla now has a platform for doing something similar called Popcorn Maker. Maybe you could do a MOOC/DocuSprint to complete the mission Sans Frontiers

RIP: A Remix Manifesto: Brazil from Tive on Vimeo.

I think the concept of opensourcecinema is a good one, if there could be access to all footage anyone has made of Matera, unMon, etc., and put out a call for footage from locals as well there could be an opensource documentary in this whole thing. Think THEMROC meets “We Live in Public”.

You could also premier the film at the Open Culture Festival in Matera.

opensource unDocumentary

Nice idea Jeff.

I think this is an idea that @nicobis has been working on with the unDocumentary. I would be happy to work on this together.

opensource unDocumentary

Nice idea Jeff.

I think this is an idea that @nicobis has been working on with the unDocumentary. I would be happy to work on this together.