: Bill Megalos
: Iraqi Filmmaking Workshop: Day One London Heathrow
Los Angeles California USA
CreativeCOW.net. All rights reserved.
I'm sitting in Heathrow, where I've started or passed through on so many trips. It's April 30th and I'm possibly halfway through my trip to Baghdad, though I've only taken the first of three flights. Next is Istanbul and after another five hour layover, on to Baghdad.
In Istanbul, I'll meet Mohamed Al-Daradji, http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1865534/?ref_=tt_ov_dr
my Iraqi partner, one of the pre-eminent Iraqi film directors of his generation and the founder of the Iraqi Independent Film Center (IIFC) https://www.facebook.com/pages/Iraqi-Independent-Film-Center/181142511916693?fref=ts
Mohamed has been training young Iraqis for several years and I am not the first filmmaker he has brought to Baghdad to teach. What's different about my trip is that some of the students I'm teaching will be brought to Los Angeles this summer by the US State Department to meet Hollywood industry people and to have another training through UCLA in a program called the International Film Exchange. The program is administered by a New York based NGO, Humpty Dumpty Institute (HDI), http://thehdi.org
. Part of my job will be to prepare those seven students for their US visit, while at the same time helping them develop their scripts for the short films they'll be making this summer.
In October, I will return to Baghdad to watch the cuts of the films and to advise them in their final edits. I will also be teaching another half dozen filmmakers who will not be making the trip this year, but will perhaps come next year. In the nine-day workshop, I plan to concentrate on developing their stories, but will also demonstrate how all the technical and aesthetic choices in filmmaking need to support the story and create a believable world.
Although I have taught many intensive international filmmaking workshops, this one will be different. I've come up with a curriculum, films I want to show, repurposed some Arabic handouts that I created for a workshop in Saudi Arabia, but what we end up doing will be determined by who the students are and what they feel they need.
To read about the entire journey, please visit Bill Megalos' Iraqi Filmmaking Workshop
To read about the NY Times coverage of the journey, please visit http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/07/movies/budding-iraqi-filmmakers-visit-hollywood.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
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