04 Sep 2013
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Summit gives students a creative voice

By Rebecca Wood

Two Auckland students had the chance to create a digital media message with students from around the world at the recent Adobe Youth Voices Summit.

Held at Santa Clara University in the United States, the Adobe Youth Voices Summit brings together teenagers from more than 20 countries and encourages them to use their digital media skills for social change.

Claudia Moungatonga and Mele Lepa, year 12 and 13 students at Kia Aroha College respectively, were invited to attend the Summit thanks to their involvement in Studio 274, an after school community centre based at the college that provides access to, and tuition in, digital technologies.

As well as completing an in-depth application form, the girls produced a video that examined the values of staff and students at Kia Aroha College, along with those of their mentors at Studio 274 to secure their spot.

Lepa says the Summit itself involved working with a group of students from Taiwan, Canada and San Francisco to produce a digital media message that examined the theme ‘if I lived in a community filled with arts and creativity, what would it look like’?

“Our story is based on a bus journey and the people on the bus do things that aren’t normal on a bus, such as talking to each other. We filmed in black and white and used rotoscoping (hand drawing each frame) to bring each character into colour,” she says.

During the week-long event, students got the chance to tour Adobe’s headquarters, hear from a number of guest speakers and see the results of everyone’s work at the closing showcase.

But both agree on the best part of the Summit. “The best part was meeting kids from around the world,” says Lepa.

Moungatonga agrees. “My favorite part of the trip was meeting new people from around the world that had different stories to bring and share,” she says.

And both Moungatonga and Lepa say attending the Summit has opened their eyes to the possibilities of a career in digital media.

“It has made me think more about media and what I can do with it, there are so many possibilities to explore” says Lepa.

While Moungatonga says the Summit has changed her view on what her future could look like.

“I've always thought that I will go school, work hard to the highest standard I could, graduate and go to Auckland University and work towards being a successful doctor. To be honest I'm still considering the different career pathways I can take after attending this AYV Summit.”

Go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBRJl1yk5B8 to view the video Moungatonga and Lepa helped to produce at the Summit, and see www.studio274.org.nz to find out more about the programmes offered.

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