New video for rezlife this week- Sticks and Stones.
This 2 week series for 7th/8th graders is on the things we say, bullying- you know, all those fun middle school issues we all remember so fondly. As I was coming up with a concept for this, I wasn’t having much luck really thinking of anything that would speak to this subject. I usually don’t like to be too literal with my designs, and with this particular subject matter I didn’t want to employ human imagery since it could hit way too close to home for some kids, as well could have the possibility of giving the wrong message altogether. (For example, one could use imagery of some kid picking on another kid, but if you used that, there’s the potential that there is something about the bully that appeals to the viewer, even if it’s unintentional- thus, one can end up sending the wrong message without meaning to do so. The recent bullying-related suicide in the news also led to steering away from a literal approach.)
As such, I decided to tell a little story with some birds, since it’s easier to pack the meaning into the images. I was thinking about how birds always seem to be lined up on telephone wires, and I imagine them talking to each other about flying, eating worms, and all that kind of stuff. I then thought about how it would feel for a bird to have another bird start saying unkind things in such a setting- it would feel awful. Here you thought you were going to have a conversation about bird-things, only to have it turned into something else. The rest of the video kind of fell into place (no pun intended) from there. The hard part was then to pack it into 30 seconds and still have it be a coherent whole.
Since the ultimate goal is to help middle-schoolers understand that their words matter and that we should strive to have our words be meaningful and full of life, I decided to resolve it in a hopeful manner- but instead of some healing from the sky which would be cliched, another bird is an instrument in the healing. I think this is an important theological point (and one could say philosophical as well, getting into secondary causes…) to make, in that we have a part to play in bringing hope and healing to others.
Anyway, that’s just a little insight into the direction of this video.