RECAP: INTERPRETATIONS – a Communication Workshop

During Wednesday of this year’s TAF, the tafLabs program was asked to run a workshop for the JH and Youth programs. Obviously, with tafLabs’ collective interest in the arts and media, we wanted to incorporate those topics into our session. However, we’ve already spoken at length about the importance of media along with other subtopics like Asian American representation, etc. We wanted to do something a little more unique and interactive, and thankfully, the film contest Interpretations was the perfect workshop content!

The premise of the contest is this — each filmmaker uses the exact same script, in the exact same order. There are only four lines, and they are:

– It’s not something I’d do.
– Well?
– It’s not what I expected.
– You sure?

Each of the Family Groups at TAF came up with their own ideas, some funny, some serious, all incredibly creative. They showed a wide range of interpretation, which is an important part of Communication (ding ding ding!). We sometimes overlook or forget that just expressing ourselves is not enough for good communication. You have to try to do it in a way so that others can receive your message, and vice versa. The point is, good communication is a two-way street and the sending of the message is just as important as the decoding or interpretation of a message.

In the end, tafLabs chose one story idea to film at TAF. Based on the storyline as well as the feasibility of filming it within the time constraints of TAF’s programming (we’re fast because we have to be, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make it easier on ourselves!), we chose the Bacon Family Group’s entry. We filmed the story immediately after our session as a follow-up workshop, which gave the campers a chance to be actors IN media, and to see a side of communication from a different perspective than they might be used to.

And now, we happily present to you the finished piece!


Now, we also mentioned that we had to choose which story to film partly based on our abilities to film within the constraints of TAF and Manchester College facilities, which means we could not have shot all the stories at TAF even if we had the time. Thankfully, Youth camper Ryan Yang was encouraged to take his story idea and film it in Chicago after TAF ended — and boy, are we sure glad we did. Ryan’s Interpretations submission is a moving piece dedicated to his friend Will Kelley, and others like him, who have battled cancer.


Eternal Piece, A Dedication from Kinema Group on Vimeo.

If you have a moment, you can check out other film entries with the Interpretations Film Viewer, and please sign up and leave some love for Out of Order and for Eternal Piece!

Two other notable pieces to check out:
Karen Lin’s “Little Blue Angel” and Jason Lee’s “Strangers in a Park,” which may have content unsuitable for those under the age of 13 — Parental Discretion advised.

Congrats to all the filmmakers and storytellers out there, and we’re proud to see all the creativity connected to TAF and our Taiwanese American community 🙂

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