Anyone passing through Celimontano on the morning of the 30th November would have encountered a strange sight indeed. A group of students sitting in pairs, legs stretched out in front of them, the soles of their feet touching, trying, more often than not in vain, to touch each others’ hands and, in case you thought that this could pass for a typical Saturday morning scene, each girl was hissing audibly. While this had the potential to give a rather alarming first impression, it was just one of a series of warm-up activities for our weekend JUMP on team-working!
Over the course of these two days we were thrilled to welcome the enigmatic pair, Sergio and Giacomo, who kept us engaged and entertained with a variety of theatrical exercises and extensive technical knowledge. The activities proved a welcome opportunity for us to hone our team-work and also learn new skills by means of a movie-making project.
Alongside various physical exercises, which involved not only stretching and hissing, which served to exercise our diaphragms, but also moving and interacting within the space, we also dedicated a portion of the morning to bettering our communication, an essential part of any successful team. The most challenging of these tasks was, without a doubt, a challenge to be undertaken in pairs, where the aim was for each partner to speak and listen simultaneously. Chaos ensued after our first attempt – it seemed an impossible task! However, with a bit of perseverance, we started to get the knack of it, as Sergio added new hurdles each time. The messages got shorter and more emotionally laden, then they became bizarre and full of unusual vocabulary: the winner here was undoubtedly sternocleidomastoideo!
Sufficiently enthusiastic at this point, our next step was to learn more about the project at hand. This involved breaking down Clooney’s smooth and seductive Nespresso advert to work out what, other than Clooney’s enduring charm, helped make it such an effective clip. Wide shots, medium shots, close-ups: these technical tips were to help us create our own mini movies. Then it was over to us! Brainstorming sessions began in two groups where we threw ideas into the mix with the help of mind maps and coloured pens. Throughout this process we definitely discovered the need for the simultaneous speaking and listening exercises that had characterized the beginning of the day, as we all began to chatter at once.
Both groups, when searching for a concept, landed inevitably on themes that were common to all – the dark side of social media addiction and the benefits of the community provided by the RUI residence – both key themes in our lives as young students at Celimontano and Porta Nevia. Storyboards and slogans came next, as we concretised our initial ideas. Use or be used? was perhaps the most catchy among them, regarding the abusive use of smart phones.
Sunday involved the actual filming and editing process, bringing out the young actresses among us. The first video told the story of the exhausted student slogging over her books and the miserable girl sobbing in her room who, with a little help from their friends and the college atmosphere, depicted through the recurring allegory of the RUI water bottle, overcome their struggles. The second video also played on this community theme, but with a sharp dichotomy between the girls who wholeheartedly took part in and benefitted from it and the social media addict who lived life on the edge of the group.
Our videos provided food for thought regarding the importance of a close-knit support group and how social media has the potential to estrange, but these were really just the tip of the iceberg, the result of an intense weekend of team-building and bonding that had allowed for their creation.