Who needs comic-book superheroes when you've got the Artists for Humanity team on your side? Reflecting upon the highly publicized cases of suicides by teens who had suffered from harassment in 2010— particularly those of Phoebe Prince and Tyler Clementi— the young artists in Artists for Humanity's video program created the short film "Ice Blue Dragon."
Supported by the Adobe Youth Voices Program, which promotes the use of creative technology to engage and empower youth, the AFH video team sought to address the issue of bullying in schools from a more personal perspective. The artists realized that sometimes there may not be simple, clear-cut solutions to bullying. So, instead they opted for a storyline that was relatable, down-to-earth, and laden with the multi- faceted complications that color our everyday realities. The short film draws inspiration from director Edgar Wright's Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, based on the Scott Pilgrim graphic novel series. "Ice Blue Dragon" aims to empower teens so that they may fight their own real-life super-villains. The take-away message, as presented by the Ice Blue Dragon (an impressive result of hard work in Adobe After Effects) who emerges from a deck of playing cards: "If you feel you've been bullied, there are a number of things you can do... Keep confrontation to a minimum, stand your ground, alert the authorities, have a friend walk with you to class or home, but most of all... you must remember to stay cool, like me."
Completed in June 2011, "Ice Blue Dragon" features the original script of AFH's very own budding screenwriter Alice Tran, who will be attending Emerson College this coming fall. Co-directed by Tran and Kim Soun Ty, the short film showcases the acting talents of Reginald Pinckney, Curtiss Carter, Elizabeth (Izzy) Bianchi, Candy Weah, Athena Ellis, Patricia Pimentel, Gabrielius Laucys, and Monroe Remy. Amy Zahlaway and Connor Higgins made audio and sound contributions, and AFH mentor Jason Talbot oversaw the entire creative process.
After "Ice Blue Dragon," the AFH video team collaborated with the Boston Public Health Commission on a second short film titled "The Power of Words Can Kill" that continued to focus on additional issues surrounding bullying. Next, the team is embarking on yet another short film project inspired by the thriller Super 8, which they screened in theaters as a group this summer.
All of us at Artists for Humanity cannot wait to see what the video team comes up with next!
[Submitted by Angelina Zhou, AFH Summer Intern]