Reactions to filming Stories of Us at Irving…
When we were first talking about Chris, I was picturing someone really professional, maybe too much so. I was really excited about being able to do this, but I wasn’t at all sure what the director would be like that actually made me a bit nervous. Anyway, my expectations at first were someone really, really professional who would just move right though. I was wondering if we would be moving through the process too fast.

On Monday, when we got to class, my first impression of Chris was that he was more laid back than I thought he would be. He seemed really open to our ideas and willing to work with us to make something.

I like that Chris asks for ideas to make the film because adults don’t always let kids help with things. That can be really annoying, especially when they help us with things we’re doing more than we want them to. When they’re too helpful, I suppose. It’s also nice that we’re not getting a script that’s set in stone. I’m looking forward to being able to react to what we want to, or rather, how we want to.

Another thing I like about this project is that hopefully, it won’t be like the movies on bullying that we watch now. Those often seem really acted out, and sort of fake. They’re usually pretty uncomfortable to watch. I think that acting the way we would in real life will make it more valuable to people who watch it.

I’m hoping to contribute something that makes the movie more real to people. As I mentioned earlier, our current movies on bullying aren’t very realistic, which makes it hard to focus on the advice in the film.

Bullying is…

  1. insecurity                     5.  differences
  2. hurtful                         6.  unique
  3. powerful
  4. low self-esteem

You’re not as alone as you think you are.

I’m usually not too nervous before auditions, because I figure I’ll do my best and I’ll either get the part or not. I thought we did pretty well. I really liked this auditioning process because you basically just acted the way you would normally. The camera made it a bit more stressful, but it wasn’t too bad. It was also nice that we didn’t just play one part, we switched around some. I liked not having to do auditions in front of a big group, because then I get more nervous about what people will think about me then how I’m acting.  

Bullying experiences
I remember…
When I was shoved against the wall by my classmate and told my religion was less important than theirs.
Being cut in line.
Being snickered at after a speech.
My best friend getting laughed at for crying by a bunch of jerks.
Being teased for being quiet.
Guilt after yelling at someone.
Wishing I hadn’t yelled.
Teasing my .
Nasty comments from the other team.
Not being good enough.

When I was in 6th grade, I got bullied by a girl and her friends in gym. At first I tried to ignore it, but that didn't really help. I felt kind of powerless, and didn't know what to do. Finally, my friend convinced me to go to the teacher, which helped a lot.

Reactions to the filming process…
I think the project has gone pretty well so far, although the girl’s group got off track a lot during meetings. As far as I can tell, everything is on schedule, which is good.

For filming, I’m expecting to be sort of bored some of the time, as I’m not on screen for all of the film. Also, I’m expecting seeing the camera to be a big deal to people in the hallway, because I know I’d get excited if I saw it in between classes. Hopefully it’s not going to attract too much attention after a while, because it is rather embarrassing to have people staring at you in the hallway.

This film's impact on you...
Overall, this movie has been a really really great experience for me. I think I've changed a lot because of the film. We all worked really hard on it, and I hope that will make a difference to the kids who watch the movie.

This film's potential impact on others...
I think that after kids have seen this film, they'll change in a lot of ways as far as bullying is concerned. It will make them realize that bullying happens to a lot of people, not just them and they are not alone. I think it will also give them ideas on how to cope with bullies, like talking to a friend or teacher.

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