The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Unmake the Bully program comes to middle school


March 30, 2017

Mike Feurstein returned to Cathlamet for the second year in a row to give students an introduction to filming and an opportunity to talk about bullying through the Don't Wait to Unmake a Bully. Here he talks with a group of sixth, seventh, and eighth graders about the sixth and final scene they were filming on Friday. Photo by Diana Zimmerman.

New York City filmmaker Mike Feurstein was back in town this week for his Don't Wait to Unmake a Bully program. He met with Wahkiakum High School students last year, and this year, he added John C. Thomas middle school students to his schedule.

A mix of sixth, seventh and eighth grade students from Eric Hansen's classroom were having fun filming their sixth and final scene of what would be their own 90-second anti-bullying video on Friday.

In the final scene, a girl is surprised to find out who has been bullying her online.

According to Hansen, Feurstein met with the students earlier in the week to explain the program, and then brainstorm with them about ideas for their short film on bullying. The students had some time mid-week to consider how they wanted to be involved in the project, whether in front of the camera or behind the scenes. Then they had to explain why they wanted that position to Feurstein, on paper. He was working with several groups at the middle school and the high school, but when he returned a day or two later, he had pulled together a script, which he shared with the students.

Hansen's class spent much of Friday filming the short film, learning about acting, staging, and film production, and getting hands on experience with the equipment. Feurstein had even enlisted one of the students, Kaage Dahl, to act as a documentarian. Dahl was wandering around with a small camera, filming activity and conducting interviews with his fellow students, as they took in the new experience.

The films will be professionally edited by Feurstein's colleagues and be available for viewing later this year.


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