February 03, 2020

Internship Production: ‘Zavia’ (Perspective) Short Dramas

A child follows his father through a busy marketplace, holding his father’s hand but letting his imagination wander over the bright colours and wonderful smells. Suddenly the boy’s gaze is caught by a wallet on the rough ground, dropped unknowingly by a passer-by. Swiftly and silently the child bends down, scoops it up and slides it into his pocket…

So begins an episode of the new PAK7 social media video series: Perspective. As the episode continues the father confronts his son and explains why it’s important to return the wallet to its owner, telling a clear story of the importance of integrity and honesty.

“We named this series Zavia, which means perspective” explains PAK7 intern, Cyrus, “because we really hope that it will help people to see things from a different point of view, that they’ll change their minds and see things our way.”

Cyrus worked alongside his brother Elijah on Perspectives. I asked him how they had both come to be PAK7 interns – “We saw the advertisement for the Video Star competition at our church and sent in videos we’d made on our phones” Cyrus says, “it was great that we both got into the Media School, before I did this I thought I would apply for an art degree, but now I know I want to study media!” After the media school both brothers decided to stay on as part of the PAK7 internship programme to learn more and to gain valuable experience in the industry.

The stories they’ve produced together are carefully told so that they will appeal to a wide audience. They carry themes of integrity, honesty, kindness and hope and are designed to be especially engaging for a younger audience. “We want to communicate to young people that it matters how you live” says Cyrus.

It’s not just the brothers and fellow interns Muquarab and Amoos who were involved in this project. Cyrus tells me how they and the rest of the team worked creatively with their small budget, roping in friends, neighbours and family to star in the episodes they made alongside professional actors. ‘In the episode called conscience the girl who plays the maid is the friend of one of the other interns” he smiles, “and her employer is played by a friend of our mother, a lady from our home church!”

Cyrus is hoping to become a professional art director, but values the breadth of experience which he has received on the PAK7 media school and as an intern. “I have produced one of the shows in this series, and worked on cameras, audio and post-production too, but I still think I’m best at being the art director- thinking about lighting, sets, costume and make-up, and what feel the piece will have overall.”

What’s next for Perspectives? Later in the year these four stories will be used as part of a Facebook campaign aimed at reaching young people from a wide range of faith-backgrounds – we’re excited to see the impact that they have.