Saturday, 28 February 2015

The turning point in workshops

It's often the same in workshops - everyone starts off a little unclear what's going on, whether it will all work out, and often a little lost about how anything will be achieved...and that's just the people organising it.  Even when you know that things will change, all sorts of feelings come up and it's important to return to the basics - trust emergence, every group contains skills and ideas and just needs to find how to express them,...a film will be born at some point.

In the mean time, The key in my experience is giving breathing room.  I think it's a mistake to rush in too fast and try and solve whether everyone has a common vision for how things will work out.  The joy of workshops is that you can respond to things as they come up, and in doing start to build the kind of trust out of which participation becomes possible. Mixing up different experiences, stopping one strand of work to build up another and then returning to consolidate and combine things - it really works, especially if you can keep up an honest conversation with participants which recognises some of the things they would like to say or feel that it's legitimate to feel.

So we've worked hard for three days now.  A lot of that work has been playing and learning, and Rick and I were up front that it would be confusing at times.  The pay-off comes at least three times - first during the feedback on particular sessions, secondly when ideas start to coalesce and a rich script emerges, and finally when I can relax and let a group simply get on with it because I'd be in the way.  Sitting back in the shade is always richly rewarding, because it mean things are going well and a film is on it's way.

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