OMG! Cameras Everywhere! Music Video Summer Camp

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What happens when established music video directors and producers team up with 12 kids for a free, weeklong summer camp about making music videos? Check out their "trailer" to find out ...

In just a week, the team created six music videos for bands including Correatown, Bryan John Appleby, and 3OH!3. What seems crazy, but actually isn't that surprising, is that the videos are awesome -- embracing low budgets and traditional kid stuff, like glitter and sidewalk chalk, for music videos that feel visually dynamic, spontaneous, and fresh. 

The Atlantic: What was the genesis of OMG Everywhere?

OMG! Everywhere!: OMG! Everywhere! started as OMG! Cameras Everywhere!, when a few of us music video directors and producers thought it would be great to share that experience with the next generation. The name comes from the idea that there are really creative tools (cameras, in this case) everywhere these days. And what is really important is a sense of curiosity and creativity. We set out to organize a week long series of workshops that would provide kids with a unique opportunity to experiment creatively, develop artistically, and learn new skills. We had the idea that for the kids, through the lens of the camera, they'd be able to expand their view of the world and begin to see the universe as a place subject to their own imaginations. We didn't realize how much they would show us that too.

So after the success of the pilot program,  we decided to keep going. We missed our kids, and we want to collaborate with others. So we took a look at our schedules and got the crew back together (by this point, we had a TON of people on board) and decided to plant our feet and move forward, forming a non profit. As OMG! Everywhere!, we hope to establish our program as a platform for kids to collaborate with adult creatives, and vice versa. In doing so, we'll all learn to develop creativity and confidence, regardless of the artistic medium, and we'll all get to just be kids for a while.

How did you find these unbelievably hip kids?

Once we had the idea, we started to just get the word out. Luckily, we partnered with several established 501(c)(3) organizations to recruit students and spread the word even further.  We were fighting against a decreased accessibility of art programs to local youth. Also, we really wanted to work with children from a variety of different backgrounds. So we offered our programs at no cost to ANY of the kids or their families. We ended up finding an amazingly varied group of kids, and were grateful to have gotten enough funding to provide transportation for the students that needed it. This is why our pilot program was able to include low-income students from the Rampart community of Los Angeles as well as students from Sherman Oaks and Silverlake. All over LA!


The music video for Correatown's "Play," created at OMG! Cameras Everywhere! Watch it in HD here.

How did you choose bands and songs to create videos for? 

Well, we kind of chose the bands, but really, thankfully, they all chose us. Just as much as we were getting the word out about the program to potential students, we were telling everyone we know what was going to happen. As music video directors, through the grapevine, word spread to a variety of bands who got back to us wanting to be a part of it. And so Correatown, Bryan John Appleby, Judson McKinney, and 3OH!3 were just some of the groups that reached out about wanting to be a part of it. Each of the artists were amazing, and really open to collaborating with the kids, and we were lucky to have musicians that were both locally based and from out of town -- each with their own unique aesthetic. 

What were the logistics of packing so much creativity into one week?

In short -- just GO for it. The kids had cameras in their hands before we were even done learning each others' names! Like we said, the basic idea for OMG is to foster a process of collaboration between kids and working artists (in this case, directors), and so we would constantly form groups with each project, and those groups would just start creating. The idea was that in this way, with the directors and kids being on equal creative footing (instead of a top-down teaching environment), there would be a tremendous freedom to try new things, and be unique, and just learn through DOING. We were able to give the students the resources to write, direct, produce and act in all of the videos with and along side working professionals who were not only donating their time, but doing their part to be just as creative.

How did you fund it?

Funds for the workshops were raised through Kickstarter, a crowd-sourcing tool that supplies creative projects with a platform to raise and collect financial support. We reached our initial funding goal within only a few days! There was so much community support for the idea. It was amazing.

We want OMG to always exist at no cost to any the students and through volunteered time and resources from the artists and instructors as well. So outside funding will always be essential. That’s why, for future programs, OMG! Everywhere! will continue to rely primarily on the financial support of the general public, in addition to grants from the government, private foundations, and other nonprofit organizations.

What's next for OMG! Everywhere!?

We are trying to extend the program beyond Los Angeles, to other cities, and beyond only music videos. We see OMG as a model that is more universal in arts education and collaboration. Hence the adoption of the name OMG! Everywhere! instead of the medium-specific OMG! Cameras Everywhere! that our workshop was dubbed. 

Currently we are planning our programs for next summer and the diversification of our organization into a more sustainable format. In the near future, we hope to partner with other 501(c)(3) organizations to host a series of weekly workshops so that we may continue our programs throughout the school year. We also aim to build our inventory (i.e. cameras, hard drives, and other necessary gear) so that we can give students more opportunities to experiment and explore.

OMG! Everywhere! was created by Isaac Ravishankara, Jack Richardson, DANIELS, Dugan O'Neal, Ben Fee, Benjamin Kutsko, Alistair Legrand, Hiro Murai, Eli Stonberg, Ariana Natale, Alex Pelly, Matt Amato, Larkin Seiple, Spencer Ockwell, David Altobelli, Raul B. Fernandez, David Myrick, Danielle Hinde, Brooke Kennedy, Judy Craig, and THE MASSES. The kids who participated in summer 2011 are  Olimpia Aguillon, Enrique Baranda, Frogman (Jorge Baranda), Romy Flores, Erick Gredonia, Hana Hayes, Michelle Hernandez, Yasmine Kaner, Azul Niño, Jenny Ruiz, Captain Awesome (Ary Saravia), and Lynette Urbina.

For more information on OMG Everywhere, visit http://www.omgeverywhere.org/.

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Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.
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