We were approached by Celeste Pedri, a graduate student in Inter-cultural Communications at Royal Roads University, to help her use film as a part of her Master’s dissertation. Celeste is examining the role of the drum in traditional Anishinabek teachings and regularly works with a group of drummers that spans the generations. She turned to video because she really couldn’t figure out “how to study song on paper” and she required our help not only because she was a full participant in her research (and needed to be in front of the camera) but also because she wanted the technical quality required by outlets that would help her research go public. Not only is she producing research, she wanted to create a lasting gift to her people that can be watched and used to learn from for generations.
That said, because this was research, the challenge for Thunderstone was to capture every word and every song on the first take during the six-hour gathering. Thanks to our great crew and some new technology we were able to document absolutely everything. Now comes the process of working with Celeste to edit the work.
Here are some production stills of the shoot which took place at the Learning Cafe in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Photos by Michelle Derosier.