Nextwave Next Week

The Nextwave Youth Film Competition is a program dedicated to encouraging young filmmakers across the globe to create. Next week, as part of the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, the film society will be screening the top 10 films submitted to the competition. The short film subjects range from haunting thrillers, technology, war and art, animation, love, and much much more! 

The 2018 screening event is happening Saturday, April 21st at 2:30pm at St. Anthony Main Theater 4. The event is free to the general public and there will be a panel discussion right after the screenings! 

Come and support young emerging filmmakers on April 21st!  More information can be found here.

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Five Ways to Create an Open Critique Environment

Here at JuiceMedia, we find it important to not just encourage and assist young filmmakers in creating film, but also immerse youth in how to think and talk critically about what they consume!  Throughout the term, at the start or end of the day, youth and interns are encouraged to find a video or film that they have enjoyed and/or created and share it with the group for discussion.  The group then is able to comment on what they liked or didn’t like about the film, pushing to also discuss story related ideas such as symbolism, meaning, and formal elements such as audio or cinematography.  We call this practice “media share”.  Here are a few tips to ensure a critique environment open to growth and development!

1. Establish the meaning of constructive criticism beforehand
As filmmakers, it can be hard to put out work that one has made or feel personally connected to for critique, because it is a vulnerable position for the filmmaker. For this reason, it is important to establish that constructive criticism should be intended to help the film be better, not to direct criticism at the filmmaker personally.  For instance, commenting on the pace of the film is something that could improve the film, while commenting on whether or not you like the filmmaker as a person is not conducive to improving the film.
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2. Ask open ended questions
To keep the discussion open for exchange and conversation, it’s best to ask open ended questions that invite critique participants to think.  Example general questions could include: How did you interpret the story?  What kinds of shots or camera techniques did you notice, and how did those enhance the film?  What improvements could be made?
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3. Encourage the “why”
Though open ended questions are a good way to create an open environment for discussion, to further the depth of the critique, ask the question “why”, particularly if a response is a claim without an explanation. For instance, if a facilitator asks “What did you think about the film?” and a participants responds, “I liked it”, then you can ask why, and their response could lead to deeper analysis.  Although the “why” question can have the potential to expand the conversation, the way it is presented is very important, too.  If not presented as a genuinely open question, it can come off as a challenging or intimidating question.  Additionally, if a participant responds “I don’t know”, it’s ok to try to ask the question in a better way, or move on, as it’s easy to shut someone down if they feel pushed.
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4. In a bigger group, split it up into smaller discussion groups
In large groups, it can be difficult or intimidating for participants to speak up in the discussion.  A strategy to combat this is to split the bigger group up into smaller groups to digest the question first.  This means that everyone gets a chance to share thoughts with each other.  Also leave time for having each small group report back to the large group one thing that they discussed.
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5. In smaller groups, change the spacial structure
Within smaller groups it’s easier for participants to speak up, but changing the spacial structure can really affect the conversation dynamic. Instead of the person sharing being at the front of the room standing and presenting the questions to a sat group, change up the hierarchy and have everyone, including the facilitator, sitting in a circle talking. Little changes like this open the conversation up to everyone because everyone is at the same level, even if there is one person ultimately guiding the critique’s conversation.
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Let us know if you’ve led critiques before and have any additional tips for open and productive sessions!

— Leah, intern

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Workshops, Scripts, Productions & MY Reel 2018 Highlights

It is the end of week six at JuiceMedia!  Lots of things have been happening at our space and also in the greater youth media community.  Let’s catch up!

Students pitched their ideas for their short films, leading to more planning and writing.  We also recently had a screenwriting workshop led by intern Max, and a creative lighting workshop led by intern Sharon.

As they finalize their stories, students are all working hard on their productions.


Photo courtesy of Walker projectionist, Justin Ayd.

On March 1st, we were part of the TCYMN MY Reel screening hosted at the Walker Art Center.  The night highlighted the diverse and talented group of young filmmakers from around the Twin Cities who submitted their amazing work to a group of youth curators.  Several of our youth received awards, including current JuiceMedia crew member, Anna, who won for Best Animation!

William (left) really enjoyed watching everyone’s films.  
Metamorphosis was his favorite.  He also appreciated walking around the Walker beforehand and taking in their exhibits.

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Also before the screening, students and mentors had a chance to participate in various media-making activities led by the youth planning committee.  Everyone involved shared their imagination and there were a lot of laughs.  Some helped make stop motion animation clips, while others had the opportunity to hang out and let loose in front of the giant green screen–the background changed depending on what other participants collaged.  And I can’t forget to mention the Pizza Luce pizza.

It was a successful and fun night had by all.

Meanwhile, back at JuiceMedia, the excitement builds around our own films as the combination of talent and creativity come together in anticipation of the final screening in May.

Scripting, filming and editing are all underway.  It is very exciting!


–Sharon, intern

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JuiceMedia Spring 2018 Launches

It’s February, and JuiceMedia just wrapped its second week!  This spring 2018 semester launched with the students jumping in on production right away with a scavenger hunt. Students split into teams and filmed around the building, searching for and composing all different types of shots.  The rest of the first week was spent coalescing footage into a short video.

You can check out some of these videos on our Vimeo channel.


This week we had a couple demos that introduced lighting equipment, audio recording, and the HMC camera. As an intern, it’s been really fun to work with the students so far. Watching them put together edits was quite the experience, and the level of work they produced, with many of them being first time filmmakers, was really astounding. I’m very excited to see how they grow through the semester and the awesome work they make.

— Sam, intern


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10 Reasons Why You Should Join JuiceMedia

We shouldn’t have to persuade you to join the JuiceMedia crew but if you’re still wondering why to join, here are 10 answers:

1.) It’s a nice time to decompress after school while doing what you love.
15 more minutes until Geometry is over and JuiceMedia begins!

2.) You can always count on tasty snacks to get you through the evening.
Hummus and fruit and chips, oh my!

3.) We’re always arguing about movies.
In a productive way, of course…

4.) Everyone is always willing to help each other create.
Collaboration is key!

5.) There’s so much to learn.
Want to learn editing? Sound design? Motion graphics? Scriptwriting? We got you.

6.) The instructor and interns are the best.
They love what they do and they do it well.

7.) The students make the best films and the critiques are important!
Animated, comedy, drama, action–-there’s always something exciting.

8.) There’s access to all of the professional equipment!
Whatever you want to create, we have what you need to get the job done.

9.) You make tons of connections, which lead to more opportunities!
Guest speaker day today? Horrah!

10.) You learn a very important lesson: planning!
Storyboards, scripts, shot lists galore!

So, why wouldn’t you join the coolest team in the world?  If you are interested in being part of the JuiceMedia crew, please complete our online application.

— Elena, intern

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Fall 2017 Final Screening

In December of 2017, JuiceMedia students presented their short films made over the course of our fall term to an audience of friends, family and community members in our Vandalia Tower space!

These talented youth tackled subjects from comedy to thriller to documentary and all demonstrated a unique voice and understanding of the wonderful medium.

We’d like to thank the students for all their hard work and effort through the season, and all their supportive family and friends for attending the screening.

blogpostfinalWe hope to see you all in the Spring!

To view the terrific work by our youth, click here.

— Maxwell, intern

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FALLing Into Place

Hear from more folks involved in this fall’s fantastic crew!


“Hi, my name is Ethan Dulaney! This is my 3rd or 4th term at JuiceMedia. I finished my first project a few weeks ago using only 5 frames, and am now scripting another project right now. I also got the opportunity through JuiceMedia to do a promo video for another company’s website.  Right now, I’m learning about cinematography and lighting techniques.”



“Hi there my name is Steven Yearby and this is my first year at juicemedia. Im working on my first project right now and learned about lighting, green screening, editing and more.”


“Hi I’m Nicholas Nicome this is my first term with JuiceMedia. I am currently working on my first film project at JuiceMedia! I’m excited to learn about how to shoot an interview, lighting, and audio. k thx bai”

“Hello, My name is Nuredin Dahir, this is my first year of JuiceMedia and I really like it. I finish my first project. Now am working on my second project which is documentary. I’m 12 grade and am student at Wellstone.”


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JuiceMedia Fall 2017 Has Started!!!!

Today you will hear from four current JuiceMedia students detailing their progress on projects and other endeavors:

“Hi, my name is Henry Ricker! This is my second term with JuiceMedia, and already things are going smoothly. I finished my first project a few weeks ago, in which I was assigned to make a film using only five frames. I’ve also relearned camera operation and lighting, and am currently working on a larger film project.”

“HI, my name is EhKuDu! This is my first term with JuiceMedia. It is fun to be apart of JuiceMedia. I have finished my first project and now I’m working on another. I have met new people, been working together and also helping each other. I have learned how to set up lighting and learned more about Premiere Pro CC.”


“Hi, my name is Paj Ntsha Vang. This is my first time being involved with JuiceMedia, and the experience is great. I never really thought about filmmaking until now, and I’m learning new things that come along with it, which is nice. Making a film together with a group feels really accomplishing, and getting feedback from others opens new ideas. I’m currently working on a film project that I’m still trying to figure out with the help of others. I hope to continue learning new things from JuiceMedia, and also making more films.”


“Hey, I’m Savina Sisneros. I’m a senior, and this is my fifth term at JuiceMedia. Filmmaking is always what I’ve wanted to do, and now that I’ve started, I love it. I currently have waaayyy too many project ideas, and hopefully you will all get to see some of them shortly. You can see what I’ve made already at A Good Reason Film Production on Youtube.”

We’re excited to keep producing (but really juicing) our films!

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Spring 2017 Final Screening

Earlier this May, JuiceMedia students celebrated their efforts with a final screening at our Vandalia space.  Audience members were treated to a blend of thoughtful short films, talented animations, and heartwarming documentary pieces.  View the final films on our Vimeo channel.

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IMG_7685 cropped.JPG— Photos by Raj

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JuiceMedia Guests

Over the course of the 2017 spring session, JuiceMedia students have had the opportunity to meet some successful and very talented folks from the Twin Cities’ independent filmmaking world.  Our guests included Dawn Mikkelson, Alisha Mueller, Jesse Roesler, Xiaolu Wang, Melody Gilbert and Michael Forstein.  Having filmmakers like this come in and share their work is awesome because it shows how expansive the field of filmmaking really is.  Below is a little snippet about each talented filmmaker.

green green water.jpgDawn Mikkelson
Mikkelson has completed four award-winning independent feature documentaries, The Red Tail, Green Green Water, THIS obedience, and Treading Water: a documentary, which illuminate larger societal issues while creating understanding through the intimate stories of individuals. When she visited juiceMedia, she talked about crowd-sourcing, grants, and other ways one can kick start their independent film project.

Alicia Mueller and Michael Forstein
Alisha and Michael came together on the same day. Alisha was a script supervisor, which necessitated some clarification. On a film set, Alisha will follow the script and make sure that the scene is set up exactly the same way it was left from a previous take (water bottle is upright, pillow is flat on the couch, etc). Moreover, she makes sure that shooting happens in a way that makes it easier for the editor.

Michael is an independent filmmaker. He has filmed everything from thriller to comedy. He gave the juiceMedia folks some insight about how a narrative film is constructed and how to distribute it for screening.

Jesse Roesler
As an Emmy and James Beard award winning filmmaker, Jesse has become very successful in the Twin Cities film scene. His film Starfish Throwers is a critically acclaimed documentary and has screened in several places globally. Seven years ago, he started Bolster/Credo, a creative brand management and non-fiction cinema production company that has clients all over the world.


Xiaolu Wang
Xiaolu is a filmmaker from the Twin Cities who came in to show a powerful piece about her name. The film was a very poetic piece that paired images with her own narration about her name and how the film was an attempt to reject her American name and reclaim her original name.  She was also looking for potential interns who wanted to Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 5.24.06 PM.pngexpand their video portfolio and help her with an interactive art exhibit.  Now partnered with JuiceMedia alumni Melissa, Xiaolu is currently documenting local artist Marcus Young’s collaborative dance project, Don’t You Feel It Too?.

Melody Gilbert
melodygilber.jpegMelody is an established documentary filmmaker in the Twin Cities who is known for her small crew, run-and-gun style filmmaking. She produced Jesse Roesler’s Starfish Throwers, and has directed The Summer Help, Steps in the Fire, and A Life Without Pain. She teaches workshops at IFP and came in to talk to students about the multidimensional process of beginning a documentary film. Most students were surprised when they found out how complex the formation of even a simple documentary can be.

— Markus

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