"The Panic Room" – the online mobile filmmaking workshop

“The Panic Room” is an online filmmaking workshop conducted under lockdown conditions of the Covid-19 crisis, where the students learn basic filmmaking skills using a mobile phone or camera, and simple editing software available online for free. This workshop is facilitated by the School of Arts and Social Sciences for all students enrolled in AMU2146 Digital Screens in Semester 1, 2020. After completing the online workshop, the students will create an individual short film of 3 minutes which engages with the effects of Covid-19 events in their location (lockdowns, panic buying, rumour mongering etc.). The online workshop materials, created by an experienced filmmaker and film industry professional, Mien Ly, will coach the students how to come up with story ideas based on current restrictions, including scripting and storyboarding, shoot with a mobile phone with DIY lights and sound, and edit with Openshot, a free and open source editing software. Consequently, students will have the opportunity to experiment with new digital technologies and create an original short video in a variety of forms and styles (vlog, observational documentary, fiction film, found footage video with commentary etc.).

Workshop Objective: 

  • To learn basic filmmaking skills using phone or camera, and simple editing software that can be accessed online.
  • To pitch an idea in 30 seconds.
  • To create an original individual short film of 3 minutes length.

Workshop trainer

Mien.ly makes films and teaches media related subjects in local colleges. Aside from producing branded video content and directing drama for online platforms, she enjoys creating fictional stories. An alumni of Bifan’s Fantastic Film School 2018, she recently completed a mini web-series Marilah Sayang (Come, My Dear) about Pontianak vigilantes which is free for viewing on Unifi Play app. Her dystopian short film Selam 2.0 (Dive 2.0) won 4 awards at BMW Shorties 2017. She founded the project HerStory Malaysia, a platform for women to share stories of desires and sexuality through short films in 2010. Her short film Kaulah Yang Aku Mahu (You Are the One I Want) was selected for screening at the San Francisco International Women Film Fest in March 2014. Her work has been screened in IAWRT Asian Womens’ Film Festival 2006 and Films of Desire 2007, both of which were held in India, and Asian HotShots Festival 2008 in Berlin. She has also conducted trainings on human rights, gender and sexuality, non-racism and video-making. She previously worked with KOMAS as Programme Coordinator; EngageMedia as South-East Asian Trainer and Coordinator; and Women’s Centre for Change (Penang) as Communication Officer. She obtained an MA in Gender Studies from Sussex University, UK as a recipient of the Chevening Scholarship in 2010. Follow her on  https://www.instagram.com/mien.ly