As part of the documentary, we gave each of the girls cameras hoping to capture the more personal and circumspect moments of their lives. We didn’t realize that at 9 and 10 years old, they really weren’t that interested in videotaping themselves. We decided that somehow, by the end of the filming process, we would provide them with the tools and training to each make their own film — but when they were ready. Out of that decision, the “4 Girls, 4 Videos, 4 Rooms” installation was born.
In the last year of filming the documentary, we met with the girls once a week for 2 semesters. We planned, wrote, shot and edited 4 different films together, one for each girl. These films spanned genres from documentary to animation and examined topical issues such as bullying and political awareness in pre-teens. To showcase these videos we transformed a gallery space into separate bedrooms each representing a different girl. The installation opened to great success at the ProArts gallery in downtown Oakland.