New series, course from local filmmaker

Jun 15, 2012
Nicolle Littrell

Belfast — Belfast-based filmmaker Nicolle Littrell is the co-producer of a new public education campaign “I am a Midwife,” a web-based video series about midwives and what they do. It was co-created with the Midwives Alliance of North America, a continental “social change” organization inclusive of all midwives.

“I am a Midwife” presents a series of free short theme-based videos about what makes midwifery care a safe, high-quality birth option for women and their families. More than 40 midwives from the United States and Canada describe the care they provide women and their babies in all settings — hospital, home and birth centers. “I am a Midwife” is distributed via social media networks including Youtube, Facebook and Twitter.

Two Maine midwives are featured in the series: Ellie Daniels, CPM with Morningstar Midwifery in Belfast; and Jill Breen, a CPM in St. Albans and president of MANA. Both recently were featured in one of the videos in the series, “Midwives Know Birth Matters.”

The videos can be seen on the “I am a Midwife” Youtube channel. The series launched in May, with videos released throughout June.  A set of new pieces will be released starting in September. For more information about “I am a Midwife” and the Midwives Alliance, visit mana.org/IAAM.

Films about midwives and birth are familiar terrain for Littrell. She is the creator of “At Home in Maine,” a web-based documentary film series about homebirth and midwifery care, and is an adjunct women’s studies faculty member at the University of Maine. Littrell filmed “I am a Midwife” using a Canon DSLR camera. Multi-format HD cameras have become a powerful tool for independent filmmakers.

"The flexibility to document both still and video images, the portability, unobtrusiveness, ease with post-production workflow, as well as affordability make this technology highly appealing to independent filmmakers like myself. And the quality of the HD image is simply stunning,” said Littrell.

This summer, Littrell will be offering a set of low-cost one-week HD filmmaking workshops in Belfast. Students will learn the fundamentals of working with multi-format cameras, including capturing a quality video and still image, sound capture and image monitoring; and will create a short video piece, editing footage on Macs and using iMovie and also learn about compression, exporting and uploading their pieces to video-sharing platforms.

The workshops will be held at Littrell’s residence, The Yellow House in East Belfast, with the editing portion of the class at the University of Maine's Hutchinson Center.  Experience with iMovie is preferred but not required. Session dates are weekdays July 16 through 20 and Aug. 6 through 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., including a lunch break. Each workshop will culminate in a public screening of completed projects.

For more information about the workshop and Littrell’s film projects, contact Littrell at 323-3932 or wminthemoon@gmail.com; or visit womaninthemoonfilms.com.

Courier Publications' A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

The Canon DSLR camera is one of the multi-format HD cameras that have become a powerful tool for independent filmmakers.
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