Andres, originally from Colombia, and is currently a student of BA (hons) media production   of Bournemouth University. He has been working at Archipelagos for 3 months and will stay in the organisation for 4 months. During his internship, he has been working on an emotion-led film, presenting the Aegean Marine Life Sanctuary that is currently under construction on Lipsi Island. He is promoting the work of the Sanctuary working with the medium of film to securing potential funding for this ambitious project. He is aiming to use narrative and storytelling to create a far-reaching positive impact.
He is crafting a story about the sanctuary as a “vision story”, “Human beings are highly emotional and so many of our choices are based on emotional connections first, even if we don’t like to admit it. This is why as filmmakers we need to aim to connect emotionally with our audience if we want them to care and hear our message.”

During his studies at Bournemouth University Andres has learnt to make powerful videos, using compelling plots to engage audiences. “There are a lot of studies on human psychology and biology that back all this up, which is fascinating from a film perspective. For instance, when we see a character-driven film, be that fiction or factual, our brains produce oxytocin which is a hormone that relates to empathy. The more you release this hormone, which means the more connected you feel to a character-driven film, the more likely you are to help others and be more empathetic afterwards.”

Andres has learnt technical skills, such us working with cameras, editing videos and managing the audio. The crucial skill that has been the most useful to him is understanding the craft of storytelling, which relates to exposition, themes, arc, developing and building a narrative frame amongst other important elements.

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Andres describes his typical day at work. “I’m currently working on the pre-production stage. I’m making pre-interviews, concept and story development and character briefs. After the completion of the project, I will help other teams with their projects – for example going on bird surveys to observe flamingos’ behaviours, beach clean ups, shore support which include assist people that go on surveys and check if everything is fine. It is a way of clearing up my mind so I can go back and work again on my own project.”

He really likes the fact that interns have to be independent.
Archipelagos’ supervisors trust interns with their work, therefore they give them freedom when creating a project. He also likes the sense of being part of a community and of an organisation at different levels, both for work and living, as well as feel responsible for everyone around him. “People must be minimalistic here and have to learn to be happy with simple things, because we are on an island. We don’t have the same comforts that we used to have but we have a community, we support each other and it’s the most important thing, I think.”

“What I keep in mind is that I am improving my skills, specially my communication skills. Things like talking to directors, being involved in meetings and having my proposals approved. I know now how to deliver and coordinate a meeting and have my voice heard… Archipelagos is definitely a way to gain more experience!”