Moving Frames by Sarah

Our member Sarah Okamura loves stop motion videos so much she conducted not only a workshop series but also a competition for other Vivistop Orchard members! She planned everything down to prototyping and manufacturing medal designs

Meet Sarah!

When Sarah joined Vivita in 2019, we remember her as someone soft-spoken and polite, with a natural curiosity and enthusiasm for trying new things. Never one to just stick to her comfort zone, she was always game to approach a new tool or technique and explore its possibilities!

Although Sarah enjoyed doing many activities around Vivistop, we could tell that her interest strongly leaned in to stop-motion animation. For Vivistop Orchard’s 1st birthday, she took the initiative to film and edit a special video to show her appreciation, something that really touched us!

After witnessing a few other members run their own workshops and competitions, Sarah was inspired and became interested in organizing her own, so she approached our Crew with that idea in mind. We believe in providing a nurturing environment where children’s ideas are supported, in turn giving them the confidence to lead their own activities and share knowledge with others. As such, we immediately jumped at the chance to help her plan a workshop and competition for her peers.

Putting Heart and Thought into this Workshop!​

Together with our Crew members, Puspita, Sau Fen and Therese, Sarah got the basic blueprint of her workshop out, along with a list of what needed to be done. As it was her first time organizing such an event, she was really excited but also rather overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks to cover. Fortunately, our crew was on hand to help Sarah further develop her ideas by leading in with probing questions that allowed Sarah to think a little deeper into how she wanted to curate her sessions and, innately, find her own pace and direction in her planning process. At the same time, the crew worked alongside Sarah to compile a scheduled to-do list so that Sarah could take ownership of her own time and make sure she stayed on track in an organized manner. From there, things definitely progressed more neatly!

Sarah handling the presentation like a champ!

Since English isn’t her first language, Sarah was understandably nervous about having to present in front of her peers, but it was admirable how she did her best to overcome her worries, preparing a script and rehearsing it diligently before the big day. We could tell that working on something she was passionate about really drove her to conquer these concerns and spurred her on. That’s why we love member-initiated projects so much—because they’re doing what they love, and there’s really no better motivator than that! Sarah’s hard work definitely paid off when her presentation went without a hitch, surprising all of us with her wonderful hosting skills that served as clear evidence of her diligent practice.

As with many things in life, the workshop itself did hit several snags, such as when the participants completed their videos way ahead of the initial schedule, or when Sarah accidentally forgot to upload the participants’ videos into the drive and couldn’t project it on the big screen as planned. Something to highlight about these moments is that Sarah learnt that while things won’t always go as planned, it’s also important not to see these bumps in the road as something bad, but instead to take it in her stride and to learn to work around them. Beyond a successful campaign, we too feel that it is important to acknowledge and celebrate the little failures too. It makes everything more fun and colourful anyway, and Sarah definitely was a champ in this area!

Brainstorming badge ideas
The designed and printed badges

Something that really struck us was the thoughtfulness embedded in Sarah’s plans from the very start, when she proposed to include every participant in brainstorming what creative awards they wanted. She didn’t just stop there, but also went on to design these customized medals and worked with Puspita and her friends to print them out, persevering even when the laser cutters or 3D printers occasionally misbehaved, and her lanyards wouldn’t attach to the medals. We knew how busy she already was from planning the workshop, so seeing her enthusiastically dedicating so much extra time and effort to make these awards was really heartening. In the end, everyone enjoyed the journey of creating their own stop-motion animation videos and getting to take home their unique medals painstakingly crafted by Sarah, making this workshop definitely one to remember!

The Growth that Follows Perseverance and Experience

Having followed Sarah through the journey of planning and executing this whole workshop, Sau Fen and Puspita both attest to her growth in confidence and maturity, noting that she has since become more independent when working on her other activities. The experience of learning to be more organized and innovative really does show in the way she approaches new projects and follows through with them.

Participants in the Zone
Sarah demonstrating for the participants

Not only that, while she used to be more on the shy side, she has since also taken the initiative to step up more often and assist others, be it with the members’ projects or when it comes to communicating and interpreting for new Japanese friends. Sarah is really a bright and helpful presence around Vivistop, and we couldn’t be more grateful for her!

With the help of the Crew and environment at Vivita, we’ve witnessed how Sarah’s spark of inspiration and interest in stop-motion animation has bloomed into a wonderful opportunity for growth, not just for herself but for everyone else involved in her workshop as well. We’re sure that Sarah will also now serve as an inspiration for many others who are keen on planning and hosting their own workshops. When asked if she has any advice for these members, she offered, “Do lots of planning, don’t be nervous, and speak clearly!”

Here are the winners of the competition!

Aniq: The Most Creative
Erena: The Best Climax
Egan: The Most Surprising Ending
Shiori: The Funniest
Hayato: The Most Entertaining
Damien: The Most Interesting
Travis: The Most Entertaining
Keiji: The Best Effect