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Girl Scouts blast bullying with video

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More than 30 Girl Scouts ages 7 to 17 have come together to take a stand against an epidemic which is sweeping across the United States. Nationwide, the problem of bullying is on the rise and many organizations are coming together to shed light on and combat the issue. The Girl Scouts are front-runners in the fight against bullying and have recently put together a music video titled “I am the Music: A rock Operetta,” geared toward spreading the anti-bullying message while promoting the positivity of Girl Scouts.

The brainchild of Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois and the nationally renowned filmmakers at Comtech Corporation, the video features girls from nearly 20 cities in Northern Illinois, including Woodstock. The music video will air at Girl Scout community events in the fall of 2012 and spring of 2013. There is talk of a spot on national television as well.“I am the Music” cast members pose with producer/director Joe Arco.

“Bullying has become a huge area of concern for girls, and we want to see them develop tools to become better people,” said Ann-Marie Soderstrom, public relations manager of Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois.

Comtech Corporation, a multimedia production firm located in Rockford, has donated much of its time and resources to making the video.

“In our society and culture, it’s difficult to find heroes,” said producer/director Joe Arco. “The Girl Scouts can find individual girls and can give them someone to look up to … this is really a project of the heart.”

Filming wrapped up July 10 at Camp McCormick in Stillman Valley. 

While much of the filming was shot at Boylan Catholic High School in Rockford, many scenes were recorded outdoors. At Camp McCormick, the girls participated in adventurous stunts such as climbing up crates while hooked to a harness and archery scenes in the woods.

Woodstock resident Anna Madura, 11, is one of the montage actresses in the film. A Girl Scout since kindergarten, she auditioned to take part in the video because she was curious to see how filming would be different from performing on stage. She had performed in the Northwood Middle School production  of “Bugsy Malone” last spring.

“I felt really lucky I got in,” she said, noting there were many young ladies who auditioned and didn’t make the cut. “There’s a lot of bullying going on, and I hope this video can at least stop it a little bit.”

Madura’s mother, Angela, said the girls had been very excited during the making of the video, and she looks forward to watching the final masterpiece. Though the project has been fun for all involved,  Anna said some days were tiring.  Shoots averaged 6 to 7 hours in length, and scenes had to be reshot time and again.

“One day there was this scene and we had to do 150 takes,” she said. “[And then later] there were all these bugs, just about every person either swallowed a moth or got one in their eye,” she said, laughing.

Aside from the uncomfortable moments, Madura and her mother agreed there was a lot of fun.  The girls used their creativity skills to make their own horror movie and also spent time making funny faces at the camera crew.

“This goes to show you the Girl Scouts don’t sit around bored … they use their creativity to do something,” said Angela.

“I’ve made a couple of great new friends, and even though they live far away, I hope to keep in touch,” said Anna.

And bringing young women together to form true friendships is one way the Girl Scouts hope to help curb bullying and end the “mean girls” trend in schools.

To learn more about the production, visit iam-themusic.com.