Last week I was lucky enough to score an interview with Adrian Grenier. OK! magazine recently honored Adrian for his philanthropic work at their annual pre-Oscar party. During the soirée a preview of his film, Teenage Paparazzo was shown. Also presented was a segment on how Adrian is using this film as a tool to reach out to young adults. He teaches them how much power they have by using technology to influence their ideas and actions.
Adrian was so passionate about this cause that it was a pleasure to speak with him and to learn more about it. He explained to me how this whole concept came about. After being photographed by a 13-year-old paparazzi, Adrian saw that this young boy was looking for excitement and entertainment. Through this boy there was a deeper, enriching story to be told. Coming from a place of being a celebrity and playing one on TV, Adrian explained to me that this film was made to explore celebrities in today's culture. Adrian realized that through this young boy he could empower young people to recognize the tools that they have to create ideas and thoughts through technology. His idea was to take this video on tour to colleges along with an art exhibit to spark the minds of these young people to recognize the realm of media that they have access to.
The Teenage Paparazzo Empowerment Tour is the concept of providing educators and students with the unique insights into the world of celebrity and media. By combining the film screening with an art exhibit, guest speakers and interactive media, students will receive an opportunity to engage and realize how much power they have. It will provide an experience for teachers and students to have this important conversation to realize what a powerful tool they have access to.
After speaking with Adrian and meeting with Teenage Paparazzo producer Evan Ferrante I too became very passionate about this cause. I feel that in today's society young people need to become more aware of how technology and communication have such a strong influence on what they have to say. We are not just consumers, but participants. We have to teach kids that they have the same power as any big network. We're not just victims, because now we could create meaning to our thoughts and ideas. Young people need to start to use technology for good purposes as opposed to using it with bad intentions. Cyber bullying has become such a huge problem because children do not understand the capacity of their actions to cause harm.
So far the tour has only hit colleges across the country. Adrian and his team would love to continue this message by visiting high schools with the intention of reaching a younger demographic. I feel that this is imperative because younger kids are using technology more and more now. It is important for media studies to be conducted on younger people in today's culture. There is such a large amount of images and technology that inundate their lives. High school students and younger kids need to learn how their actions can cause huge effects and to recognize how powerfully their use of technology could affect people's lives. I feel that this tour will encourage kids to find their own voice while looking at technology, picture making and art through the eyes of a celebrity we could all look up to, Adrian Grenier.
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