Dream Weaver Communications originated in 1994 when as a teacher I worked with three students to produce one of the first graphical email systems. At that time, everything was text based. The four of us formed the jointly owned company, Dream Weaver Communications Inc™, when Apple Computer Inc. purchased the rights to two of our software packages: The Virtual Classroom™ and Binary High. Shortly after than Marcromedia Inc., now Adobe Systems Inc., purchased the rights from us to use the name Dreamweaver™ for their web authoring product.
As time went on, we expanded into the field of video production and started the hormonestv series.
All too often these days we read stories about teen bullying, drug abuse and sexual impropriety. We seldom, however, read about teens challenging the negative tags they are pinned with, and trying to help their peers through what can often be the most difficult years in their lives.
HormonesTV began as the result of two off-the-wall ADHD students in a grade 11 broadcasting class; Asif Deen and Paul Thompson. As their instructor, I had to find a way to make them productive. I suggested filming a series of videos that would attempt to help out teenagers with common problems that they faced. They were more than excited about the idea.
Being teens, they wanted to do the first video on sex. After some discussion this was honed down to how to put on a condom. They went out that afternoon and shot it, only to be upset when they showed me the results and I had to inform them that they had put the condom on wrong. Needless to say, after considerable work the first video was reshot and edited and created quite a stir, not only in the school but also in the local media and the regional sexual health centre. You see it wasn't your standard health education video where some adult talked down to teens about what they should and shouldn't do. It seems that approaching these topics from a teen perspective, with the message that you shouldn’t do it, but the assumption that some youth may slip up and need information to try and keep them safe, was a novel idea.
The second video was on Oral Sex at the request of a number of principals who were having problems with rainbow parties. The third video was on Drugs, a topic which seemed appropriate in today's society and the fourth, their most difficult episode, on Homosexuality and Homophobia because we had a very supportive GLBTQ group in the school.
The videos received national exposure on Canada AM and in the National Report on Teen pregnancy and are recommended for all schools in Alberta and British Columbia.
The success of this series resulted in a number of requests for us to tackle making a video that would help closeted LGBTQ youth. The result is the award-winning feature film: "Queer" and educational version of it: "I'm Just Me". Both are dedicated to Jamie Hubley, a young man who took his own life, after continually being bullied in his search for acceptance
Kerry Chalmers BEng, BEd.
CEO Dream Weaver Communications Inc.