Its been a while but we finally completed our first project. In only three days!
Our first project of grade 9 was called, Running a Remake. For this project our driving question was, How might we learn video skills by recreating a short film? As you can probably tell by now we were recreating a video, RUN. Its a short video, around a minute long we had to replicate to the best of our ability. This meant creating costumes, finding a proper setting, and timing our shots to match those of the original video. This may not sound that difficult, but for a group of five teenagers it was going to be a little harder.
Everyone was put in groups of four or five, my group consisted of, Nate, Randy, Jordan, and Jakub. We all haven’t worked in a group in a long time, so at first we all were trying to do things more on our own. Thankfully working together came back easily, and we were able to all contribute to things and work together nicely. None of us had a lot of experience making a film, but some more than others, which really helped in the end. The end product was going to be a recreation of this video,
Before we even started we had to learn some very basic skills, and we did that by creating an introduction video on ourself. When we were first sent out to create our video, we were givin little instruction other than, to include an introduction about yourself, and a hobby you enjoy doing. I honestly had no idea what to do. I wanted to be able to add footage of what I liked doing but I didn’t have anything like that on my iPad. I was told to be creative, but I was stuck right away, I wasn’t able to use equipment from the gym which could have improved my video. I was on a time limit and I needed to get started, so I started recording. I chose to film with a mural behind me as a nice background. My first video was definitely first draft quality, it had no story, only videos of me talking, and could have been more engaging. In my second draft I tried my best to include these.
Watching my introduction after creating a short film, I think I already learned useful skills. If I were able to recreate my intro I think would be able to bring more into it and make a better version. My video needed more of a mood, I could have created this with the use of different shots or even just different angles.
After we had created a video on our own, it was time to work in our group to recreate a video!
I was always told it takes a lot of work to make a movie, and that the filming is the easiest part. I don’t think I ever quite believed that until I had to make a short film. We started off with planning and taking notes on the original film, we divided up all the work to finish faster. Some of us created a storyboard, some people planned what we needed for each costume, others planned who would bring what. When we went out later to film, I think for only having one day of preparation it wasn’t that bad. Still, there were a lot of things we could have done better. We had some of our shots where the angle was off, or we were to close or to far. So when we edited it and put everything together, we started to notice these small details that we hadn’t seen before when we were filming. We didn’t have time to go out and re-film, so we edited the video to the best of our ability. One of the shots we took was actually from the wrong side, and we had to flip the video so it was the other way. These are the little mistakes that when making a movie or short film are actually a bigger deal than they seem. Once we played the videos in front of the class, we got a chance to make a second draft. Here is the first!
During our second draft we all kept our same roles, For this part, I was on filming. One of the biggest things I learned is having a steady camera can change the whole film. I think this was my biggest personal mistake, a lot of our shots were unsteady and bounced around a lot. It didn’t help that I had to be walking or even jogging a little, to be able to keep up with our runner (Jakub). When we were putting our video together you could really notice it. Another big part of filming is getting the angles right, a lot of the time the angle the camera is filming from can help set the mood and tone of the movie your creating. I think in our second draft we a way better job of this. One thing we did different between the two times was, the second time we watched the video and just looked for small details before going out. This helped with setting and camera angles. When we went out the second time we took our time more, we took a lot more retakes for even just small things. Here is a video of a few of our clips where we needed to take a re-take.
These are just a few of the small mistakes we caught on camera. The bigger mistakes were made when we were not planning ahead enough, not paying close attention to detail, and being lazy and rushing through our shots. During this project I actually learned how to edit more, this wasn’t something I had ever really done. This project was a great intro though, it was very easy while letting me use multiple tools to edit.
For this project we had to design a solution to a problem, process, or challenge. Our challenge was to create a gold standard video, that replicates the original exactly. We had three days to organize and plan this out. We use what supplies we had from home, but in some cases we had to get creative and make our own supplies. For example the grey hoodie the jogger wears, has white stipes down the front. We had to create the stripes. There are other things like editing which we had to try and replicate to be the same as the original, this took feedback from our classmates and our teachers to point out details we missed. I found a lot of the time we would find one or two mistakes, and focus on fixing those while completely missing other mistakes that could have a big impact. Thats why it can be helpful to sometimes step back from editing and watch it as if your viewing it for the first time. This can be hard a lot of the time because you have watched it on repeat while editing, but I think it could really help.
Here is our final version!
This project taught me a lot of skills in creating videos that I’m going to take and use in our projects going forward. I learned how much goes into making even a 1 minute short film. I think my film making skills will only keep improving with all the work we’re doing on it!
“A film is- or should be- more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, whats behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later.”