In Humanities we have been learning about Canada in the 1800’s when our nation was being built. We learned about Canada’s history though watching Heritage Minutes. In PLP if you see something in class, you are probably going to be doing it.
So, what is a Heritage Minute? It is actually a video of historic Canada. They have been making 1 minute videos about Canada for 19 years so there are a lot of them in fact. We saw two every class leading up to making our own. This is just one of the ones I saw and I really liked it. It also had a meme made after it so I have added that too. It is really funny and well worth the minute.
One of the benefits of looking at a satirical take on something is that the satire overemphasizes the key points that make the parody recognizable. The overemphasis on the multiple shot angles in this comedic take on a Heritage Minute demonstrates this. Plus we all need a bit of a humorous break when doing blog posts.
There is a lot going on in these 1 minute videos, so to learn about telling short stories, we did Short Story Tuesdays where we read and talked about the different types of short stories. After we got a taste of how to tell a short story, we were divided into groups and each group was assigned a different subject from Canada in the 1800’s to make a Heritage Minute. The Heritage Minutes were then shown in class in a Viewing Party and that is how we learned the details of these historic events.
The groups were Battles and Rebellions, Fur Trade, Politics, Stanley Cup, and First Nations. Luckily, I was in Battle and Rebellions, which is my favourite part about history. I had a great group with Sam, Jason, and Jackson. We started by researching the various different Battles and Rebellions.
We knew we wanted to do something from the War of 1812 but most of the large battles were already a History Minute. So we chose Billy Green and the Battle of Stoney Creek. The story of Billy Green is actually pretty confusing so I’m going to explain it the best I can. Billy had a brother-in-law, Isaac, who was captured by the Americans. Isaac managed to escape by pretending to be a General in the U.S. Army. While Isaac was a prisoner he overheard the Americans plan to attack the British, and learned the American countersign (secret password), Will Hen Har. Our video starts with Isaac running away from the Americans and meeting up with Billy, then telling Billy about the attack and the password. Billy then runs to find the British general and informs the general about the planned attack. The general instructs Billy to lead a surprise attack on the Americans before they can execute their plan. Billy’s troops’ surprise attack is successful and sends the Americans into retreat back to the U.S.. Here is our research.
After we decided on our battle, we used the story outline template to develop a storyboard. This one is blank as I don’t have a copy of the one we used but I included it so you can see what we were considering in our plot outline.
And here is our Storyboard:
From our Storyboard, we developed our screenplay (script and shot list).
Now that we had our screenplay, my group and I got right to work on making our video. We had a film maker who was a former PLP student come in and help us with our videos and we used his advice to come up with our first draft. In our class viewing of the first draft, we released we still had a lot to work on.
So we went back to the drawing board and with our second draft we were more careful with filming. We had definite angles and our transitions are much better. I also got a sword to make the fight seem a lot more realistic.
And now for our final version! We fixed the audio, and we added music to improve the video flow and add tension. We learned a lot in this project on how to move a story forward using different shot angles, and lots of them. This was a little bit difficult with the size of our group as we also needed most of our group to be on camera during filming. This meant that instead of having a bunch of cameras all capturing a different angle at the same time, we had to redo our scenes multiple times to get all of our shots. All and all our group is very happy with our Heritage Minute Video. Enjoy!