The Whole End of the Year (as according to Humanities and Maker)

Hello all! Welcome to the worst blog sight on the internet. This time, I have a lot of ground to cover so I might be moving quick. About two months ago we started a project called Vibrant Video. In this project, we learned about a few different techniques to make a good film. However, this isn’t what I’m here to talk about, as this project led into a project called Your First Film. This used the skills that we’d learned and incorporated it into a series of lessons on how to plan out and make a full documentary film on a topic of our choice. This was our big final product of the end of the year.

Your First Film

Driving Question: How can I engage and entertain an audience using my video and storytelling skills

Answer: I can engage and entertain an audience by using different story telling techniques. For example: montage, beginning, middle, foreshadowing, etc. You can also engage an audience using different video skills. For example, close up, transitions, slow-motions, time laps (fast-mo). You can see me demonstrating my understating of the driving question through my video.

We started out with practicing out interview skills with a small group. We learned how to properly conduct and interview, use the right angles and who your interviewee can be. We didn’t get into the nitty gritty of it here, we just wanted to get comfortable with a basic interview as that was going to be the biggest part in our final film. We had most of one class to come up with a topic with some potential questions, film someone answering them and than edit the clips down. This was a great starting point that we could use to base our final interviews off of.

After we had solidified our interview skills, we had to come up with an idea for our documentary. We did a couple worksheets to try and get some ideas for possible topics based on our interests and resources, and than had the weekend to decide. The results of some of the sheets we did is that I’m social and my friends are really important to me (something I already know). This made me think of if I could make a documentary not on the people, but on the experience. Than I realized that sounds cool, but I have no idea how to frame that, so I decided to show how the things you do with your friends can have a huge impact on your social health and your relationship with them.

For the next long while, we just worked on explaining and describing our documentaries and plans as best we could. We made a logline and treatment to do so. A logline is a one or two  sentence tagline about what your film is. A treatment is a brief summary on what, who, where your film is about. Using these new formed ideas, we designed a screenplay. This is where most of the bulk was (writing wise).

We than sketched up a quick storyboard. My drawing skills are awful, so mine was less than optimal. This helped us visualize it (over the words in a screenplay) and think about the angles, camera movement, sounds and music before it was to late.

After this, we where basically set free. We had a block every other day, to check in and work on unfinished storyboard or screenplay parts, but other than that, we where out filming. The early stages where also when we where told to make sure we knew what we where doing for our interview so we could book times and things. Luckily all mine where local.

This went on for about a week and a half and than mostly editing was left, whe where in the class editing and working on music for a couple classes and than we got taken over by the exhibition, like a sparrow being hit by a fully-loaded, 40 ton semi…… hopefully, you finished your documentary on time……..

The Exhibit

Near the end of our documentary project we got some we got some intel on our upcoming spring exhibition where we’d be showing our documentaries, which pushed us to complete the film to the best of our abilities.

First thing to determine where our groups, which we would be working with for the entire process. One thing to note is that we where working with the grade below us to complete our  station, which means we work together to create most of our props and setup. We started working with people from our grade: Carter, Alicia, Jocelyn, Zach, Cole, Colton and Landon. This was our group for many hours to come. After getting into our groups we where assigned the intro as our station. From then on, it was basically a matter of brainstorming what we wanted to do for our station (it was pretty open) and finding ways to pull it off.

For the next couple classes, we got into more details and got our plans approved and disapproved until we had a good idea of what we wanted to do. We where the intro, so our job was to prepare the unknowing audience for what was ahead. The theme of the exhibition was the journey of a PLP student, so we did this by showing what a PLP student and class is, in comparison to a non PLP student and class.

Now we where ready to enlist some help to make our bits and bobs. Que the grade 8s!

We worked with the 8’s for a big chunk of this project which was super fun and made for some interesting ideas. The problem is that they’re not in our class so we had limited time to work with them. We worked fast and efficiently and managed to pull it off though.

What came of this whole thing

Through the blurred, general stages that I said and the many left out, we learned a lot about what we can actually do in a larger group and how we can assign roles and responsibilities for ourselves and the grade 8’s alike. I also noticed how our speed really increased as the deadline loomed nearer and nearer. This shows how having a plan and a deadline can help you perform the necessary steps in time.

The big night was super fun and it was really cool hanging out with the 8’s for a while. I think we worked pretty well together, and I was actually slightly surprised at how cool they are. I knew they where alright, but by a good play from the teachers end, I now know how amazing hey are and how we can make a pretty great team.

Thanks PLP team, it’s been a great year!

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