Rick Steves Would Be Proud 😀

Hi everyone, welcome back to a new post. We recently complete an awesome unit in humanities! This unit was on travel videos. For this unit we went to Victoria and had an adventure through time. We visited many amazing sites such as the Royal B.C. Museum, B.C. Legislature, Ross Bay, and Chinatown! Our project for this field study was to make a video on a specific place. I decided to do my video on Chinatown. Here it is below.

It took a lot of effort to get that video to where it is. Many hours of editing. Let’s rewind to the beginning of our unit so that I can explain how it got there.

This unit was called the Wild West referring to the founding of B.C. and in particular Victoria. So for thoughs of you who were hoping for cowboys, this is unfortunately not the right place, but please read on.

Just like any other unit we of course had a driving question. For this unit the driving  question was How might we help visitors to Victoria connect with BC’s history? With this question at the for front of our minds we began to learn about travel videos.

There are many different things that make a travel video as well as there being many different types of travel videos. We watched a variety of different type so that we could understand what type of videos we should be making. Some of the videos we watched were:

Michael Palin:

Departures:

And Ms. Maxwell’s favourite RICK STEVES!

As you can see these videos are all very different and unique in their own way. For our videos we were told to aim for somewhat of a mix between Rick Steves and Michael Palin. The idea was to make the video interesting and immersive but still formal and informative.

We also learned about camera angles and how to film someone professionally. It all is based upon one main idea, the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds states that the person in the shot should be on one side and the other should be of the background.

See how Kyle is in about 1/3 of the shot and the other thirds are empty. This is how you should be in a video. We did some practice with the rule of thirds because practice makes perfect. To know if you have done the rule of thirds correctly you should be able to draw a grid over the person and they should be sitting on a vertical line and their eyes should be on a horizontal line.

Sorry if this is a bit confusing but I hope the images helped. If you have any question feel free to comment them down below.

Victoria

I don’t know if you know already but in PLP we go on field studies to places that will help enhance our learning. This video and what we were supposed to learn in this unit “coincidently” could both be enhanced with a field study to guess where? Yes, Victoria!

Our trip began with a early morning as we had to be at seycove at 5 AM. It was then a 2 hour ish ferry ride across the Georgia strait to Vancouver Island and lastly a 30 minute drive south to the capital itself Victoria.

Views from the ferry

We stayed at Hotel Zedd which is a pretty nice hotel not to far from the city centre.

Our time in Victoria was three days shorter then our previous field studies but we still had a blast. While we were there we went to many magical places such as Ross Bay cemetery, The Parliament Building, Royal B.C. museum and of course Chinatown! At the parliament building we got a tour from our MLA Jane Thornthwaite!

The entire time we were constantly shooting and filming B-roll. It wasn’t easy as we were on a very tight schedule and had very little time to film us talking.

Video drafts

Before I show you my drafts we should go though the criteria that these videos had to pass. Firstly it had to be between 3-4 minutes in length. Second it had to have an intro sequence. Thirdly there had to answer and/or relate to our driving question.

 

 

 

James Douglas

Today’s blog post is on ….. CANADIAN HISTORY!!!! That’s right, for the past weeks we have been hard at work learning about the things that lead of the confederation of Canada. For this unit our driving question was “How does power alter relationships between individuals and society”? Our project for this unit was an animation showing how a famous Canadian figure had power over a group of people (More on that later). Without further ado lets get right into it!

We started off this unit with a fun intro activity. This activity took us to Manitoba in the year 1870 when the Manitoba act was signed. As for what we did, well we were randomly given a slip a paper. This paper explained whether you were a Metis or a prospector. I was given the task of prospector. As a prospector you needed to buy as much land a possible using any means necessary, the only catch. We had a budget of 300$. The metis were trying to get as much for their land as possible.

In the end this activity showed me that the metis got the short end of the stick in the Manitoba act.

For this unit there were two main parts, the first was the animation and the second was Louis Riel.

1. Louis Riel

For this part of the unit we read a comic book. This book, written by Chester Brown is all about Louis Riel. In the book we learned about all the stuff he achieved, did wrong, and what happend to him in the end. The book also taught us about Riel’s impact on the Métis, CPR, and the creation of Manitoba. The book was split into 4 parts. Every week we had to read a part and write a paragraph about all the important events that happend in that part. If I had to give a review about this book I would give it a solid 8/10 stars. I really enjoyed this book. It had a good storyline and the visual were good. Where it lost points was in the plot as it was hard to follow in some parts. As well as it being written from one persons point of view because that effects the way characters are portrayed.

Debate

At the end of this book we had a debate. The debate was on wether Louis Riel was a hero or not. I ended up on the hero side.

Right from the beginning you could tell we had the upper hand. Nik and Kyle  kicked it off with an outstanding opening statement. Amelia, Jason and Fraser continued the steamroll with precise blows that kept them on their toes. Finally I delivered the killing blow and the debate had been won.

In all the debate was a lot of fun. You had to know louis Riel’s history quite well otherwise you got shredded to bits. I really enjoyed this debate as it brings out the competitive side in a lot of people as well as having lots of people participate. I really hope we get to do more of these in the future as I really enjoyed them.

2. The project

Using the power that Louis Riel had as an example, our task was to feature another famous persons power. The person I choose was James Douglas.

Before we could begin our animation we first had to learn about the person we chose. One fact that I learned about Douglas was, he important man as he founded Fort Victoria (now the capital of B.C.).

Once we had done our research we had to draw out our plan in the form of a storyboard. Once done that we could begin drawing our animation.

First draft

Final draft

Reflection

In the end I thought this unit was FANTASTIC! I enjoy almost every moment of it. I really liked how my animation turned out as well as the debate. One thing I realize in this project is that I need to time block a lot better because I was up really late finishing my animation. If I had time blocked it better I could of spread it out a lot more instead of doing it all in one night.

So ya the my shpeal for this post I hope you enjoyed

-Em

The return of …. mPols!

January it’s a new year, new goals and a fresh start. But for the PLP students of seycove its a time of reflection. I’m talking about mPol’s. I’ve done a couple last year but thing have change since then.

Now I have the difficult task of explaining my achievements, success, growth, goals, and improvements. As well as talking about the new course and my thoughts on it.

PGP

This year in PLP we got a new course. This course PGP is the place where we dream. What we want to do, become, achieve, the places we want to be years from now. So far I have found that this course at first just seemed like a lot more work had assembled into arguably the most important course in PLP.

We also had to read this book. The book was called “What do you really want” by Beverly Bachel. In it I learned about goal setting and what truely inspires me. One of the forms that we need to do was not actually a form.

This was the dream board. The dream board was something that really pulled back the curtain into my true inspirations and goals. I really enjoyed this form because I got to put everything I love onto it. 

Next I would like to talk about my success this year so far.

Though out the year so far there has been two themes that has been obvious the first is video making and the second is story telling. Using these two things has been pretty much required in every project thus far.

Identity

This unit was the introduction to the true power of video editing. In this unit we went to Alberta. Our project was to film and edit a video the showed how the land impacts peoples identity. We had to feature at least 3 different places and have an interview. The hardest parts of this unit for me were first we only we able to film at each place once as we weren’t going back. So you had to plan ahead so that you could get the shots you needed. I struggled with this because I am not good at planing things out ahead of time and then following though. The second was the interview. If you didn’t know I get very nervous when I talk in front of lots of people and when I have to interview strangers. In this unit I learned a lot about filming, editing, audio, and problem solving if you don’t have the right shot. Also I have developed a new found respect for editors, as editing is really hard to do if you want to make it good.

Metaphor Machines

Next up we have metaphor machines. In this unit my group members were Kiera, Jason, Sam, and I. In this project we had to research a revolution and create metaphors for important events then we had to combine all of the metaphors together and make a machine out of them. I thought that our team did well. I picked this unit to show because I had to persevere though a lot. We had a sluggish start to our research and some parts of are machine were not built correctly due to lack of communication. But we managed to corral ourselves and get it done. All in all I think we did a great job on our video and our end result was great. 

Winter Exhibition 

This year our exhibition was different then lasts. This year we were assigned groups. For this exhibition we had to animate a story about chemical bonding. We then had to combine two stories together then after all that we had to pick one spot in our story and turn it into an immersive experience. For this project I thought I did pretty well. We had some rough spots and at one point we collapsed from problems with communication. But we managed to reel it back in and make an awesome room. I felt that in this project I could of done a lot more when we were designing our story.

Live event

Up last we have my live event. For this project we had to make a video featuring an event that was real or made up. The challenge was that we only had one shot at filming it so again you have to plan out your video. This project for me was definitely the hardest one. I can say 100% I F.A.I.L.ed this project. I thankfully after a long talk with mom was able to save it and get something in. Unfortunately it was weeks after the due date. From this I learned a lot about what to do if I get stuck.

 

Reflection

Since grade 8 started I have done some pretty great things. Before I even knew the benefits of goals the PLP teachers had already made us make some. The goal I set last year in the growth mindset unit which was “I want to take criticism as advice rather then a put down” has definitely been checked off. Another goal that I set at my first mPol unfortunately has not been completed. Although I have definitely been improving. Thanks to the new apps that we were taught how to use it has been easier to complete my work. Now my question for you “how did you manage sports, music, and school with out getting overwhelmed?”

 

A Chemical Affair

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Hi people welcome back to another post and the first of the New Year. I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and a great New Year. In this post I will be taking you back in time to a couple weeks ago. A time of stress for all PLP students, you’ve probably already guessed, the Winter Exhibition!

If you are a new reader, PLP has to yearly exhibitions. One in December and one in June so if you missed this one it’s ok. I hope you’re able to attend the one in June. If you would like to see my first two exhibitions, click here and here.

Last year both exhibition’s used an inquiry question as the main topic. This year we combined science and humanities to make something different.

As always we were first put into groups. The group making started in science with our chemistry unit. In my science group it was just Alex and I.

In science we were tasked to make a video about chemical bonding. This animation had to have a few things. First we had to write a screenplay, which is a script that includes acting instructions and scene directions. For me the challenge was animating the video, as animating in keynote isn’t the easiest.

 

Once we had made this chemical stories we were put into bigger groups based on our story’s plot. In this new group it was Kiera, Taylor, Alex and I.

The idea for this exhibition was to combine our two chemistry story’s together to create one big chapter. Then turn it into an immersive experience that shows an entire story in just one room. Also it had to incorporate chemical bonding into our room as well.

The first thing we had to do was combine our two stories into an amazing tale that would entice readers until the end. The thing we struggled with at this part was  incorporating the science side of things. But after much discussion with Mr. Gross our science teacher we final had something.

For our story we decided to combine a murder mystery and a romance together. Our plot was:

Ona Ozone (Kiera) has gone missing. It is up to you and Detective Ospino (Alex) to find and return Pho Phosphorus’s (Me) lost love. To help guide you along the path video clues have been placed around the room. Good luck detective. For those of you who weren’t at the exhibition Ali Aluminum (Taylor) is the kidnapper.

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But before we get to the room we are going to have to rewind to planning stage. 

In my opinion this group was galloping along at a pretty good pace we were on a plan that would see us ready for the exhibition. But on the day of the horse ran out of speed. This was not unpredictable as most people act different as stress mounts. My group had to stop and talk thing out before we could continue on our way.

The aspects of our room

Food: Part of every PLP exhibition, food plays an important role in setting the plot and scene of the story. For our room we decided to make cookies and brownies from “Ali’s bakery”.