Hey guys, as always with these posts, we have just finished our most recent project in the PLP 11/12 cohort. This particular project continued on from where in history we had left off, after WWII and into the Cold War and also happened to include our Shakespeare play for the year, Macbeth. Now you may be wondering ‘how on earth do these two subjects connect with each other? Well you wouldn’t be alone in that train if thought as many of my peers, including myself, were asking that exact question when this project was originally launched. The answer came in the form of one of the themes in Macbeth of Appearance vs. Reality and how that deception was also very common during the Cold War. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Really, what had truly brought this project into the limelight was the medium in which we were to present our learning. This happened to be a short film adaptation of Macbeth set during the Cold War. Finally, before we can begin, as always there was a driving question:
“How might we craft a compelling vision of “Macbeth” set in the 1950’s?”
Now, as much as I would enjoy to skip all the prerequisites of learning about and analyzing both Macbeth and the Cold War and get straight to the production and filming of our film; this is still a learning portfolio post and as such, it is important for me to talk about and explain my learning through out the whole of the project. Not just the fun bits. So to begin, as I had previously mentioned, this project surrounded one of the themes of Macbeth and how it connected to Life, The Universe, and Everything. Or in this case: The Cold War. Therefore, it would be fairly important for us to be able to both pick out and analyze the themes of not only Macbeth but any other piece of literature we would come across in our lives. It would also be beneficial to have the ability to analyze the plot and characters within a piece of text as well, which is exactly what we ended up learning for about a week or two of classes, after which, we wrote a quote analysis using the plot, character, and theme to support it. And it was here, while I wrote and improved my analysis, that I learnt the most in terms of book smarts.
As you look through my drafts of the quote analysis you can very obviously see my understanding of how each part connects to each other and how they build off of each other to create a complete and thorough analysis. You can also notice my understanding of what exactly each part should focus on grow through the drafts as well. This happens to connect with some more personal learning I acquired while working on this assignment about the way I usually write as well as how I approach work and assignments in general. While looking back through my drafts as well as just listening to what Ms.Willemse had to say while I was revising my work, I noticed that I have a tendency to overthink and messily explain when it come to my writing, especially in analyses. Not only did that reinforce my method of writing down points of what i want to say and in what order to say it that I usually use before writing, but it also helped me learn that a lot of the time the simplest answer is the right one. That is especially important for me to remind myself of since a lot of the time I’ll spend my time not writing but planning out what I am to write which often goes off the rails and I need to recenter my thinking. However, that’s enough of the “school” learning, now it’s time to move onto what I’ve learnt during the actual production of our film.
There were many things I learnt both about my responsibilities as production manager and work during a film production as well as just general things that comes with group work on this learner of a scale. And though it might seem that these all would stem from mishaps before and during filming, in reality, many of the things I have learnt and will keep with me come from things that actually went well during the production. The first thing that I want to mention is the brainstorming groups we did to come up with the plot for the movie, I found that it really helped anyone who wanted to say something to bring forth their ideas and allow others to build off of them. As well as allow different people to use their strengths to create a truly great plot, I my case that happened to come in the form of pitching specific scenes that would help bring the story to life on screen and make the plot itself seem much more put together and ready to be filmed. I would totally use that method again if we were to create another movie. Another thing I notice during production was how much smoother filming went when it was only a few of us there helping the actors with their scenes and giving notes and direction. That could also be attributed to the fact that we didn’t have the art and makeup departments rushing around while actors were getting ready to film.
However, I also learned a lot for myself about both managing and actually dealing with those reporting to me. At the start of production it was really just the key creatives that knew what was happening as the teachers were gone on a trip, and we didn’t take charge as we should have. Looking back, I didn’t truly step into my role until a few days into filming and this may sound a bit cheesy but I really do think that once both myself and the other key creatives and producers understood our roles, the filming became a lot smoother that it had been before. I think I ended up being more of a director’s assistant in the end but I was helping get everything started at the beginning of filming when it came to props, location, actors, and costumes. I wasn’t needed for filming so I would get everything ready so the the filming itself went smoothly. I stepped up to my role and I think that’s true for pretty much everyone else in the class as well, and if we were to do this again, we would work like a well oiled machine.
In conclusion, I ended up learning a lot not only when it came to movie production and theme and quote analysis, but also about myself. I took these opportunities to learn and I have used them to grow when it comes to the next project we have. As for the movie, we are still waiting for the editing to be done so I will add it to this post once it is finished.