Yo and welcome back to my blog. I think we’ve just completed our biggest project to date, we created a movie. In this project we studied Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, as well as the Cold War, and this movie was all about knitting them together. Our driving question was “How might we craft a compelling vision of Macbeth set in the 1950s?” This was probably one of our hardest projects to date, but the content and skills that came with this project were also some of the most important we’ve done so far.

..I am in blood, Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more, Returning were as tedious as go over.

One of the main indicators of your knowledge of the content in this project was the act quests. This was about analyzing and comprehending the text of Macbeth. We had to analyze the plot, characters, and theme in relation to one quote. The quote I chose was “…I am in blood, Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more, Returning were as tedious as go over.” This was probably the hardest task in the project for me. I believe I am capable of analyzing text, although it’s definitely a skill to work on. But I have a tendency to be able to speak out my ideas very well, and then failed to put them onto paper. This task Frustrated me because it took me a lot of attempts to get what I needed to say, and it came down to things I thought were insignificant, like word choice. But the repetition in this task was good for me, as I don’t spend enough time revising my work to it’s fullest potential. And as irritating as it is, being critiqued on the specifics of my writing, like word choice, or sentence and paragraph structure, is very important to actually improving my writing. And I think all the work I put into fine tuning my act quest really payed off in the end.

The driving question of this film was “How might we craft a compelling vision of Macbeth set in the 1950s?” And the answer to this question was really about focussing on the continuity and change between the time of “Macbeth” and the 1950s. We did a lot of work to understand both of these things, like reading and analyzing the play of Macbeth, and numerous activities and lectures on the 1950s, and Cold War. For example, the act quest (mentioned above), or an activity about the Cuban missile crisis, analyzing the meaning behind correspondence from Kennedy, and Khrushchev. All of this allowed us to recognize the similarities between the stories of Macbeth and the Cold War, particularly the paranoia and presence of facades in both times, allowing us to create our themes. And from the differences we chose the setting of NATO in the Cold War, mixed with the classic story of Macbeth, with all the original characters.The process of coming up with the specifics of the story was a full class collaboration (although the script credit goes entirely to the script team), but we all had to personally come up with a story idea to answer the driving question. And although I think my idea for the story encapsulated the theme of paranoia very well, I fell short on the other parts. I didn’t include the theme of facades, or weave the idea of the Cold War in very gracefully. I spent a lot of time thinking about continuity, and no time thinking about change. So in the case we redid this whole project, this would have been my biggest thing to change. 

I think by far and away the most important thing I learned in this project wasn’t the content (I’m not saying the content wasn’t important however), but was the skills that came with creating this movie. I worked as an assistant Director in this film and the amount of teamwork that went into making this movie (even though it may not have been effective teamwork) was enormous. There was so much organization, management, and communication involved in creating this film, with filming schedules, cast lists, props lists, and so much more, many things had to be planned, and a lot of people had to be talked too to plan them. Now I’m not saying our communication went perfectly, I think in fact it was the biggest weakness in the project. And if I were to redo it, I think we should’ve focussed more on establishing a better chain of command for people to report to, so that the people on the top always had all of the information, and then we’re able to properly share it so that the whole class had the information.

Still above even teamwork and organization in terms of learning, was flexibility. So many plans went wrong in this film. People forgot things, we messed up schedules and actors were missing, we needed to change the script (all avoidable things if our communication had been better), but without fail we pushed through and fixed the problem. We focussed on the things we could control in the situation and fixed those things. We recast actors, switched locations, and rewrote filming schedules. These lessons of adaptability and communication are so important to learn, especially when working in large groups of other people. I have a horrible sneaking suspicion that things go wrong in life, and these experiences getting to make mistakes and learn from them, in such a forgiving environment is something I don’t appreciate enough. I can’t say I loved this project with the fullest extent of my heart, but it was an experience that I’ve never had before, and I left it with knowledge of some extremely interesting content, and some extremely important skills. 

Thank you as always,