It’s been a while since I last posted. 152 days to be precise. The world has changed more than the oceans tide on a blue moon, and our way of living may never go back to how it was just 9 months ago. But here we are back on the grind, back to school, and back to a somewhat familiar past. Although we have not, and will not have any field schools this year and there are a bijillion different COVID guidelines in the classroom, we can still learn almost the same as before the pandemic.
This year our time is split into quarters. There are four quarters and in each quarter there are ten weeks of two different classes. Just a little background history on my year so far: my quarter one classes were food economics and physical education or “gym”. Coming from the soft pillow of minuscule amounts of homework, let alone any written work at all, diving into the brisk ocean of two acedemic classes was quite the shock. But!. Lucky enough for me, I had grown the power of a growth mindset from countless times of practice.
Your final product will be an exact replica of a one minute short film called “Run”. The task is challenging because you will need to create everything yourself: the shots, the sounds, the effects, the titles, the characters, the setting, the dialogue….. you make it all!
In short, you will have recreate the film – ideally to the point we can’t even tell which is the original!
My very first project in my q2 grade nine year was titled: “RUNNING A REMAKE” guided by the driving question: HOW MIGHT WE LEARN VIDEO SKILLS BY RECREATING A SHORT FILM? Since we have a very limited time to cover this years curriculum, we have to get through projects as fast and efficient as possible. For this project, we had only a week to finish what would normally be a multiple week process and in just five weeks we are going to complete 3 whole projects from start to finish. It’ll be a task but a task I am eager to attempt.
Running a Remake was spilt into four essential milestones all led by the competency, Innovative Designer: How might I design a solution to a problem, process, or challenge?. Although I was proud of all work I completed, I showed my most growth through milestone 1. We worked hard on this project from day one and having a major milestone due within the first two hours of the very first day was difficult. We were asked to create a short video that introduced ourselves and one of our favourite hobbies and to structure our video using the infamous story spine. We were given a guidance video from apple’s, Everyone Can Create Book on what the video should look like as well as how to use Clips which was the application we used. When I started I wasn’t quite in my productive mindset and my first draft proved that pretty well. The video was not on the guidance of the story spine, therefore my first draft ended up to be a little under expectation. After learning that video was for guidance unlike our final product, things became much easier. That night I finished the video to the best of my ability, making sure to use the app and my technological knowledge as much as could. By the end I had created a clear sense of mood and structure to portray myself as well as one of my favourite hobbies.
After creating our plan for action, as well as a detailed storyboard, Quinn, Julien, Erin, Nathan and I were ready to embark on the twists and turns of Milestone 3. This was the “big one” as I would say in terms of the milestones of the project. Although there was still another milestone in our path, I knew that this one would be when all of our previous work was going to be put to the test. The learning that was done in this milestone would answer the driving question as well as the competency of this project. In this project the solution was the video and the problem, process, or challenge was making an exact remake of the one minute horror film: RUN! After just starting the project on Wednesday, by Thursday, it was already time to start the filming process. The day began with some nerves in the air and bags full of makeshift props and costumes. Since we were shooting outside, we were relived that the clouds and rain had parted. We had found what we thought would be a good filming spot in a bike trail at our local park. Nathan, our star of the film had brought his costume of all grey which we had suspected to be perfect for the job. I would say that our attention to detail for the first shoot was pretty good and by the end of shooting, nearly 30 shots at the correct angle and length, I was actually surprised at how well we had done. I had picked out a pretty spot on costume for the black creature and we operated pretty smoothly considering we were one group member short. Once we had finished, I packed my trusty iPad, which we used the entire time for filming, and headed back to show the entire class.
Going into the critique section we knew that our video wasn’t 100% exact: our location was different, the lighting wasn’t the same, and by the time we had to hand it in we hadn’t even finished our editing. Although, I personally thought that most of that would slide with little notice. Haha, NOPE! By the end of the critique, although a bit disheveled, we had obtained some very useful critique and understanding on what was expected of an Accomplished grade. To our satisfaction, we weren’t the only group that needed to make some changes. Almost as if our teacher new we would have an epic F.A.I.L, we all were able to remake the remake the next day.
Since our main critique was our limiting setting, we immediately explored the park for a better and more similar location to the movie to film. We also bettered the costumes and spent much more attention to detail on our angles and shots. Re-doing the entire process was not fun and was hard to get through. Although, looking back on all that went into the filming process makes me realize how much I gained without knowing. I know now the most steady way to hold an iPad while filming, how important it is to keep the focus of the shot in frame, and many other slight details to make me a better cinematographer. I also learned that the more gruelling something is to complete and the more obstacles that are in your way, the more you will learn during an experience.
It took the rest of the afternoon and evening before we had finished editing, and although I’m sure critique is in our future, between the two drafts that we completed, the improvement could be noticed from Mars. I can’t say the task was easy, but when distributed throughout a group, we managed to work at a sufficient and productive pace. I learned that I have a strength in some things, like editing clips together, while some group members do not, but I also have a weakness in storyboarding more than a small amount of scenes. Although, with the diverse skill of my group, my weaknesses were another’s strong arm.
Overall I wouldn’t say I’m ready for another project but I’m sure I will learn something new no matter what. Thank you for reading and make sure to comment any thoughts you have on this post.