What Makes a Good Movie?

Hello everyone!

I just finished my third exhibition in grade 9!  Our exhibition was based on the movie Avatar, so all our projects had to relate to a theme that the film included.   This meant the grade 9’s had to make a documentary that showed of one of Avatars main ideas.  I chose to do mines on sustainability destruction, more specifically into Borneo’s deforestation.  I hope that you enjoy reading!

Driving question:

What does James Cameron’s fantasy world of “Avatar” reveal about our own society?

We started off by watching Avatar so that we could learn the lore and the different characters inside of it.  After finishing, we discussed what the different themes were so that we could choose one for our documentary.  These are some of the ideas that we thought of:

•Augmented Reality

•Imperialism + Colonialism

•Corporate Greed (Corporate interests outweighing local rights)

•Sustainability/Destruction of Natural Environment over Humanity’s interests

•Racism – Lack of understanding for different cultures/ways of being



•Exploration – Terrestrially/Space Travel

•Connection Community/Culturally

•Oppression – Forced Evictions

We went into the next stage of our project, the planning.  We needed three things to create a successive video: B-roll, an interview and good editing.  To start off the planning, we created a treatment and storyboard for our video.  A treatment is a short paragraph that explained what it is and has to excite the person reading it.   I wanted to split my video into 2 parts, Borneo’s jungle and North Vancouver’s forest.  I would interview 2 different people about the deforestation in their respective areas which would be included in our video.  In between the parts, I would also be explaining different facts that added to my short films.  Here is my storyboard and treatment.

After that, I had to find interviews that were informed on this subject.  I contacted multiple people that  came from here and people who worked in Shell in Brunei (country in Borneo) about an interview for my video.  Unfortunately, I only got 1 response back and he said that he would not be able to answer my questions.  At this point I chose to interview my father (businessman from Brunei) and Ms. Kadi (green club teacher sponsor).  

Along with the interviews I had to find b-roll to add to my documentary.  B-roll is background footage that is added to make the video more interesting.  Lots of the b-roll was from my parents and things that I found online.  To properly use this, I had to play the footage only when the topic is relevant to the subject that we were talking about.  To display our knowledge, we made a short video to practice our interview and b-roll skills.  Here it is:

To put my documentary all together, I had to cut out and edit lots of the clips so that it would fit into the movie.  It took me lots of time finding the right b-roll footage that fit in with the voiceovers and interviews.  I also had to find background music that fit the mood of my video.  To finish my video, I had to include a clip explaining how my video is related to the move Avatar.  Here is my documentary:

Inside the exhibition, we also had to create viewing boxes to make watching the film more interesting.  I had the idea of making a tree stump so I was given a really big box.  I painted my box brown and Daniel helped me out to create vines and leaves that were placed onto it.  I also created holes at the bottom and top so that you could see my iPad.  

The final thing we had to do was decorate the room for the exhibition.  I was placed inside the destroyed planet group, it had people from other grades that had projects to do with sustainability destruction.  We wanted to make the room more post apocalyptic so we added black paper to the walls with old environmental signs.  We also dressed up as homeless people  and put a garbage pile in the middle.  

In conclusion, I really enjoyed creating and presenting my work to the community. I think I did a really good job in creating my documentary.  It included all the required items and more.  If I were to do this again, I would like to have made my viewing box a bit better.  It was intended to be a tree stump but ended up looking like a nature mailbox.  

To answer the driving question, Avatar portrays multiple different themes in real life.  Lots of large corporations invade foreign lands and exploits them for personal gain.  Like in the movie, they deforest the jungles in Pandora so that they can get a rare mineral called Unobtainium.  They even went to such lengths to destroy the native tribe’s home for more of this resource. 

Thanks for reading!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Powered by: Wordpress
Skip to toolbar