All I can say is it made us jump too. Nah I’m just kidding, only a few of us screamed whilst watching that video for the first time. I should probably introduce the topic that goes along with said video as I realize I have neglected to do so. Maker has been a bit of a rollercoaster for the first few months of school. Last year we focused on working with still images. Not only editing photos but learning to take a photo that looks beautiful and represents the moment or setting in which it was taken. This year however we are working with the ever difficult task of creating videos. We started out small, learning shots and practicing our craft with a four shot film. On our field study to Alberta we made a mini movie with a set group that would give us more creative opportunity. Alongside our first Alberta video came a one minute informational video that we were surprised with. Since then we’ve made multiple other videos including our final video from our trip and three other videos in humanities. So this project was kinda a big deal. With all the practice we had and the timing of the project. Our teacher decided to challenge us to recreate the video above to perfection. Obviously the expectations were high because recreating a 1 minute and 6 second video was mapped out over 3/4 weeks. I will say it, this was an extremely difficult task. Being the first time we really needed to follow every step to succeed it was challenging. Let’s dive in!
For each and every project I’ve done in any PLP class, the launch is awesome. We walked into class and were introduced to the Meyers Briggs test. What exactly does this mean? Over time, scientists made it fact that there are a set 16 personality types. The Meyers Briggs test is a method of deciphering which of said personalities you fall under. https://www.16personalities.com is a website that offers the test for free. As a part of our initial launch into this project we completed the test an recorded two of the listed strengths and weaknesses of which we related most to. My personality is defined under the Protagonist category which I completely agree with. In completing this assignment I was able to better recognize my place in any group.
As previously mentioned, this was the first video which we needed to fully complete each step early on in order to be successful in the long run. The first part of this journey was our creation, or should I say recreation on the screenplay. When constructing a screenplay we needed to account for every single shot in this film and almost perfectly describe the settings, actions, sounds, and aesthetic the scene presented. I will admit it, we did not succeed. Making a screenplay is a daunting task and starting out we hadn’t had any experience with it and we needed some practice. Thankfully we persevered and eventually finished our version of the screenplay. As we went on through the project, getting past the pre-production stages I noticed the impact our screenplay had and how if we had gone back and revised for a better version, we would’ve been more productive later on. As you can see our screenplay definitely could’ve used some work and I think that if we had addressed the issues we would have also had a stronger screenplay.
The next step through the pre-production stage is the storyboard. This is a more physical version of the screenplay. It’s where we put what we have in to action with a drawn out, or animated plan. We chose to use keynote and animated each shot based off of what we had seen in the original video and what we had to work with from our screenplay. Observing and working with a Tory board is one thing but the overall work that goes into making one helps for you to gain a different perspective of how you can format or revise what is written on your screenplay. It’s more or less a visual but carbon copy of your screenplay, one that you can use for visual aids instead of simply reading off the script. Switching to a more biased note, I honestly prefer to use a detailed screenplay and drop the storyboard. Since the beginning of this project we’ve made multiple other videos in humanities, surely a post to look forwards to. In making each of those I found that working with a detailed, carefully scripted screenplay is much easier and less time consuming.
The final step in the pre-production process is the call sheet. Yes, I am talking about the same call sheets used for blockbuster films and Emmy- awarded TV shows. Just like any other production we needed a call sheet. Working in a group of three may seem easier than a larger group of 6 for example but things can be just as easily miscommunicated. Making our call sheet involved mapping out dates on which we could film, assigning tasks to each individual, and deciding locations and costumes. It seems pretty much useless because why couldn’t you just ask your group mates. Nope, this is beyond vital. Communication has been a pillar of every single group project I’ve ever done and those where the communication is badly handled end up weary and below expectations in the long run. In our call sheet, we included locations, costumes, assignments, roles, and meeting times.
With the completion of the pre-production we quickly moved into filming. Considering the setting of the original video we had a very big advantage having a woodsy trail quite literally in our backyards. When filming I found that we looked back upon our screenplay for reference not as often as I would’ve though we would. We tended to use the original video for reference when we weren’t sure of a shot or angle. This did end up working well for us but wasn’t the idea. If we’d had a stronger pre-production we would’ve benefitted and so would our results. When we finished our first round of filming it had been raining all week 24/7. Not exactly what you could call abnormal for Vancouver but it was not helpful and slowed us down in the process. We ended up reshooting every piece of footage the next week when the weather finally turned around. This was and unfortunate and we really could’ve planned out our filming dates better with our call sheet by recording the weather.
Talking more along the lines of our curricular competencies I can say that I’ve defiantly learned a thing or two. Computational thinking is something I didn’t feel all that familiar with when first reading the project plan. As we went through the pre-production a ton of problems began popping up as soon as we’d completed the screenplay. In trying to solve these to what was then the best of our ability, we discovered new methods of revising ad complete in tasks using our technology. Working with iPads alongside other devices in this project proved very helpful in the long run. Using said methods undeniably improved our work and allowed for us to try new things when problem solving, especially as a team. Next up we have innovative thinking. This is not so new, the again neither was the first one. Wording things differently has opened up a newer perspective of these competencies this year for sure. With innovative thinking, we simply had to bring our research and ideas to life through critiques, revisions, and the sharing of ideas as a group. I think that this time around we could have definitely done better. Whether that meant setting our differences aside or trying new methods of communication we tried and for the most part succeeded. On the flip side, I strongly believe that the way that each of us worked conflicted in minor ways, causing delays and arguments in the process. Finally we have knowledge constructing. This basically means that we had to find ways of gathering information through different sources so that we could have a strong final product. I can confidently say that we accomplished this with ease as most of our research materials were handed to us. That didn’t do it for us, it just made it easier. We still had to constructively decide what to rely on and which to work with for a banger final copy.
In conclusion we finished strong with an “almost carbon copy,” of the video. What I took from this experience will help me throughout the rest of high school and while most of it takes plenty of practice, we are doing so in almost every subject. Valuable lessons like the importance of a detailed screenplay and call sheet, to time management as a group will be taken into account during all future video related projects. Working with technologies such as iPads and the tools they offer have opened up so much creative freedom and opportunity and this project presented us with a new set of tools. I believe that while some of the process was rocky and could have undeniably been better, we still ended up with a strong finish!
Thanks for coming to my TED Talk ✌️