Once upon a time Sofia and I were in class. We had a quest to create a stop motion. After countless minutes of thinking of what to make our stop motion video about we decided to replicate a Harry Potter scene. Together, well mostly Sofia, we scavenged the bins of lego for supplies. Eventually we gathered enough materials to start our video. We hopped over to the library to start “filming”. After 2 days of countless work we finally finished. This is how it ended up:
Woah, it’s my first post of 2023, yet I am reflecting on the project and winter exhibition from 2022. In class we watched the movie Avatar, which came out in 2009, and did you know it took 15 years to complete the movie? It was worth it though because Avatar was nominated for 9 Oscars and won 3.
Now, there are definitely a lot of layers to this movie and as a class, after watching it, we pulled themes from the movie that we felt related to the real world. Then we each picked one theme to create a short documentary about. The themes to choose from were:
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
Oppression – Forced Evictions
Originally, I chose the theme corporate greed, but after a couple of classes I realized I wouldn’t be able to create a video around it, so Mackenzie and I chose to switch themes from corporate greed to racism. After I switched I started brainstorming ideas for my film and I knew I wanted my documentary to show how racism affects peoples’ lives and shapes their identity.
Every film needs a story board to get one’s ideas out, but in our videos we needed to have b-roll, and without having an interview done yet I didn’t know what my b-roll would be (b-roll is basically just images that are presented on the screen that help tell the story.) As a result my storyboard ended up unfinished.
Since I was done planning my film I needed to find an interviewee who had experienced racism. I started thinking of people I could interview but got stumped, then I thought I could ask my dad; however, I really wanted to hear from someone new or who I didn’t know much about. Luckily, my mom reached out to her friend and colleague named Shelly and I ended up securing an interview with her. Although, this did change the whole direction of my documentary. Shelly is a teacher so when I knew I was going to interview her I changed some of my interview questions to be more directed to schools and how kids can be better educated about racism.
I am thankful for Shelley opening up and sharing her experiences with me. What immediately struck me was how surprised I was to hear her stories and how racism is more common than I thought and how it can come in many forms. What stood out most was that even in Shelly’s many years of teaching she has not seen many people stand up against racism.
Upon reflection, this project has helped deepen my understanding of my role and responsibility in fighting against and interrupting patterns of racism. Even if it is awkward to try and take a stand to interrupt racism it is important to let people know they aren’t alone. Another thing that grounded me is hearing that her first experience with racism was at my age. I thought it was more adults experiencing racism, as that is what I have seen more on the news. Shelly and I talked about how it’s only been the last few years that racism has been intentionally addressed at schools. Our conversation reminded me I am not immune.
After I interviewed Shelly I was quickly off to start editing my final video on the app called Capcut. It took me a few days to finish it but I finally did! Here it is:
Every movie theme had their own room where their work would be showcased. Each room also had a different setting, and while I forgot to take photos of most of them here are some examples:
Because the racism group was quite big we got split up into two groups; Sofia, Dylan, Keira and I got to decorate and present in the back of the library and the other half presented in the front. To keep the exhibition fun and engaging we had to create a game for our room. Since there were 2 racism groups we decided to make the games similar but we also wanted to make things purposely more difficult and with less advantages for one of them. The Blue Room’s (my group) game was going to be more difficult than the Anything But Blue Room, which was in the front of the library where Susan, Silas, and Mackenzie were. This was to demonstrate the inequality of society and how people with differences are treated as lesser. Our room had the disadvantage and it related to the driving theme of our room which was: James Cameron’s fantasy world of Avatar reveals that often times, people of different races are oppressed.
Before we started decorating the actual room we needed a layout. But we didn’t create it on our own. During particular classes we were given the opportunity to collaborate with some of the grade 8s. The grade 8s in my group were Tate, Caelum, Lucas, Gabby, and Hazel. I am not super familiar about what they had to create, but from what I know they decorated a shoe box to represent a theme from Avatar just like our documentaries did. Of course, all the grade 8s in our group chose the theme racism.
The grade 9s also painted viewing boxes that we put our iPads in, so the sound would be projected in the box. On the day of, we pulled our room together and it ended up looking pretty good in my opinion. It was kind of hard to take photos of our room since everything was quite busy but here are a few photos from the exhibition: My friend Gwen and I with our boxes!
Overall, I am proud of what we pulled off, as this project was go, go, go and I narrowly got everything done on time. I enjoyed working with the grade 8s and they did a great job at the exhibition. I am going to finally address the driving question of the project: “What does James Cameron’s fantasy world of Avatar reveal about our society today?” First of all, Avatar reminds us that society is full of inequality, for instance, many people with power think they have all the control. This is seen in the movie when Colonel Miles Quaritch doesn’t listen to any of the scientists who think making the Na’Vi move locations and ruining the environment is wrong. His greed for obtaining the unobtanium, which is an expensive mineral, to make money is something we see in our society regularly. For example, often in politics it’s hard to know or trust who is telling the truth as often it appears certain politicians are greedy for power or wealth. Sometimes we question whether they acknowledge the voice of everyday citizens and so conflict happens. An additional example of comparing Avatar to today’s social inequality is that it also could be seen that the dominant culture (humans) think it automatically has the power to get the minority (the Na’Vi) to conform and adjust to their ways.
Another real life connection I can make is to the Coastal Gaslink pipeline situation. The Wet’suwet’en’s humans rights are being violated by the construction of the pipeline. The Wet’suwet’en people were offered no prior consent that the pipeline was going to be built on their land which shows the disrespect to indigenous people. A similar thing happens in Avatar, where the humans wanted to get the unobtanium and had not asked permission or consent to do so. The humans ended up killing many Na’Vi and destroying nature by forcing their way to get to the unobtanium which was also located under the home tree where the Na’Vi were living at the time. The prioritization of human interest over the sustainability of our environment is also seen with the Wet’suwet’en, as explained in the article, Canada: Construction of pipeline on Indigenous territory endangers land defenders which states that one of their last source of clean water and salmon spawning grounds is the The Wedzin Kwa River, may be comprised by the pipeline.
The same themes that are shown in the first movie Avatar are also continued in the second movie called Avatar: The Way Of The Water which came out December 16th, 2022. In Avatar: The Way Of The Water the humans killed the Tulkan. They killed the Tulkun to get a single dose of a fluid that stops aging that’s worth 80 million dollars. Then they left the Tulkun in the ocean along with their equipment used to kill it. This is similar to when they wanted to get the unobtanium for the money. This is another example of prioritizing what humans want over sustaining the environment and its natural resources.
To wrap up the project we went to the movie theatres to watch the new Avatar in the theatres 8:30 am. We, as in all PLP classes (minus a few people who didn’t go) it was a very full theatre but I enjoyed watching the movie and hanging put with my friend’s afterwards. Thank you for reading!
You know the block buster moves like Star Wars, Titanic, Avatar and others? Well guess what, I made some movies just as good as those.
How I became so talented was through a project in maker called Everyone Has A Story. Throughout the project I had to create many videos using different shots and angles. Let’s dive in to my journey of becoming an epic film maker!
The first video I had to create was about what inspires you. We had to create a video on clips telling a story about the things we like to do and how they inspire us. To help brainstorm ideas for the video we filled out this sheet that was all about ourselves and what we like doing, our talents and skills etc!
This definitely did help me create my video, one thing I would change is that I think I could have told more of a story throughout it. If you would like to watch my video here it is!
The next video we had to create was about telling a goal getters story! Besides just making videos in this project we also read a book called “What Do You Really Want”. There is a section in the book all about kids achieving a goal. We could make our video about one of those goals or our own goal getter story. I wrote mine about skiing.
For the video we had to make it a silent film on the app clips. But it wasn’t on your own it was a group project! I was with Sydney, Keaton, and Keenan and we chose to do our video about Sydney’s goal getter story. Her story was about creating a Wanda costume for halloween which you will see in our video:
We had to take a little pause on maker because of the mini exhibition we were having for our books we made about the geography of the west! You can read more about it in my other post called Wandering Around The West.
After we finished that we got right back on track with a new assignment that actually wasn’t a video it was a goal ladder! I wrote my goal ladder about wanting to achieve practicing piano efficiently. Practicing piano is more of a habit then a goal so I think to make it more of a goal I could have said I want to know all my scales by heart and I could have tied in practicing that way!
Finally the last video we had to make could either be about how to set goals, how to be a goal getter, or how to stay on track. Again, we made this video in a group! My group was Keira, Frankie, and Jasper. We chose to do our video about how to set goals and used the acronym S.M.A.R.T which you can learn more about in our video:
All great movie makers have to reflect so I am going to reflect on the driving question: “How can I use my video skills to tell a story?”. To tell a story you have to have a beginning middle and end! Also, with the different skills I have learned like editing, collaborating, and different angles it can enhance the story as well. I still need to work on getting better at telling a story but I know if I make storyboards that are easy to understand to help me I can do it.
Stay tuned to see what more amazing movies I create! I bet they will be in the movie theatres soon enough. Thanks for reading!
As usual I’ll start of with the driving question: “How might I use technology to create and communicate?”
for this project we had to split into two separate sides, one was for photography (Herzog) and the other for drawing (Carr). I started in Carr
I think you have already heard about learning with an Apple Pencil in my post called The Power Of a Pencil. In the post I explained that there where two sides to this project, Herzog and Carr, one side was about art and drawing (Carr) and the other about Photography (Herzog). Since I have already done Carr I moved onto Herzog. This learning experience was kind of hard to reflect on since I have already learned about photography when doing courses over covid lockdown. We went through many different processes to grow our knowledge of editing and photography on an ipad. I will walk you through the Herzog project.
First we started with taking photos of simple objects in the classroom, the object I chose was a pair of scissors. We experimented with different angels and using markup afterwards.
Here are some of my scissor pictures:
Here is my end photo that I used mark up on:
I used me and my friend Hannah’s scissors, its their first date and it went pretty well.
Then we learned about different elements you can add to your photo, like focusing on texture, colour, lines and more. We all chose a element we wanted to focus on and ventured outside again for a themed photo walk. I chose texture and here is a collage of my photos I took.
Since in both those apps you can add filters and do all sorts of things to change your photo and we used them to help create mood. Since that may be a bit confusing I shall explain, we had to take a photo capturing a mood we picked from a deck of cards, I got the mood silly. My first idea was to get my sister to hang from a tree upside down, but then it snowed and she didn’t want to hang upside down anymore (I don’t know though why who wouldn’t want to hang on a wet branch). I ended up having to use a mini snow man that I made well freezing my hands off. Here is my final photo:
Why I think it’s funny because it’s a snowman in the middle of green grass with no trace of snow close to it. Also I find tiny stuff really cute and funny for no reason
The last thing we did was…
Hack keynote >:D
not literally though.
How we “hacked keynote” was by creating GIF’s with the transitions and animations used to sPiCe Up presentations. I would hope everyone would at least have the slightest hint of what Keynote is but if you dont its kind of like PowerPoint, you can create organized presentations.
Here is my completed GIF:
The backstory of my gif was my sister singing I believe I can fly so thats where I got my inspo. I tried to do a different approach of burning my friends name in my first attempt.
As I said earlier this project was hard to reflect since I already learned about these skills. But that was with a camera, I have learned some new things with my iPad and new things about editing. Also I have learned that keynote can do many different things and it is actually kind of cool. I have had trouble with remembering that my Ipad is not my camera so it is harder to get a nice focus and other things on it. Throughout the project I have also seen that it doesn’t matter if your good or bad because you can keep on learning. Also you can express many things in a photo and it can help people learn new things about you or something.
As usual I’m going to start with the driving question: “How might I use technology to create and communicate?”
At the start of this project, we were split into two different groups. One group was focused on photography and the other on drawing. The overall purpose was to progress in our skills using the ipad for artistic expression. Each group was given an artist for inspiration, which for photography was Fred Herzog and for drawing the inspiration was the famous Emily Carr.
The app we used was called Sketches Pro and we enjoyed exploring the different pen options, here is a photo of the different types of pens, and my personal favourite is probably the fine liner and then the pencil for outlining.
We started learning about how apply pressure with the apple pencil, for example when you push harder on the pencil when drawing it makes the line thicker but when you angle it to the side and dont press hard it becomes thin and has less opacity. Then we tried out the built in patterns and quickly moved onto creating our own. I highly enjoyed making zen tangles. Soon after we learned about shapes and drawing circles with all the different tools that make the shapes have perfect, clean edges. After learning those basics we applied those in into creating a drawing a of our name that reflected us in it! Here is mine:
Next we proceeded onto shading and identifying shapes. For this mini project we used a cup for our object, this is the one my table group shared:
Continuing with the mug we identified the shapes:
Maybe you expected this but then we drew the mug and mine didn’t turn out how I expected it to. I struggled with the shading and it looked too chunky. So I redrew it as a different mug but I still think I could do better if I ever draw one again.
Since we learned the basic elements of drawing we created a robot using our knowledge of shapes and shading. When I was drawing my robot I realized I had to shade my head and try and make it realistic, but I chose a hard shape to do and I was halfway through already…and I was not about to start over! Now I know what shapes are the easiest to draw. Here is my robot:
The most useful skill I learned about was probably sketch noting (our wonderful friend Karen helped us), the point of sketch noting is to get down your thoughts with a more visual approach. We had to listen to a video of a person talking about why doodling is effective, the video is called Doodlers, Unite!. Here is what I came up with its my very first sketch note:
I find sketch noting an effective way to make verbal information visual, but personally I like writing plain notes since it’s easier for me to navigate through and create checklists.
One of the very last skills we learned was about perspective, we learned about the vanishing points and how to make rooms look more 3D and realistic. When doing this we also navigated through layers, and I find layers super helpful since it makes it easier to overlay drawings and being able to erase a certain components of a drawing with out erasing the things you want to keep. The first thing we did when learning about perspective was drawing a room, we did this by locating the vanishing point then making all the lines of the drawing lead up to it. Then we used a photo on the internet and located where the horizon line was and what the point was where everything leads up to (aka finding the leading lines). The hardest thing for me was having to draw something around the school, I did not do very good on this since I picked a difficult spot to draw. Also I finished drawing then realized I did it at a completely different angle and had to restart (it was delightful). Finally we drew a still image of a landscape we are familiar with, for example a deep cove landscape would be good. What I used was a photo I took in Sunshine Coast, here is the photo:
Drawing this was hard, my drawing ended up being kind of abstract because of all the different hues of blue and having to blendy blendy everything. Here is a slideshow of of my completed art work:
The last thing we did was create a logo with the help of Mrs. Maxwells friend, Chloe Devine. Chloe is a graphic designer living in New York, she has been in the industry for 3 years.
To start off we had a zoom call with Chloe, some students went up to ask these questions:
Sofia – What did you want to do when you were
younger? Did art naturally come to you?
Cam – How did you fall in love with designing?
Mackenzie – When and why did you decide to move to
Gwenyth – What apps do you use to create your art or
Susan – How do you incorporate shapes into your
Naomi – What is the hardest part of graphic design?
Hannah – What is the favourite part of your job?
Keaton – What is your favourite tool to use?
After having insight on what to do we created a design brief about what our business is and what the logo would look like. Here is my design brief:
After getting my brief approved I moved on to drawing my logo (quick insight on what my business is, its a bakery filled with deserts but all in tiny proportions), we had to choices in apps that we could create our logo on, Sketches or Keynote. I ended up choosing sketches, my idea for my logo was to have a birds nest with macaron’s in it. My first attempt was quite messy but I still went on with my idea of a birds nest. After drawing 2 more birds nest I was on my 4th one, and after adding the macarons I realized it wasn’t going to work. So I scrapped that idea and decided just to do a stack of macarons instead. Here is a slideshow of all my drafts:
In conclusion I have learned a lot more about digital art in the past week than I have in basically 11 years. I’ve learned about shading, perspective, shapes, disappearing points, and more. The drawing I am most proud of is my final name draft, the reason I like it is because I made every letter part of me. I didn’t just draw the things I like in the letter, I made the letter look like an object. A challenging thing was getting rid of my bird’s nest idea. I really loved my idea of having a bird’s nest in my logo since I love nature and baking so I thought it would be a good way to connect them. I had to tell myself that no matter how hard I tried I would never be satisfied on how it would look, so eventually after persuading myself it was to hard for me I got rid of it. One thing I would work on next time is my shading, I would try and make it a more gradual effect instead of making it one block of colour. Even though I learned how to gradually get darker or lighter I usually ended up with a colour block, but I know I can create a good gradient. I think drawing is a great way to express your self and show you view on the world, I prefer digital art over physical art since it’s more forgiving with my expert level of skill.
Hi i finally finished
This is my Memoji, and I have customized the laptop to what I would like my laptops stickers to look like in real life. As you can see some of my stickers are people and they are stickers of my friends. I have a camera, which is actually the camera I use currently (I’m 99% sure) so I thought it would be cool to add. I have the hive because I like rock climbing, and I have kermit because why not.
How I work in a team:
As a team member I can listen to others peoples ideas and then i can try and figure out if they would work. I think I can merge ideas well but I can get faster at creating a end result. I am a optimist so I will try and support and push anyone to keep on going even if I feel the opposite about myself. I am good at reading and I can am kinda fast at it. I can learn on the go and try and adapt to situations. I am good at self regulating so I probably won’t get super angry, burst into tears or anything random at weird times. I like hands on experiment and digital art, but not drawing because I’m realllllly bad at that. I will try and help my group whenever I can and I’m a introvert but I think I’m getting better at that stuff I have no clue though.
Some things about me that you might want to know.
I was told just writing something about what I bring to the team was boring so i made a animation. In the animation I was asked by my team what Im good at and then I answered with a very dramatic scene. What I said is explain what I’m good at I said, I’m kind, optimistic, helpful, empathetic, collaborative, smart? And I can work as a team. I was asked what I needed to work on, and I answered, I need to work on staying on topic, not getting stuck on an idea, pitching myself, listening even when I get bored. I don’t have a big reason for why I did a animation it was mostly not to be super boring and I thought it would kind of be fun to do. It was sort of fun but my hand got a cramp from doing those amazing drawings. I’m like working in teams because I find it is nice to be able to meet new people and be in the same boat most of the time.
That’s my animation video for the Creative Media!