This post is about my 2023 Mpols, however this one is a little more important as it will be my last Mpols I every present. I have now done five years worth of Mpols and I have one more Fpol at the end of the year, but for now I just have to reflect on what has happened so far in this year. We have completed only two projects, but one of them was quite long and required quite a bit of preparation in order to be successful. There were some moments in which I felt pride in the work I created, and at some points I had some regrets about what I could have improved upon, but I’ll go over all of that in this post.
The first of our main two projects was about dystopias. We did a bunch of things to understand what they are about and how they pose as a warning to society, but what I want to focus on is some of the ways we built up or understanding of them. There was some really interesting activities that stuck with me after the project, and I believe it is because they were not only something I had never done before, but also I just thought they made us look at our topic from angles we never thought about.
This was an important part of learning as it allowed us to understand the world from the point of view of a dictator. We learned that dystopia’s are a reflection of what our lives, or lives in other countries could become if we continue with evil ideals like dictatorship. They represent a an extreme example of what our world could become if we value unhealthy habits. Our task was to try and plan to take over a country or imaginary place with specific political status. We learned about how countries with unstable politics and state of living were easier to take over as they need someone to believe in, which is where an outside power would appear and promise to help them out. This as we learned, was the way most dictatorships started. This lead to some pretty nasty ideas from our end on how we could completely take over a country using whatever means necessary, but as we learned this is how a real life dictator could possibly think, and this was important to note. By being able to understand how these people think we could see how they could convince people to follow them, and in turn trust them even though they impose a system which is cruel and unfair to the citizens. If this continues, then over time we see how they develop into dystopias. To see the road to a dystopia was important because before we all saw dystopias as a fictional situation that couldn’t happen, but we know understand how it is all to possible to happen in our world.
In addition to creating a video for the end of our project we had to read a dystopian novel, of which we were supposed to identify aspects which we could connect back to our own lives, and ultimately it would be included into our final product. I chose the novel Fahrenheit 451 as I had heard about the novel and after doing some research I found the ideas in its dystopian society related to ideas which I wanted to use in my final video. After reading the way I would describe the book is that is has a somewhat straight forward message, however the way they explain the message and the small details within the book is not simple. As I was reading I felt as thought sometimes I was trying to read some sort of poetry, which made me at first reject the book. As I went on to get a better understanding of what the author was trying to communicate I came to actually like the story, it just took me a little more time to appreciate the ideas and overall message.
Our final video was a combination of all that we had learned so far. Our topic of the video was to explain how dystopias reflect our society, and provide a an example of how our chosen book relates to a modern issue. My choice was to represent how the restrictions to knowledge in Fahrenheit 451 directly relates to modern day china and their restrictions on who can view what information. I was really happy with how the video played out, and I was able to find some more connections between the book and china besides the limiting information aspect. Overall I came out with a final product I was happy with, but I know that I could have made it a better final product if I could have found deeper connections between the book, my own understanding of society, and of course the modern Chinese tactics for censoring media.
The next part will likely be the majority of this Mpol, mostly because this was the largest project and the one I felt had the most growth, and the most room for improvement as well. Also I have just about nothing else to reflect on. The project is “Monster In the Mirror” in which we were tasked to not only understand what horror is, but how we can replicate it ourselves in our own horror movie. I have already reflected on this project before so I won’t include what I have already shared in my others posts, but if you want to read the whole things, the link is here.
The first few points I want to reflect on are the things that made me the most proud. The first was my understanding of horror as a genre and also as a concept. I went into this project knowing just about nothing, and I wasn’t a big fan of horror either so it’s not like I have any experience with this topic. I learned quickly however about how reflected our society’s fears which then allowed me to understand a little more about how we have built our society and what ideas upset the steady norms which we have built up. What I thought was more interesting was how the directors and screen writers found these small upsets in our world and then projected them into these movies to reveal what is going on in our lives that we might now even know is there. This actually ties into why people are so interested in these movies, but I explain that in my other post.
This is also mentioned my original post but I felt as thought the majority of this growth came from the sweat boxes ( writing periods), MoPop, and the George Town Morgue Hunted House. Each of these events improved my idea about horror in different ways, whether it be through critical thinking about what horror is, information about the history of horror, or actually experiencing it. Personally I found it beneficial to learn about the facts and history of horror through MoPop, but in terms of actually thinking about material for our movie, I think the hunted house was by far the best place to learn from. Thinking about horror is one thing, but experiencing it was something else entirely, and from that experience I was able to actually understand horror affects a person during the experience, and more importantly, after the experience as well, which I explain further in the last post I did.
With all this in mind we went on to create our own horror movie at Loon Lake. This was a part which I thought I could defiantly improve on. Since I had been put in charge of the sound of the movie, it was up to me to be in set with the director and camera people to make sure the sound in the movie was high quality. I had done research in preparation and realized that sound if a big factor that can make or break a movie, so I was very focused at the task at hand. However that focus prevented me from realizing my tasks could have gone beyond just sound. There were many times when I could have taken up different roles supporting the movie from behind the scenes. For the first day of filming I had very little to do, and the major reason for this was as I just mentioned. Overall for this part of the movie I was proud that I was able to take an important role and fill it to the best of my abilities, however I am still disappointed that I did not take the initiative to work with other departments and do new roles.
There is one other part outside of PLP which is a skill I have been working with for many years, and I believe this year I have finally used the many years of work to produce results. This skill is time management, and after trying many different methods and years of balancing school and sports, I think this is the first year it has come naturally. During the school years so far I have been involved in some of the most rigorous training in preparation for Jr.Pan Ams, however I have still been able to feel like I am not rushed to complete all my work just before the due date. This has always been a challenge for me and somehow whenever I thought I was close, it would slip out of my hands, which for a time was very frustrating. I know this is a crucial skill for post secondary, and I fell comforted knowing this is something I can do, and I know as time goes on I’ll only improve.
That concludes this years Mpol. It felt like we have done so much in the first half of this year, but looking back it has only been two major projects so far, but I can’t wait to see what is ahead for the rest of the year. I am confident in saying that I can see how all the years leading up to this have prepared me for the projects we are currently doing, and I am very happy to see how far I’ve come compared to my first years in PLP. I know I am not done yet, but reflecting on what has happened so far, I am happy to see the results.
That’s all for now.