Their Journey into Writing Begins with Schoolhouse Rock

January 10, 2017

I'm creating visual storytellers.  They learn to shoot.  They learn to edit.  Today, they began their writing career.  Just so we are all on the same page, I wanna make sure everyone understands basic sentence structure.  Subject, predicate, nouns, verbs are basic tools in writing.  Adverbs add spice to sentences. Adverbs are more enjoyable after learning about them from Schoolhouse Rock.

That's right.  I play 'Lolly Lolly Lolly Get Your Adverbs Here,' in my class.  After that, we do some simple exercises adding adverbs to sentences.

Our educational journey with Schoolhouse rock doesn't end there.  How about a lesson on adjectives?

Why not discuss pronouns.

These and many other videos are available on YouTube.  I think they make re-learning about our language fun.

It's vital students remember the basics in a sentence and the power of words they'll choose to put into stories.

It's a fun, interactive way to start our writing journey.

The Interview Process and Employment Strategies

December 19, 2016

Why are my students looking so dapper on this day? They've just been through the interview process. My student in the Video Production & Editing Program at Emily Griffith stop producing video for a week.  During this non-production week, they focus on employment strategies. These students are learning vital skills now even though they don't graduate for 7 months. Why?
  • They'll be better prepared for internship opportunities since they have a cover letter and resume ready
  • They'll have the next 7 ...

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Bringing In Former Students as Presenter

December 13, 2016

Do you call on former students as guest presenters? I do.
Do you ask your best and brightest to come
back and share their insight?  I do.  
Do you ask those student that didn't listen, didn't pay attention, didn't perform up to expectations to present? I do.

Anthony Lujan graduated from the Video Production & Editing Program two years ago. This is a profile video his fellow students produced about him in the program.

Anthony is a bright individual.  He simply didn't give it his all while he ...
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Their Journey, just 12 Weeks Old

November 8, 2016
My students are on a journey, I'm simply a guide. We are 12 weeks into the Video Production & Editing Program at Emily Griffith Technical College. The 1st video project student produce is a silent movie. They complete this project after the 6th week. I don't want them worried about gathering sound.  During this 1st project they focus on;

  1. Telling a simple story with a conflict
  2. Aperture, white balance & focus techniques with the camera
  3. Shooting 3-shot sequences with variety (wide, medium & tight)
  4. E...

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Get Them Out of the Building and to a Career Day Early

October 12, 2016
I want my students networking.  I want them learning outside the classroom.  At the NATAS Career Fair they got a chance to both of those vital elements.  I think it's important for them to hear what I say repeated by industry professionals.  It's intriguing that once they here it from them, then they realize what I'm saying is valuable.

Some may wait until students are near the end of their students lives to participate in a career day.  I say get them there as soon as possible.  I push them, ...
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Watch for Mistakes and Then...

October 4, 2016
My goal is to lecture as little as possible this year.  I want to give them just enough information to get out and experience learning.  Today they started their journey into using wireless microphones and capturing relevant natural sound. I walked around, observing as they shot video.  When I saw something I felt would improve them immediately I made a suggestion.

Here's a little video about today.

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They Collaborate Some, Then Collaborate Some More, Then Collaborate Some More

October 3, 2016
l get my class into groups often.  I want them knowing each other as well as possible.  I want them collaborating as much as possible.  Today's class is Intro to Documentary Storytelling.  Of course we watch compelling documentaries.  Today, we watched several short-form documentaries.  In class we discussed the research, planning and approach they could use in producing their intro documentary.

After we watched several of these short-form documentaries I have them get together in teams and co...

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Give Them a Critique Before They finish the Project

September 28, 2016
I'm giving my student the best chance to succeed.  Their 1st project for a grade is a silent movie. Though they have shot several practice movies, this is their 1st real attempt at putting everything together they've learned into a project.

Once they've completed shooting their movies we then spend an entire class critique their raw video. I ask them to export 20 clips that showcase there story.  No editing, just the 20 clips on a timeline and export.

We, as a class look at all the raw video. I...

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Start as a team, then work alone, then work as a team again.

September 21, 2016

I ask my students to shoot silent movies for the first six weeks of our video production program.  This post is about their 3rd movie.  For this in-class project they need to focus on sequencing and match-action.  They must shoot 3-shot sequences and not break screen direction. They break into groups of 4 and collaborate on the shoot.
  • They start as a team

Once they're done they edit.  Each student edits a version of the movie.  We watch each edit as a class critique all elements.
  • They work indep...

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Let Them Fail

August 31, 2016
In our 2nd Video Production class (that's the one they shoot in) I introduced some manual setting on the camera.  I didn't go into very much detail.

I simply said the low F numbers (F-stops) allow a lot of light into the camera and the high F number allow less like into the camera.  They learned about the zoom and that's about it.

They had to come up with another idea for a silent movie with these parameters;
  • All shots must maintain screen direction (for the entire movie)
  • There must be a beginni...

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