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 point out what they've done right and what they done wrong. I point out problems that I can see coming in the edit.

I believe this vibrant activity keeps everyone engaged, not only in their final project but everyone's project.  Each student can see the problems they'll each have to overcome in the edit.

Once we are done with the editing of the silent movies we watch the edited version. Again, we spend significant time critiquing the finished project.  

Now everyone can see the entire process from raw to edit. Students learn from their own accomplishments and mistakes. Students learn from everyone in the class as well. This vibrancy I believe has nothing but positive results.

Take a look at a few of the final 1st projects - The Silent Movies.


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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The About You Flyer

August 29, 2016
In the beginning I teach an Introduction to Computer Technology class.  It's a 1 credit course.  This class gives students an overview of the MAC and the operating system.  It's vital for their success to understand how to maneuver on a MAC.

I have have a basic lecture in Microsoft Word in this class.   We will use Microsoft Word throughout the program so it's vital they have a basic understanding.  This prepares them for a project.  The 1st project students produce is an about you flyer.  I w...

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Day 2 They Shoot. Day 3 They Edit

August 24, 2016
The 2nd day of my program, which is the 1st day of the video production class students shoot a short film.  I spend less than an hour discussing camera basics.  For this exercise and only this exercise I have the students shooting in full-auto mode.

I don't need to give them too much theory.  They should get out there shooting and having fun and excited for the video program from the start.

I want a story about a student running late for class. Students should shoot about 15-20 shots.  I want ...

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On the 1st day we Built Paper Airplanes

August 22, 2016
Today was the 1st day of class.  I'm excited to have 12 future video professionals in my program.

I want to keep this year active, vital and vibrant.  I hope you'll enjoy my posts about my new educational quest.  A portion of today's lecture was how to build a paper airplane.  

Students followed my step-by-step instructions attempting to replicate the airplane I built before them.  After that I had them take another piece of paper and attempt a 2nd build.  This time I encouraged them to look up...
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We Begin with Honors

July 18, 2016

As you can see by the picture I have won several Emmys.

On Saturday July 16th I won my 1st National Academy of Arts & Sciences Student Achievement Awards.

My student, Tanya Kisakova produced a documentary for the non-profit Sense of Security

Tanya and I were on-hand Saturday to receive our awards.  I'm so proud of Tanya and all her accomplishments.

Tanya and I were beaming with happiness all evening.  My wife congratulated me and said, "You know, this award you should be most proud of."  I ask...
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