I'd intended to wrap up the "Big Week" series on the blog with the premiere of the Rotoball project, but - I have to apologize, that post will come in the next few days.  Since the Film Festival I've added sound and credits, and it just needs a tiny bit of tweaking.   

This weekend we're in Hong Kong for the Apple Education Leadership Summit.  Later today I'll be presenting about creating student film festivals with Amanda DeCardy, Mikey McKillip, David Larson, and Jonathan Chambers.  Unfortunately, I had to replace my mac battery yesterday so rather than liveblogging yesterday, I reinvigorated some old technology to record the session.  Pencil and paper.  I'll update the blog with notes for yesterday as soon as I figure out how to get my sketchbook to interface with the laptop.  

Today however, I'm back online and loving a session I'm in right now on filmmaking in the classroom by Marco Torres.  

First session: Lights Camera Learn!:

Paraphrasing Torres:

There was all these movies in the 80s about the future, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica. but there were no Latinos in these movies, and what happened to us? I sit on the board with George Lucas and I said I was going to make a short film about how Edward James Olmos is the only Latino to survive a mad cow epidemic, he gives birth to Jimmy Smits who becomes Luke and Leia's Nanny.  Its important to connect our kids to their identities and make them feel empowered for who they are.

Put kids on a bus, challenged them to shoot and edit a music video in 8 hours.   They had to write the music as well.  

Digital SLRs are upping the ante, shooting video- you can do things with the lenses that you couldn't do wihtout a 100K camera just a few years ago. 

Filmmaking: Students are metacognative of both the product and the process.   They are thinking about sounds, movement, editing, cinematography - they can see the balance.  They can say 'that's a really well edited bad movie'.  

Narrative:  Start with a storyboard
Documentary: Start with a mindmap outline.
Montage: Storyboard, mindmap, outline. 

Good storytelling gets people to want to ask more questions after the viewing. 
Los Angeles City website publishes Torres' students videos to promote conservation. 

Kids are good at determining the 'whats and the hows' a good teacher still determines the 'why'.

Kids need to learn how to deliver a compelling narrative - and narration, when reading into the computer, stand up and be animated as you read. 

"We are sitting in the library" - teaches students that idea needs two shots, a wide shot for "in the library" and a medium shot for "sitting" - teaching literacy through storyboards.

No one who writes a film makes the film, the priority is to teach the students how to be great collaborators and great communicators, not great filmmakers.

Constrain the area that they shoot.  Hand edited video over to a new student to add a score.  

Teaching Visual Grammar - digital image 
Wide: Where (location)
Medium: What (action)
Closeup: How (emotions)

4 Ps of filmmaking: 

Planning - The Map
Producing - The Journey
Presneting - The Celebration
Pheedback - The Learning

ZI6 by Kodak - Quicktime native, AA batteries, removable SD cards, bigger screen than the flip.

Marco uses Livescribe pen to take notes in a paper notebook, which is then saved in the computer as a vector animation.

The amazing thing about this session is that it breaks down how filmmaking is so important on so many levels- to so many different classes.  I'm sitting here with Jonathan Chambers who just said that this has given him so many great strategies for his ESOL classes. 

Second Session: Rock Out! (In Your Class):

Torres' first session was so engaging, that there was no question that I'd stay for the second.  I know  a great deal less about making and recording music than I do about filmmaking-  and considering how much I learned in the last session, I'm looking forward to what I can learn here.

Korg Nanokey - midi keyboard attachment for mac. 
12 Channel Oscilloscope for iTouch/ipod
Garageband- Magic GarageBand is a great way to introduce the 


The most emotional of languages (music) informs the most unemotional of languages (math).

By having students create music for films, you don't have to deal with copyright issues- it also opens opportunities for more students with more interests to get involved.

John Williams made some of the scariest movie sounds over simply by juxtaposing two notes.

Music has XY coordinates, where X is the length of the song and Y is the pitch.


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