Rethinking my position…

We are now officially three weeks into the new school year and I’m looking over the changes I made in how I teach – and rethinking whether I should have done them.

Originally I always started students off with Basic Shots – got the cameras into their hands and them out in the field to shoot seven shots using video. Then they came back and edited using iMovie.

This year I had them shoot some basic composition using stills and then brought into the computer using iPhoto; then pulled into iMovie and edited.

What I’m seeing is that learning two (albeit very basic) programs at the same time has slowed things down immensely. Of course having two classes with forty students each may have something to do with that. Everyone finished the composition assignment – they’ve all moved on to Basic Shots and are having fun with their first real video assignment.

If they retain what they learned about iMovie, they should be able to speed through BS and on to Animation within the week…and then maybe things will be back on a normal schedule. I am seeing better shooting in the Basic Shots assignments…which was my intent when I shoveled composition in front of it.

My two big issues – not enough tripods and ALL of the Eluras now have stripped threads, so we can’t use them with the non-existant tripods. Actually, it balances out pretty well…about seven tripods and seven (older) video cameras. The seniors have the drill – work when there’s gear and kick back and work on other class assignments or chill out or talk with the teacher about video. The freshmen are somewhat confused…they aren’t used to sitting creatively. They’ll learn.

I love my little groupies who have formed teams and sit and encourage and help each other on every assignment…they are bonding and learning more than either of the other two types of teams.

Friday was mellow…once I got the gear checked out, I had time to set up the studio gear and run each class through a quick look-see and hands on session. Monday we start for real. I’ll have a script for the directors so they will know exactly what to say (Quiet on the set! Stand by to tape. In 10-9-8….) to the floor crew. We’ll have copies of the Bulletin for the “anchors” to rehearse with. Only two anchors to start with…will add in the third in a week or so.

Everyone will be REQUIRED to learn every role on the floor crew, control room, anchor desk…and once we start for real they will be required to rotate through every position with the exception of anchor. Yeah – I want the shows to look good and flow smoothly and nothing screws things up worse than a reluctant anchor.

And counting down to September 3 in 10-19-18-17…

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