These are my notes from Marco’s session today.

Documentary style movies are powerful and do-able
– so are mocu-mentories

When I start a multimedia project with my kids, we first brainstorm all the things that other filmmakers might do or use for the guidelines of the movie
– then we decide not to do those things or use those things
– Example: About 9-11, 80% of film entries used the twin towers

When ever kids can’t come up with a good idea
– they immediately have to come up with 5 bad ideas
– from that worst film idea, a good idea comes
– if they can’t come up with a good idea, we make that bad film
– often 30 seconds
It’s about the idea not the technology

There were no little kids: vocal transformer was used
– students drew with their non-dominant hand to draw like kids
– not much technology was used
– lots of thinking went on before that project was made

We are going to focus on planning today


– Pacific Bell

A roll and B roll concept
– A roll: when you see someone talking, the talking head
– B roll: That other stuff you have a voiceover, other footage (some call it “cutaways”)
– analyze videos for their A-roll and B-roll elements
– you let the A roll tell the story, and you but the B roll on top

static electricity

it’s amazing how much these movies communicate
– the secret: planning
– project management is extremely important

This is a whole week of tips in terms of planning
– this is what we do early on
– Frank Lloy “you can take an eraser to ta blueprint or a pickaze to the foundation.”

I don’t just want kids to make films, I want them have project management skills, think big picture
– think about what goals I have as a teacher
– who is the target audience

For our entire educational experience, the target audience has been the teacher
– we have a chance to do that now, to change the target audience
– do you think that changes how you tell a story
– the media is very aware of that, in their ability to communicate with us
– very interesting when we start brainstorming this

– where is this going to be shown
– all our projects can have “alas” (wings)
– school, community, where

– I’m really big on small projects
– nothing over 7 min long
– we have hundreds of films
– we have 10 second films
– we came in 5th place for a Cadillac contest for 5 second movies

Look inside personal stories: those really sell
– list all ideas, esp bad ones
– bounce ideas (yes, and; yes, but)

When I was at Pixar I learned a lot of cool tricks about getting ideas out
– how do you tell a story?
– that’s where the “yes, and: yes, but”

Where is the most difficult place to make a movie
– underwater
– most difficult family situation to be in
– they were talking about a father who lost

Pixar looks for the most difficult situation to be in
– that’s where I got the idea for snowboarder v skier (teachers don’t necessarily want the hardest path)
– for Pixar, they recognize the difficult path will make them most creative

2 parts: product and process
– What: Sad boy on bench
– How: Slow cam pull back

process is how you are going to TELL YOUR STORY

Music is hard to show
– the most recognizable score in a movie is just two notes (Jaws!)
– really amazing how really simple can be just what we need

All of this is available on Marco’s podcast

Many kids think documentary style is boring, until they realize
– there are documentaries about everything

Process channel:
Documentary: story, mindmap/outline, less challenge.

First day of school: Inspiration

For those of you using KidsPiration, I think Kidspiration is a limited Inspiration
– there are lots of mind map tools out there, I like Inspiration

In school I had a problem with the delivery method, it was the content and context I understood
– so I had a problem with 1/3 of my learning experiences
– when I saw inspiration, I realized it was a missing tool that my kids needed for their thinking

Start with inspiration

“Quick victories builds will”
– first term: hamburgers
– brainstorm all the things in a hamburger

then brainstorm off of initial categories

In Alaska the meats were interesting: moose, reindeer, seal!

I can easily fill this screen
– wow, I tell the kids you are experts at something
– first quick victory
– next: highlight main categories and change color
— go to arrange in outline order (top down organization)

Then say: if I was going to write an essay, approx how many paragraphs would it be
– kids will generally say the number of categories
– this connects to why there are paragraphs and breaks in your writing
– this gives a visual understanding of what will be in each paragraph

Multimedia comes in: if I was to do a website
– how many main buttons?
– if we were going to write a song and record it, how many verses?
– if making a movie: how many sections would we have?

Doesn’t matter if we go linear or non-linear, we have a good understanding

Then hit the outline view in Inspiration

Qualitative decisions: if I am going to write an essay about a hamburger, which one should I start with?
– pull meat to the top
– condiments to the bottom
– all in outline view of Inspiration

If I am starting, should I start with beef?
– we have started writing, but not in the delivery phase: we are in content and context phase

If my kids never have a chance to make a movie, there is amazing thinking that goes into this process
– then after we get the ideas, we can focus on HOW to do this

Now export to PPT of outline
– add template
– highlight all
– add a dissolve transition

Then go straight to the presentation in PPT

Back to my learning: I could read words, but I wasn’t reading sentences
– I was so concerned with reading words that I

If we’re using multimedia, kids should not think SLIDE BY SLIDE
– they need to think big picture about their presentation

Teachers often blame technology when the real problem was the PLANNING, when kids go off and get distracted

Then kids go out and interview a local butcher
– 1 kid is responsible for getting the music, what would “meat music” sound like?
– cheese music (cow bells?)
– kids start writing down HOW I would tell the story

in inspiration, make the HOWS a different color and different shape

Example: pitch for Latinos in Baseball
– students pitch their idea through Inpiration
– we can assess, provide feedback, and get ideas visually
– can see process and content

I am always interested in PRODUCT
– many people in media programs think heavy with process, so their products are light

Separate and break down process and product

I tell them if you make mistakes in your pitch, don’t worry, I want to see your ideas and your thinking

We just learned at our

Language arts teachers: it is always about your thesis statement
– your process and product should point to that thesis

Create a culture of feedback” in your classroom
– your job initially is making sure kids will achieve their goals, will their plan support their product

I tell kids to get an idea of how things sound
– they don’t have to find that music, they need to find someone on campus who can play that kind of music

Put on your producer hat and look at what the kids have done: I might advice the student to write a narration using the content he’s already written
– As I am talking, can you visualize the B roll?
– think about timing
– so this example we are looking at on Latino Baseball, based on what they have “pitched” via in

Your goal is not to answer questions, but to make people more curious after you see the film
– don’t try to provide all the answers
– brush that surface and get people interested

I’m not interested in kids
– project management
– business planning skills
– when I do presos for the business community, they get that kids are understanding how to manage something
– we could delegate out roles for this movie and do this today

So we list all the teachers at our school that play guitar, can contribute to our projects with music
– that has been the #1 way at our school to overcome the “yes, but” teachers

Story of Keith Richards, in 1981 the first time they recorded with a computer he didn’t want anything to do with it
– producer…

Lots of our films have our own faculty in them
We need to find the people in the network that we can plug into our project
You’ll see how fast we can work

I generally do a 3 day workshop, and we make incredible films because of this approach

Showed example of functional writing: Inspiration pitch for a real movie
– it eventually gets approved after all the planning

Sometimes I’ll take the plan one group has made and give it to another group
– is powerful

If you don’t finish the film, you’re ok with that
– do you know how impossible it is to plagiarize when you are mind mapping?
– that is what is magical
– this has helped me be better with math
– this has been my secret weapon (mind mapping and planning with Inspiration)
– this is a paper trail that shows what the kids are thinking

If kids don’t have inspiration
– I give them think books
– I keep all the “trash” of the kids, because it reflects their thinking

The storyboard
– X’s mean already shot, wide or close shots
– lots of notes
– planning assignment ideas

Map the Plan!!!
– if I hand you a camera, you should be able to film it

timelines are very important
– script to storyboard
– break down and build

So I am actually going to post this preso on my Flickschool tonight

It is that planning part in Inspiration that has been our secret

Was that helpful?

You have the opportunity via multimedia to have the most relevant, engaging, and valuable learning activities in your school
– your students will be more marketable as a result
– these are some of the best schools

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