Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Digital Media Class-Semester Summary

As the first semester draws to an end, I thought I'd take a moment to reflect on our first semester digital media elective course for 8th grade students. We had 18 students in three sections move through the course material this fall semester. This was the first year that we had three sections in one semester. It also happened to be the first year that we had a section completely made up of girls. This was the first time in five years of teaching this class where we had so many girls involved--they all really seemed to have a great time in this class which was nice.

Students in the class completed the following projects over the semester: software tutorial, silent movie, advanced camera techniques, scavenger hunt, music video, and a video special effects project. One section was able to complete a very short claymation project, which was really cool. The creativity that the students displayed in both the creation of their clay character and the movie itself was exceptional. The fact that the students completed this project in two classes was even more remarkable.

You'll see a few pictures on this page that I took as the students were creating their claymation characters for the project. This project went so well with these students that I'm hoping to be able to incorporate some type of claymation and/or stop action animation in our spring semester class which will be starting up in a week. I hope to have this project posted as a video podcast at iTunes in the next day or so. You may view this podcast as soon as it is posted by visiting Mr. Montagn'e .mac page.

Silent Movie Projects:
Perhaps the best "genre" of projects this semester turned out to be the silent movie project. "B Money" and "G Money" did a hilarious re-enactment of the great duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. Murph and Sam created an outstanding dramatic/comedic short about a presidential assassination. Alex and Ronnie created a nice silent movie about a kid who had his favorite hockey puck stolen in mid air. Basir, Will and Michael created a really clever spin on the movie "Click." The silent movie project is a keeper and a good exercise for students as they are required to build a film composition that has a clearly defined beginning, middle and end.

Music Video Projects:
The music video projects that we recently completed were extremely well done. The editing in Lauren and Meredith's video to the "I'm a Barbie Girl" tune was excellent. Kim and Mahin did a fantastic dance video to "Bye, Bye Bye." Camille and Paige also created a dance video, but to the tune of "I like to move it, move it." They took some awesome footage of students and teachers showing off some of their best dance moves. I would have to say, Mr. Piper's dance skills in Camille and Paige's dance video might have been the best!! Finally, Ronnie and Hats did a really fun music video to the song "I want to ride the Zamboni." It was terrific how they built a complete story around this fun song. The music video project is a great way to end the semester as it really gives students the chance to showcase their camera and editing skills that they worked on all semester.

All of these projects will be showcased at a student assembly on Wednesday, February 7th at 9:50.

A special thank you goes out to all 18 of these students for a wonderful semester in our 8th grade film class!!

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