Archive for the ‘Chapter 3’ Category

David James Rosen guitar

One of most fun and versatile formats to utilize for prompts with video projects is that of the movie trailer. Over the years, I have found that using the vehicle of the movie trailer as a starting place for students can provide very fruitful and engaging options for source material and assignments related to various topics or skills, whether exploring cinematography, establishing particular storytelling values, or working as a team to communicate promotional messages.*

In ongoing discussions of sound design and music in media creation, earlier this month there was a very interesting piece on current trends in creating music and soundscapes for movie trailers. Ever notice that the song or instruments you are hearing in that new movie trailer isn’t quite what you remember from the original recording but it’s also sort of like it?  It very well might be the result of work from people like composer, musician, and producer David James Rosen (seen above with guitar).

Want to find out more about why some of those sounds you are hearing in trailers sound kind of familiar but then again also not, such as for M3gan, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, or Black Panther: Wakanda ForeverThis artist’s work and that of re-imaginers (and re-shapers) of sound like him are discussed in the article Movie Trailers Keep Tweaking Well-Known Songs. The Tactic is Working(by Eric Ducker for the New York Times). The issues and media creation concepts addressed in the article could be fertile ground for classroom discussion, while the creative outlets it describes can also provide some interesting areas for students to explore in assignments involving sound design and use of music in video production.

“*P.S.: I have to add that I often provide options to using strictly a movie trailer as the model or inspiration for projects, and in recent years I have found that when title sequences for episodic series (along with openings to scenes) are offered as alternatives to feature trailers as reference points in assignments, students pretty consistently opt for episodic series’ title sequences.  Episodic series tend to be where they’re at.

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Screen Shot 2022-07-26 at 1.51.15 PMIn the Journal for Media Literacy Education, I published a piece titled The Role of Collaboration and Feedback in Advancing Student Learning in Media Literacy and Video Production, in which I discuss the importance of implementing effective  collaborative project strategies and managing appropriate feedback at all stages of production work.  In the article, I examine case studies and learning outcomes from courses I have taught, and I have followed up this work in presentations at Media Literacy conferences and professional development sessions by adding more examples of this work in action.   

IMG_0369A regular component of the work in video production courses that I teach has been the completion of projects that respond to actual needs of our school community.  An obvious recent example was the need for public service announcements related to protocols and phases of the management of the Covid pandemic.  Another example is through Student News pieces that have depicted community events or initiatives, such as with our agriscience program or town Land Conservancy.

IMG_0374At the end of this past semester, my Advanced Video Production class engaged in a complex production that involved the entire class in an extensive collaborative task.  This project required intricate planning and organization through all phases from development through post-production.  The genesis of the project came about as a result of a request by our school system central administration for pictures or videos of various school activities in order to share with the school board and community during the budget adoption process.

Screen Shot 2022-07-26 at 2.05.39 PMFollowing that request, I proposed that our media production students work to create a cohesive statement about some of the exceptional learning taking place throughout our schools.  The pitch was greenlit, and work was immediately underway.  (We had to move fast to make the deadline.)

Screen Shot 2022-07-26 at 2.04.13 PMThis project was the last in-class exercise (before the final course project, which are shorts made independently by each student and turned in as part of the final exam), so students had already completed several motion pictures in which they employ collaborative techniques to set objectives, evaluate effective approaches related to the contexts or demands of the project, and implement a team-based structure to complete the work through production and post-production.  Here is the assignment that they received.  (Please note: in terms of brainstorming and other aspects of pre-production in which the team members determine their approach and goals for the project, an important phase is when the class examines and assesses a number of examples from in-house work, as well as a variety of student and professional references.)

Screen Shot 2022-07-26 at 1.57.40 PMAnd here is the video that they produced Keep in mind that, yes, it was entirely planned, written, directed, produced, and edited by the students.  As a final note about this project, it must be pointed out that one of the most distinctive challenges that students can face in terms of topics for the creation of media messages is when the subject is abstract in nature (as opposed to the type of challenge when depicting an actual event or initiative, or a person or group or place), such as when facing a concept such as “education” or “the leaning process.”  Here, the students had to face questions such as “what exactly do our schools do?” and “what is learning all about?”  These types of inquiries can provide strong challenges for any media creators.

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Dolby In the ever-evolving landscapes of education for the era of digital-streaming-and-all-in-between with music, sound design, and current audio evolutions, here are some pieces featuring sound pioneer Thomas Dolby and his current work and perspectives on sound in media — a program at the Peabody Institute and an interview with Mr. Dolby talking about this work and his synth adventures.

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Wishing everyone some solid fresh tones in this world with the New Year. Here’s to 2021!

In the meantime, here’s a nice piece on room tone with a neat video, a holiday gift from the folks at Criterion. Cheers!

And yes, the classic.

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I am presenting Media Creation in Action: MLE Collaborative Principles in the Classroom at the Northeast Media Literacy Conference in Providence, Rhode Island, on November 8, 2019.  Welcome to my presentation!

Here is a pdf of the slideshow. Here is one of the exercises described through the case study.

Don’t forget this post with screenwriting resources!  Here is the interview referenced in the case study.

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