Our film projects are progressing well...so far, all students in our grade 5 & 7 classes have had an introduction to student filmmaking, an introduction to the "language" of film, have sorted themselves into small groups, recieved their assignments, brainstormed stories, come up with backgrounds for their characters, developed pitches and presented their pitches to the "Executive Producers" (our teachers and IT Director) in order to secure "budget" for their movies.
Each group's "producer" pitched, and the pitches were required to be polished and between 30 seconds & 2 minutes, timed with a stopwatch. None of the pitches ran under or over time! About half the pitches were accepted as-is. Unlike many real-world pitches, student pitches that were not acceptable the first time around were given constructive feedback and an opportunity to re-pitch their adjusted story. As of this writing, 9 out of 10 groups have had their stories "green-lit". Students are now moving into the scripting phase of the project. This is where they will take their characters, concepts, beginning/middle/end, and character backgrounds/traits and weave them into a 5-minute script by putting words in their character's mouths. The first draft of the script will be written in English for fluidity, and then students, with the help of their teachers, will translate the script into Hebrew. Revisions, rehearsal, etc. will be conducted in either english or Hebrew as dictated by the needs of the project.
As the scripts are being written, students will be learning more formally about camera angles, and other filmmaking "language" so they can be prepared for the next phases of the project: pre-production & production. In the coming weeks students will be introduced to and get hands-on time with the cameras and other equipment and will be given mini-assignment, requiring them to mimic certain camera shots and cinematography styles, in order to familiarize themselves with its workings. The "Executive Producers" will be creating and distributing a hebrew filmmaking grammar sheet, so that technical matters and discussions may be carried out in Hebrew as well, which should go a long way towards integrating and improving conversational Hebrew, one of the stated goals of our project.
Now that the project is moving from student planning to a more active stage, we hope to be posting more often. We plan to post student's pitches, and will soon be distributing/posting our rubric for the final product evaluation.