Discovery School and the NE 7 region of the Washington Library Media Association offered an intense summer professional development workshop for classroom teachers and school librarians to learn and begin to feel comfortable using and teaching movie making skills for telling a story within their classrooms. The model proposed here was that teachers/librarians and students would learn best in a camp setting with a “real-life” task and a community service product of their learning. Teachers and librarians were the campers in the mornings, practicing skills with the camera: how to get long shots, medium shots and close-ups, panning slowly and smoothly, zooming with a steady hand, finding interesting perspectives, focusing on details as well as the big picture and setting. Teachers and librarians used their new skills every afternoon leading small groups of students through the same skills.
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Video Camp Curriculum and Schedule in .pdf format

On the first day of camp, teachers and students met with our client, the Art Director for the City of Spokane. She was very excited about having someone prepare short video clips showing 360 views of the public sculptures in downtown Spokane. She listed the kind of views that both researchers and interested public would want to see. Particularly she suggested views from each angle, close-ups of details, attention to the joints, structural elements, and mounting of each piece. The city has a requirement for new building projects set aside funds for art. Spokane is fortunate to have many sculpture installations in the downtown area, mostly Riverfront Park, known as The Sculpture Walk.The arts website, however, has only a listing of the pieces with artist, title, date and brief description. The art objects were perfect subjects for learning video production skills.

Videocamp 2004 filmed and edited the Sculpture Walk in Riverfront Park. 2005 Videocamp filmed and edited the 6 benches in the Davenport Arts District, the sculpture at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, Alta and Mrs. Brown at the entrance to Brown's Addition, and the tribute to Michael Anderson near the Opera House.

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Video campers organized into five teams to practice and work. Each team had a director, camera person, talent and grip. The teams rotated the jobs for each shooting assignment. On Day two, teams practiced shooting objects around Discovery School, getting short, medium, long shots and interesting angles. The teams also practiced using tripods and doing hand-held filming. Wednesday teams went on-location to get the footage for their assigned objects.

 

After shooting video footage, we learned about editing using computers equipped with digital video editing software. The teams worked together to import approximately 15 minutes of video clips into the computer for each project; find the best shots to tell the story; put them together and add transitions to tell the complete story in only 1 minute. Each team worked on 2-3 sculptures. Every one-minute of video took approximately 2 hours of editing time. We saw evidence of teamwork and lively discussions as the teams worked and then pride as we viewed the finished products.

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Copyright September 11, 2004. Discovery School.
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The videos were presented to the Art Director and the Arts Commission, as well as the Spokane City Council and Mayor. We hope that our efforts will useful and enjoyed by everyone in Spokane.

September 11, 2005