Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Done with film sets

So in case anyone asks, yes I took all of the pictures below. I was the set photographer for a student film entitled "Dirt." It's about a man trying to bury his past, and it should be pretty interesting. I ended up taking over 500 pictures, so these are just a few samples I thought I'd show. But I'm finally done with film sets for the semester. I'm really looking forward to spring and summer, even though I'll still be in classes during the spring. I just can't wait to play soccer outside, and just relax with everyone.

I did well on my mid-terms. I got a 148 out of 150 on one, and then a 96 out of 100 on the other. I lucked out on the 96. The one movie I hadn't been able to see shows up on the mid-term, and the question was worth 20 points. I honestly stated that I hadn't seen the movie, but I could answer the question with references to two other films. My professor gave me 16 points, and he made the comment, "As long as you know the kinds of films that contributed to this movement, why shouldn't I give you partial credit?" Whew...

And the science fiction story I've been writing is almost finished. I've been writing it for a class, and it just worked out that the story is about the right length for a semester long project. It's a short novella, but still a little longer than your normal short story (it's about 20,000 words). Once I finish it and get it revised, I'll try and post it so you all can add any comments, good or bad.

For one of my other classes, I'm involved with a project called Hands on a Camera. That has been really interesting. We got to various high schools, teaching the students about visual storytelling and documentaries. Then we loan the students video cameras, and they then have the opportunity to make documentaries about their community. We emphasize that "community" can include themselves, their friends, their family, or any group with a common interest or goal. It should be pretty interesting to see what kinds of stories they will tell.

Just to give an example: last week, we were discussing viewpoints, and how one person's background can change the interpretation of any image. I showed a series of photographs, and the students were supposed to write down one word to describe how they feel. One of the pictures was of a crowd of people raising Chinese paper lanterns. Everyone in the class wrote down words like "happy," "festive," or "party." But one girl wrote down something different. She wrote "sad" on the dry erase board. When I asked her why she chose that, she said it makes her sad because it reminds her of home: Hong Kong. Several of the students reacted differently, looking at the picture again to see how someone else's viewpoint could change the interpretation of the image. We're getting geared up for the day when we'll have a special screening of all the documentaries here on campus, and it should be a lot of fun.

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