Media Production Videos

Just a short post to highlight some of the work my Media Studies class have done. I am very pleased with what they have come up with, and the editing in one is particularly impressive (will let you decide which one I mean!). I feel that it’s a real shame that these productions don’t go towards their final grade – perhaps this is something that ought to be addressed by the powers that be?

The information that they were provided with was:

The Brief:

Create a 2 minute (minimum) opening sequence to a film in the genre of thriller.

• medium (film)
• purpose (entertainment)
• form (opening sequence)
• genre (thriller)
• target audience (teenagers 15 -19)
• length (no less than 2 minutes)
• deadline (end of March 2010)

What I am looking for:

An effective opening which establishes the central narrative.
Continuity editing
Mise-en-scene that relates to the whole film (eg a character’s clothing, props, makeup)
Effective and appropriate use of music
Use of thriller conventions (eg an enigma), especially film noir.

The videos can be viewed on my Vimeo page here

Please feel free to add comments and these will be fed back to the various groups.


FilmG Shortlisting Success

Last Friday it was announced that the film the pupils made (An Tur) was shortlisted for the category of Best Production in this year’s FilmG competition. The pupils (and myself) are absolutely delighted with the news, especially as this is the first film that they have finished whilst being part of the filmmaking group that I run at Islay High School. It’s been great to view all the films that have been shortlisted for the various categories and it’s a real showcase for Gaelic medium filmmaking. We’ve certainly got some stiff competition in our category!

In order to attend the ceremony in Inverness on February 5th we’ve decided to make it a bit of a road trip. Myself and five members of the group will also be heading up to Skye to visit the media facilties at Sabhal Mor Ostaig, then head to Inverness for the Awards Ceremony, then down to Glasgow to hopefully pop into the BBC (time willing!), and then back to Islay.

Whoever the judges decide who the winner is, this will be a tremendous experience and adventure for the pupils, and will give them a memory that will last forever – they’re definitely looking forward to putting on their best dresses and suits for the event!

Reflections on An Tur – The FilmG Entry

Since late August this year, the filmmaking group that I run at school have been busy preparing, shotting, and editing the film that we have submitted for this year’s FilmG competition. One of the main focuses of the group is to create some films through the medium of Gaelic and because we knew that FilmG run an annual competition we were eager to submit something this year (and also it gave the group impetus to work towards a deadline and finish a film).

During the filmmaking process, the group experienced some highs and lows, and each member developed certain skills and (I hope) enjoyed it. During it we encountered technical difficulties, transport problems (that’s a whole embarrassing story in itself!), and were hampered by the temperamental Islay weather. However, I am extremely proud of all the pupils that were involved in the filming. These kids sacrificed earning money from their weekend jobs to film on a couple of Saturdays, they worked hard on creating the right atmosphere for the film, they were willing to work in a language that most of them are unfamiliar with, and they maintained a positive, patient and jovial attitude despite having to do take after take after take.

Among the skills that they have developed are: camera work using a Panasonic HMC151, storyboarding, editing using Vegas Pro, sound design, costume, how to work as a group, and how to overcome differences. No doubt there are many more that I’ve forgotten.

Since putting the film up online, the group has been encouraged by the feedback received, especially from some professionals in the industry. This response has encouraged the group to reflect upon the process and product, and they are planning to do a complete reshoot of the film, concentrating on the script and spending more time on getting all the shots and cuts just right. I can’t wait to see how this progresses 🙂

There are few thanks that have been omitted from the film: Annchris MacLean for helping with translations; Islay Estates for allowing us to film at the tower, Steven for staying after school to work on the final edit, and those who have donated money to allow us to purchase equipment for the group. And a very special thanks to my dearest friend Mark (ZnO) for the music.

Would love to read any comments you have about the film, and these will be fed back to the group.

New Media Studies blog

Just a small update to mention that I’ve set up another blog – Media Studies Islay. This has been created with the specific intention to provide information for the pupils who attend my Intermediate One and Intermediate Two Media Studies class.

In the blog roll on Media Studies Islay I have included links to the blogs that each pupil has created. These have been set up to allow the pupils to record all details of their meetings in relation to the Production Unit that they are currently working on, where it is hoped they will reflect on their learning and will also give them a platform to express their ideas and concerns. They will also be publishing their assignments on their blogs. Please browse through them and feel free to make any comments on their work – I know that they would really appreciate this.