May 25, 2016

Film Studies through the lens of CTF

We recently offered a professional learning opportunity to film studies teachers to come together and consider how film studies could be offered through the Career and Technology Foundations framework in the middle years.

The Locally Developed Course for Film Studies 7 - 9 will not be renewed in the fall due to significant overlap with the CTF Communications cluster.

The group of teachers who came together looked at the CTF program of studies and found that the curriculum held great potential for CTF. None of the teachers felt that by shifting to this program of studies that their program would lose elements - all the skills, use of mentor films, and filmmaking techniques would continue to be important in using the CTF program of studies.

After having looked at the program of studies, we spent some time examining the occupational areas. We considered how combining the occupational areas of communication technology and design studies, the two areas we felt film would align best with, and other occupational areas could open up possibilities for task design. In CTF, tasks should connect with two or more occupational areas. For example, what would result if we combined communication technology with tourism? Students might create a promotional video to encourage viewers to visit a specific place. What about design studies and marketing? Students could design a Public Service Announcement (PSA) to sway public opinion. How about communication technology and esthetics? Perhaps students are using makeup effects to send a particular message through the medium of film.

There are obvious connections with arts as well. The CTF program of studies allows for these cross-disciplinary opportunities to emerge authentically.

Here are some notes from the brainstorming the teachers did:
CTF/Film Studies Professional Learning – May 13th:

New Possibilities:
  • tying our films to real world issues through PSAs/Documentary films with a truly impactful message about business & finance, social issues, nature, human services, tourism, technology impact
  • real emphasis on the plethora of careers available in film (Vancouver is a tv hotspot, lots of jobs in Canada for this field)
  • Design a webpage or blog for a film critic and then critique films using it
  • Going past the filming and post-production to the marketing & promotion of their film to an audience (print media, reviews, movie posters, teaser trailers, radio spots)
  • Video announcements (rather than PA) to inform about school events
  • Ted Talks
  • helpful videos
  • Rick Mercer-style video rants about social issues

Foundational Skills:
  • Shot types – design studies, script-writing, persuasive writing, connects to Humanities LA, Dialogue techniques
  • Camera movements
  • Equipment use – tripods, cameras, dollies
  • Editing software use (movie maker, iMovie, Adobe elements, video editing, sound track editing)
  • Shot lists and/or storyboarding
  •  Acting for camera – connects to FA/Drama
  • Framing
  • Basic lighting (back lighting) talk about it, investigate it, view examples on film
  • Communication skills (group skills) – collaborative planning, storyboarding, scriptwriting
  • Time Management
  • Roles/Responsibilities/tasks division – enterprise & Innovation, management & marketing
  • Promotion – posters, invite an audience, trailers 

  • PSAs – environmental stewardship, management and marketing
  • Documentary – resources, fashion
  • Persuasive argument – management/marketing
  • Animation – stop motion – computing science info processing,
  • Sound editing/layering – computing science, info processing
  • Commercial
  •  Film marketing – trailers, print media, radio spots, reviews
  • Song video (visual interpretation)
  • Film reviews/book reviews
  • Travel/tourist promo
  • How to plan a trip online video
  • How-to videos
  • VLOG – talk about your experience with______________
The teachers at the professional learning event all loved the opportunity to connect with other teachers of film. To continue this collaboration, we have created a Yammer group for CTF Film Studies teachers. Everyone is welcome to join.

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