Bulb Archived: Waters SCALE 2016-2017: Bradford & Oussenko

Teacher: Tommy Bradford

Artist: Nadia Oussenko

School: Waters

Big Idea: Community can be expressed through music & visual art

Inquiry Question: How can film express relationships and dynamics within the community?

Fall/Winter

Art Content: video shooting and editing concepts

Non-Art Content: working together, learning to compromise, learning to get creative within limitations

Describe how the project unfolded.(What were the class learning goals, what were your teaching or artistic explorations, what were your students’ explorations, student reactions, any changes in plans, what worked well and what didn’t work well, unexpected outcomes, how your future project planning was impacted, etc.)

Please type your response here. You can also include video and/ or images.

So far we have been exploring in pairs, shooting short snippets in different locations, making movement specifically for the chosen location and learning about how different camera angles and camera movement affect how we view something.  We are now starting to incorporate sound effects into our edits.  We also worked on writing a 1-person narrative and his/her character development. We played games pretending to be that character.  The exercise’s purpose was to begin starting with writing and storyboarding instead of location scouting, but they had the most trouble with this.  Next on the list is to make a music video.  

Our class goals are:

1. Encourage student to explore relationships within defined communities.

2. Develop an understanding of the techniques used in photography and video.

3. Develop ways to express stories through music and sound effects.

After this we begin with several skill and team building exercises designed to help students begin to think about conceptualizing ideas. As we continue our class we are constantly assessing and reassessing our students progress and making adjustments to the curriculum in order to better serve our students. Our future plans are now based on where the students abilities lie and their interest as well as our goals for the class.

Do you think that students made progress toward the learning goals that were set for this semester? Please estimate the percentage of students who made progress toward the learning goals. Please explain the basis of your assessment.

Please type your response here. You can also include video and/ or images.

The students are making progress. I estimate about 75% of our students have made significant progress in the form of developing creative ideas and techniques as well as. Thy students constantly display the filming techniques we’ve outlined and assigned as apart of their practice. Their progress is on display in every activity and project they perform. 

Please upload photos and/or videos of student work or classroom artifacts that demonstrate student learning and/or provide evidence that learning goals were or were not achieved. Describe how the artifacts, images or videos illustrate students achieving, partially achieving, or not achieving the learning goals.

Please type your response here. You can also include video and/ or images.

Here is one example of how 2 of our senior students worked together.  I asked them to choose a space and make very simple movement in the space.  I gave them a list of shots they had to get: closeups, mediums, wide shots, movements, also encouraging them to really try and get interesting angles.  During the editing, they had a clear vision!  I helped them adjust their cuts a little bit so that the energy of the video didn’t stall.  

With some of the newer students in the class, I realized I had to be a little more hands-on in the shooting process.  For example, for a couple of the students, I was the videographer while they directed me on what kind of shots they wanted.  I was able to give suggestions and also add any shots that they might have missed that would make editing a bit easier.  Then in the edit, I helped them connect movement from one shot to the next. 

How did your teacher/artist collaboration work this semester?

Please type your response here. You can also include video and/ or images.

Collaborations between us have been really interesting and productive. We both share a strong passion and ideology about what we want the program to consist of and what skills we want the students to achieve. Nadia’s focus has been developing the students abilities to develop ideas, exploration, scene development, shooting techniques. My focus is to get the students thinking  of enhancing their products through music and sound manipulation.

Describe how you and your partner planned together. How did you compromise when there were conflicts or differences of approaches or ideas? Can you cite a specific example?

Please type your response here. You can also include video and/ or images.

We meet periodically offsite, bring ideas and personal experiences into our discussions to achieve our goals. We interact very well together so there isn’t much if anything we can’t compromise on.

Describe how you teach together in the classroom. Who does what? How do you understand each other’s roles? Can you cite a specific example?

Please type your response here. You can also include video and/ or images.

We both have respect for each others ideas. Teaching together is easy because we understand that we have different experiences and training. We share in all the tasks and separate our responsibilities according to experience we have with whatever the lesson is for the day.

Winter/Spring

Art Content: Video shooting and editing concepts

Non-Art Content: Working together, learning to compromise, learning to get creative within limitations, analysis of varying scenarios, etc.

Describe how the project unfolded. (What were the class learning goals, what were your teaching or artistic explorations, what were your students’ explorations, student reactions, any changes in plans, what worked well and what didn’t work well, unexpected outcomes, how your future project planning was impacted, etc.)

Please type your response here. You can also include video and/ or images.

Through out the course of the class one of our major goals was to continue to encourage the students to develop their ideas as far as story lines, shoot angles, acting roles, etc. This course of actions helped students develop their final project concepts. Students would often exhibit their confidence but uncertainty was an issue as well. We gave them a lot of autonomy in certain areas initially to see how they would begin their film development process. As the students progressed, we found where they needed guidance.  Each student had different strengths and weaknesses and we paired them up accordingly.   Our final and biggest project was to create a music video. Some students additionally created their own music!  

Do you think that students made progress toward the learning goals that were set for this semester? Please estimate the percentage of students who made progress toward the learning goals. Please explain the basis of your assessment.

Please type your response here. You can also include video and/ or images.

Yes, each student definitely progressed toward the learning goals.  

1. Encourage student to explore relationships within defined communities.

Many of the students worked with others that were not in their grade level. a couple of the older students acted as mentors to the younger students, helping them shoot their films and also casting them as actors in their own films.  Many were resistant to working with people who were not their friends. However, they found that it was helpful and working with others gave them new perspective.  

2. Develop an understanding of the techniques used in photography and video.

They each learned different skills and techniques and utilized them in their final project.  nearly all students incorporated almost all the the different framing possibilities we learned: close ups, medium shots, wide shots, birds eye view, worm’s eye view, etc.  Many incorporated movement and the rule of thirds.  The most difficult challenge was for them to shoot enough video to edit an entire music video.  A lot of their original music was shortened.  they learned about timing of clips and how one clip flows into the next to create a dynamic montage or narrative.  

3. Develop ways to express stories through music and sound effects.

Although we didn’t spend much time exploring sound effects, each student used their chosen music to influence the storyboarding of their music video.  One student planned out her shoot for each line of her song.  Another used one piece of music as inspiration for her video, but then found that a different song went better with it in the end.  One younger student, who we helped create a piece of music for him by him playing his recorder, chose to capture the essence of the playful sound. 

Please upload photos and/or videos of student work or classroom artifacts that demonstrate student learning and/or provide evidence that learning goals were or were not achieved. Describe how the artifacts, images or videos illustrate students achieving, partially achieving, or not achieving the learning goals.

Please type your response here. You can also include video and/ or images.

All the Lines: This music video was probably one of the most successful in terms of planning, executing, and editing.  From an exceptionally talented student, She used a number of different types of shots, and also did a good job of expressing the vivid characters that she imagined on film. 

Stand by Me:  both the student and I (Nadia) worked to help her recreate this piece of music with her singing using garage band.  Although I did much of the playing of instruments and mixing (this was actually a new skill for me so it was very fun to try out different filters), the student (Akilah) made many suggestions and final say about what instruments became part of the mix.  For the shoot, she had many grandiose ideas, with big group dance numbers, but unfortunately time didn’t allow for this to happen.  Her biggest challenge was using the timing of the music for the editing process.  However, although resistant, with feedback, she created a very engaging personal piece.  

Gena’s video: This one was probably the least successful, and it was also the one that we spent the least time mentoring.  This is this student’s third year in movie magic, and she was the only one who we allowed to work with her best friend.  She was also the most stubborn at taking direction, but surprisingly she took the suggestion of switching her music in the edit. It turned out ok.  However, her shooting process took way too long and the edit was rushed.  We wanted her to create a more dynamic edit with quicker cuts.    

How did your teacher/artist collaboration work this semester?

Please type your response here. You can also include video and/ or images.

The collaboration worked incredibly well. We’ve worked together on a previous project so it was very easy for us to pick up where we left off. We continuously ask questions of each other in order to evaluate and initiate our plans as wells to be considerate of changes that need to be made based on our students abilities. Our planning sessions were exciting because we discussed celebrations and failures as they’re both enlightening, and gave lots of feedback.

Describe how you and your partner planned together. How did you compromise when there were conflicts or differences of approaches or ideas? Can you cite a specific example?

Please type your response here. You can also include video and/ or images.

Planning was done a weekly basis. We outlined what specific tools would be needed in order to give student understanding of filming, editing and film scoring. Once that was established we were able to communicate and find common ground in order to initiate the program. Any differences we had were very easily out weighted by our enthusiasm for the program. We both understood our goals and know that we brought vastly different approaches to the table. Knowing that we both have a lot of experience in our respective fields we never rely on a rote method of teaching. So our planning sessions became ways to get out students to engage both psychologically and physically with our theme.                                                                                                                                                                  

Describe how you teach together in the classroom. Who does what? How do you understand each other’s roles? Can you cite a specific example?

Please type your response here. You can also include video and/ or images.

Our classes begin with activities that are designed to engage our students through movement and thought exercises. We assume different roles and similar roles simultaneously. Nadia initially engages through a more interactive approach to get the students creative ideas happening. I understand Nadia’s role as she moderates the class and gives direction and offers feed back. As the students continue, I interact and integrate music activities and direction. During our editing sessions, Nadia tends to help with diagnosing students editing issues while I gravitate to music and how it interacts with video footage and specific scenes.