In typical Brightworks fashion, iteration takes practice and comes first, even when you’re waving at the camera.
Happy year four!
The last week of school is always filled with adventure and togetherness. We are filled with feelings of success at projects well done, satisfaction at coming to the end, sadness at being apart for three months, and affection for each other!
Movie Arc Exposition:
Green Band sleepover…
Adventures in the world…
And a medley of strange leftover snacks in the kitchen!
The annual tradition of Brightworks Beach Day:
A last Community Lunch:
And, of course, the celebratory dance party on the last day.
The Indigo Band studied film genres at the beginning of the arc through their genre film explorations, and continued their arc by studying the human condition through film.
Ian’s project was a prop shop. He wanted to continue the hands-on work he had done in the previous arcs this year, and made more than a few iterations of each of his props – a rock, trees for Harry’s Godzilla segment, and a fire alarm. He told us that through this project he learned the difference between doing something and doing something right.
Zada’s movie is a documentary about San Francisco. She interviewed six authentic San Franciscans of various ages and backgrounds and asked their opinions about the city and how it’s changed over time. Her video ended up being forty-five minutes long!
Harry wanted to experiment with practical effects that moviemakers use. Using the loose story framework of a paranormal investigator, he demonstrated the dream sequence, gunshots, and sugar glass, among others, in his film, “Harry’s Paranormal Instructional Video”.
Max used the screenplay of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” that he wrote during the Book arc to film a movie with professional actors and an offsite location. His crowning jewel was the last sequence of the film, and told us that he learned that he has arrive on a set completely prepared with what he wants from his actors and his shots.
Quinn’s movie was a study in suspense. He focused on examining human nature and the social aspect of how people would change in a stressful situation – like a zombie apocalypse. His biggest challenge was to figure out the lighting and the logistics of his film before actors arrived on the set.
Isaac adapted a short story he wrote during the Book arc into a short film, titled “Edward Tries to Make a Friend”. He learned that making a film and collaborating with others is always a tug between true adaptation and compromise with actors who have their own version of the characters onscreen.
Grace created a movie collage called “At the End of the Day”, from three hours of source material. Throughout the arc, she took audio and video recordings of random people, places, and things to create this piece of art.
The Blue Band had a busy arc full of history, current events, and camera techniques. During their explorations, they talked about camera angles, lighting, and special effects; learned how to critically analyze a film; made vlogs of their work and understanding of ideas; and talked about advertising, representing Aesop’s fables on film, and the hero’s journey. They also studied a lot of history through film by watching both documentaries and fictional films about certain time periods, working backward from the American Civil War to the Holy Roman Empire. The projects that they ended up with were varied but all employed elements of their film studies.
Jane created a series of silent film reboots, where she would pick a scene from a current movie and recreate it in the style of the early silent films from the early 20th century. She used title cards for important dialogue, instructed her actors to overact their emotions, and sped up the action to mimic the movie reels of a bygone era. In total, she made nine short films!
Jack’s project was a study of aerial videography, with research about the history of film in the air and construction of his own tricopter.
JP made a horror music video inspired by the suggested violence technique. He wanted to make a music video with a storyline, and used the song “Tiptoe through the Tulips” slowed down as well as adjustments in lighting to create a creepy mood.
Laurel’s project was an experiment in hand drawn animation over live action film. She used three different programs to create her short films: DoInk, After Effects, and Animation Studio, and ended up creating five of her planned twelve storyboards despite a lot of technical difficulties.
Josh also worked in animation, inspired by the CGI in the film “Avatar”. He studied the history of animation and experimented with Daz software to create the camera’s movements through a cityscape. It rendered very slowly and he had to be persistent with computer crash adversity.
Aidan made a video tutorial on how to make a balsa model aircraft, taking what he doesn’t like in tutorial videos and making it better for beginners who enjoy this same hobby. He showed us a timelapse of a section of the building process and has made three instructional videos so far, and plans to make more over the summer.
Amelia made four films based on morals and fables. She collaborated with Jane on the filming, but did all of the scripting, storyboarding, and editing solo. Each video is accompanied by a director’s vlog, where she explains her process.
Evan did a ton of research and produced a series of videos on three aspects of history of the Roman Empire, in the style of John Green’s Crash Course: the Punic Wars, religion and government, and Christianity. He spent three weeks doing research and worried he wouldn’t have time to do the filming, but ended up being more prepared because he was so well-versed in the history.
The Red Band presented their nature documentaries about their weekly field trips to Glen Park Canyon, their encounter with some clean-up volunteers and what they learned about keeping the creek clean, and the various other experiences they had where they discovered new things about the place they kept returning to. In making their documentaries, they investigated professional nature documentaries and asked what the role of the narrator is in a documentary, as well as learned more about the challenges and ethics of making movies about nature. Their work to make movies included storyboards, filming, reflecting, and editing.
Ramses talked about the different kinds of rocks that you can find in Glen Canyon Park and answered questions about being scared and then not being scared while climbing the rock in his moving “Climbing the Rock”.
Alex told us that the creek at Glen Canyon used to be eight times as wide as it is now. While making his movie “Helping the Creek,” he learned that the amount of filming you have to do does not equal the length of the movie you end up with.
Sakira’s movie was also about helping the creek, but her movie focused more on the materials that can be found on the ground at Glen Canyon, and how the Red Band used to make soup in the creek, but now make salad on the tree stumps so they don’t block up the creek’s flow.
Sadie’s movie, “Looking for Worms” examines the bug houses that the Red Band made at the park for bugs. She talked about how the camera had to be positioned correctly to get the shots she needed for her movie.
Nolan loved taking video for her movie, which is about an evening field trip that the band took to look for coyotes. He learned about the different colors of coyotes during his research.
film coming soon!
Tesla examined bumblebees in her movie. She and the band learned about bees and pollination from Rich, the Indigo band collaborator, and took their knowledge to Glen Park to discover bees in the trees at Glen Canyon, and California bumblebees in the ground at the park.
Isaac made a film about the bee dissection that the Red Band did with Rich. He said he wasn’t grossed out by the dissection, and that the hardest part was placing the camera so that he could get the right angles for shots without too much distraction.
Solin made a very sweet movie about the camaraderie and friendship that the Red Band feels together being at Glen Park.
The Green Band presented their work as a series of trailers, with the full versions of their movie challenges to be presented on Exposition night. During their arc, they studied animation, Hayao Miyazaki’s work, and film techniques that they employed in their filmmaking. Check out their compilation of work, and the timelapse of their bandspace remodel.
During the Movie arc, the Orange Band put their independent work skills to the test. During each week of Exploration, they focused on completing mini-challenges with several different prompts: stop motion, camera angles, foley, script writing, and storyboarding. For their final film project, they wrote pitches, crafted full scripts of their movies, made storyboards and shot lists, calendared their to-do items with weekly and daily goals, and dove into filming, editing, and adding sound effects with foley. They ended up with some beautiful short films!
Lola’s film centered on multiple perspectives from different characters, and employed foley and music to create mood. She really wanted to make a movie about a misunderstood main character who makes friends with someone who comes to see his side.
Selina coded her film with Trinket, the software that the band used during the Book arc. Her film is about hexagons being saved by an animated penguin, and she used music expertly to express emotion.
Bruno’s stop motion animation used foley to set the mood and make things more dramatic and exciting. He had trouble expressing emotions at first, but ended up using feathers and eyes to show what his penguin characters are feeling.
Ben used perspective in his film to show the tiny size of his main character, Spiizo, and the odds he has to overcome on the soccer field. A prolific stop motion animator, Ben was able to improve the quality of this film with smoother transitions using twelve frames per second instead of six.
Quinn’s film uses a lot of puns to poke fun at the Star Wars movies. He is most proud of the vortex scene and the sound effects that make the scenes more dramatic, as well as the increased number of frames to make the film look smoother.
Huxley designed and built a multiplane camera for his project, inspired by the band’s study of animation, particularly Walt Disney. He demonstrated his iterations in his video.
Lucy and Aurora’s collaboration resulted in a sweet story about a dog doing chores for her owner. They used camera angles to show off point-of-view and perspective, and used treats to get their canine actor to act how they needed her to.
[final film coming soon!]