Letting my students take control of their film projects was a harrowing experience. They did it all on their own. I only helped them edit and compile their films. I am very proud of their efforts! It was hard for me to sit back and let them take ownership of the process, but it was the most valuable way for them to become filmmakers.
Most of their time was spent writing creative stories. I thought that if we started with good stories these stories would make better films (I'm not sure it worked). Then I read all of the stories to the class (without revealing the authors) and allowed students to vote on their favorite five to make movies from. From there students got to choose which movies they wanted to work on.
When students met with their film groups they had to transform the story into scenes to film, gather and create costumes and sets for themselves, and finally film the story. Most groups used Flip video cameras which were very user friendly. It was a bit crazy the days we filmed with groups running all around the school working on their projects. We submitted our films to the district film fest and are excited to see them on the big screen at the theater in the new high school this Wednesday at 6:00 pm. I hope to see you there!
Ms. Arnold's class is finishing up their films and we will be meeting with them to have a film fest of our own to celebrate.
I learned that it does work to give over control to your students. It might be messy, but it is more empowering. I also learned that next time I need to start earlier and have more time. Here are our films: