Teaching High School Media Production
When my wife and I taught our Media Production class to high school seniors, on day one of the semester-long course we screened the introductory podcast of film director Baz Luhrmann’s Set to Screen series. The series, created by Apple, follows Luhrmann behind the scenes as he directs the 2008 film Australia.
We watched the students’ faces as they viewed the podcast. Rapt attention. Even awe at times.
Then we told them, you can do the same thing. Of course, you don’t have the budget, the equipment, the production company that Luhrmann had for Australia. But yes, on your own terms, with your equipment and imagination, you can do the same thing in this class. Make movies.
And that’s exactly what they did.
The girls in our class found their voice. It was often lighthearted. Parodies, music videos, fun video stories. But it was theirs. Theirs from conception to final screening. They owned it. They told stories rooted in their imaginations, their own lives.
Here are a couple of screen captures from their productions. One features a western movie, shot on location at the historic Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills, California. One student played all the parts. The students composed original music for their film on Garageband.
Another student project features a black and white music video based on Marky Mark’s Good Vibrations.
The screen capture on the left is the original Marky Mark video. The one on the right was done by our class.
Helping young people find their voice is what my writing is all about. I have a YA book series coming soon about teens who use film and media to find their way in this world. I’ll let you know a soon as it’s available.