capturing-excitement

We’ve been spending a lot of time in schools lately, working with eight in particular to create innovative learning environments that will help close the digital learning gap for students. In those schools, we’re doing a lot to prepare educators, students, and families to use learning technology responsibly and effectively. It all leads up to what we call “rollout celebrations,” an exciting and inspiring event for students to receive their devices and show the community what they have done to earn them.

For these celebrations, I get to play producer and director. To capture the necessary footage and tell a story of fun and excitement at a school’s technology rollout, we need to show what is happening, where it is happening, why it is happening, and how people are feeling during this event. Believe it or not, there’s a grammar to help tell the story:

  • Wide shots tell the story of location and context – “where” it is happening.
  • Medium shots tell the story of action – “what” is happening.
  • Close-up shots tell the story of detail and emotions – “how” people are feeling. This shot seems to be the hardest because it involves getting really close to subjects.

So, with that said, let’s jump into what directors and technicians need for the rollout. A mind map of the shots needed is included below. If you read through it, it will begin to make sense. The key here is to show excitement – this event is for the people who will benefit most from the devices: the kids. Here’s an example of a shot list in context. This is given to the documentation team to collect the needed footage. Also, there is a common language that is created to help know what is needed and what is being collected. Believe me, the editor will thank you for this later, too!

blog.marco.mindmap

Click to enlarge

The left side outlines the final product, after editing. The right side shows the shots needed. Underneath that are some quick questions to help you piece together the video.

This consistency helps us edit one big video that celebrates all of the schools’ celebrations. Additionally, agreeing on the language helps us find what we need to make one nice, clean, consistent video.

During the importing, logging, and pre-editing process, it helps to identify the shots:

  1. The type of shot
  • W = Wide shots
  • M = Medium shots
  • C = Close-up shots
  1. The content
  • Location
  • Action
  • Detail/emotion
  1. The specifics
  • Where, exactly?
  • What, exactly?
  • Who, exactly?

This is an ideal “logging” process. We can share the notes to compare and learn from each other.

OK, I’m done playing producer for now. It’s your turn to celebrate your own school’s learning technology.

And to see how Vista Unified School District is sharing its story, sign up to follow the Digital Promise Schools initiative!


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