The Choice Is Ours
“I’ll admit it: I am a shameless sucker for wildlife shows. I devour Planet Earth, Blue Planet, Human Planet – you name it. If it has Sir Attenborough’s omniscient narration, I am in.” – Education Producer Danny Schmidt
Well, Sir David is back for something important: a new show on Netflix called Our Planet, a sobering look at the state of affairs on this big spinning rock we call home. This time it’s not about anthropomorphizing baby cheetahs with names like Spots and Speedy. Instead, Attenborough asks us to sit down, take it in, and do something to save these iconic animals and places before they are gone. All those kiddos in your classrooms (read: future generations) are set to inherit the planet, replete with all of its present (and unforeseen) problems. They should see this so they know what’s at stake.
1) Where do you teach and what subjects?
AB: I teach 8th grade Language Arts (English) at Northwest Middle.
2) How does filmmaking integrate into your classroom and teaching philosophy?
AB: At the core of my teaching philosophy is a deep necessity for experiential or project-based learning that then creates an authentic learning experience. Filmmaking is the vehicle through which that goal can be achieved.
3) What tips/advice would you give to teachers thinking about integrating filmmaking into the classroom?
AB: My advice is simple: back off. Teachers need to view their role only as facilitator, not wielder of knowledge. The students know what’s best because their own personal experiences drive the learning that takes place, not information from a book that they need to memorize.
4) What are your 3 favorite movies?
AB: Grease, Coming to America, and Pretty Woman.
VERB: An ostensibly modest or self-deprecating statement whose actual purpose is to draw attention to something of which one is proud. As in, “We thought maybe there were more awesome, qualified media art instructors out there, but now I am pretty sure the Utah Film Center has hired all of them! #humblebrag” We’d like to introduce you to Nathan Lindsay, the newest member of our Behind the Animation team. Nathan’s work speaks for itself. But here are some highlights from his CV:
Professor of Animation // Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
- Taught 2D & 3D animation for film & video games, drawing for animation, figure drawing, business & ethics in animation, storyboarding, animation layout.
Associate Instructor 2012-2015 // University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
- Taught 3D character animation in the Entertainment Arts & Engineering master’s program.
3D Character Animator 2016 – 2017 // Method VFX Studios, Santa Monica, CA
- Animated for film, television, and commercials. Credits include: Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Ford Motors, Target Stores
Sign up for your own free in-classroom presentation here!
Film equipment is pricey. You pay a lot for little plastic bits that might be outdated in a year or so. But I am here to tell you there a few items that are cheap, useful, and of course, really cool. The trusty old clapperboard is one of them. Other names for this handy device are: clapper, clapboard, clacker, slate, slate board, slapperboard, sync slate, time slate, sticks, board, smart slate, dumb slate and sound marker.Call it what you want, but this thing is handier than a Swiss Army Knife. The main point of the slate is to sync picture and sound. Here’s how it works: you hit record on the camera, then you hit record on your audio recorder. THEN – you bust out the clapper, hold it where you can see it on camera, and let ‘er rip. The sound of the clap is recorded on the audio recorder, and the camera sees the exact second that the slate hits. Then you match up that audio waveform peak with the moment the slate claps down and BOOM (CLAP!) your audio and video are synced!
Barring any miracle in the coming years, teachers are going to continue to have to find creative ways to fund the projects they want to implement in the classroom. We realize that if the projects involve media arts, the cost of equipment can be a big barrier to entry for a teacher.We are a nonprofit so we know a thing or two about chasing down the cheddar. We dug deep and found some grants that could get you one step closer to making films in the classroom. The list is long and will take some digging through. Here are a couple that jumped out as immediately relevant. What you waiting for? That skrilla ain’t gonna find itself!
Public school teachers essentially propose classroom projects and post their proposals on the website. Donors browse the site and have the opportunity to donate money to your cause.
Their mission is to help teachers solve technology shortfalls in their classrooms.
Dominion Energy Charitable Giving
Funds organizations that focus on education, environment, culture and the arts, civic and community development, and health and human services. Most grants are in the $1,000 to $15,000 range.
We are offering our FREE programs in districts all around Utah during the 2019-20 school year. We would love to visit your school with an in-classroom presentation, or to see you in one of our SHIFT workshops.
*Workshops are fully funded and USBE professional development relicensure credit is available to qualifying participants.