It has always been my contention that student appreciation of an art form is markedly increased when the.L are provided with the opportunity for creating an example of that art form. This hands-on procss enables students to put to use the knowledge gained through study and analysis. The act of creatinn also serves to underscore the value of students’ own ideas and feelings. I have encouraged this sort of creative endeavor in the past, and as a result have seen student enthusiasm, cooperation, and self-esteem increase. Creative projects encourage the most reluctant of students to “speak their minds.”Interestingl y enough, I have noted time and again that the quie, less articulate student often “shines” in this arena. In short, there are potential artists, poets, photographers, and perhaps even film makers, often sitting anonymously in the back rows of our classrooms, who benefit greatly from the creative component of education. Thus I hope to provide my students with the opportunity for filmmaking in the form of adaptations of the previously read short stories) as the final activity of this unit.
Many of the questions for students in the previou section of this unit are meant to initiate discussion about the adaptation of fiction into film. Thus students should be “primed” for this large project of film making through adaptation.
I hope to work closely with the theatre and writing teachers of our arts program at the Cooperative Migh School in planning this student-produced work. I envision student activity in a variety of arenas including script-writing, acting, directing, and camera work. The school has a “camcorder”, and we will be able to call upon the Center for Theatre Techniques for technical assistance.
At this point such a project looms large in my mind. I am cogizant of the fact that this is a project which can evolve only through the cooperative efforts of a variety of players, and that I cannot with any certainty map out a comprehensive plan for film production at this point in time.
Yet, ideas are beginning to emerge even now through discussions with my seminar fellows and others. Perhaps we will be able to film the
of learning about film which will culminate in another film making activity.Perhaps we will go beyond film adaptation in order to create a film which will cature th thoughts, dreams, or themes which are foremost in the minds of our students. If this idea of film production seems am biguous(and surely it is), it is exciting in its possibilities as well. Realizing that one must begin the process—even amidst the initial brain-storming phases of creation—I include below one final exercise for students which is simply meant to encourage a preliminary discussion on the film adaptation of a particular short story.
Exercise: Using the Elements of Film in the Adaptation of Short Fiction (
1. What kind of film stock would you choose for the particular story at hand? Why?
2. What use would you make of lighting? Why?
3. What would be the composition of your first shot? (Would you use a long-shot? Close-up? High-angle shot? Low-angle shot? Why?)
4. How would you use either camera movement or subject movement to make a statement about the character(s) presented?
5. Discuss the pace and volume of the dialogue presented in the inital scene.
6. What use would you make of synchronous and asynchronous sound effects? Why?
7. Choose a song or a melody which would serve as background music for the opening scene. Why is this song particularly appropriate?