someone is paying to hear my opinion. I’m an ed reviewer for Common Sense Media. So far I’m working on mostly apps and websites but also some games here and there. I’m evaluating the education potential for teachers and writing all about it. As my students know, I’m a pretty tough critic but I’m learning that it’s harder to sugar coat a critique in print! Look for my reviews on the teacher-facing site this spring.
For the last few years I’ve spent most of my time as an instructor at Ex’pression College in Emeryville, teaching digital arts students to produce short documentaries in about 6-7 weeks. Lately the films have been getting really interesting and I’m feeling pretty excited about the outcome. Some of my favorites are going to festivals so they’re not available online yet but here are a few from the last few terms:
Mind Over Matter
I loved watching this film come together and the strange experience of having two “figure competitors” in one freshman class. Those two made a film the way bodybuilders train and did whatever it took to get the footage, make the edits and make the story tight. The rest of the group genuinely learned the value of patience and hard work and the final product is weird, intense and fun.
E. Dickerson, M. Hunt, E. Johansson & J. Ojeda (2012)
Battlezone: I Krump for God
There are some really beautiful shots in this film and an overal style that a few of the group members really cultivated in the class. I’m not sure the story comes together as well as it could but I’m a sucker for some good dance footage so, there’s that.
P.Grotke, K.Clay, J.Ponciano, L.Blanson, G.Hernandez (2012)
Listen to the World
One of my favorite films; a document of field recording.
W. Sammons, M. Taylor & S. Camara: (2011)
This sweet short shows the art of woodturning but also that teenage girls can still think their dads are cool.
G. Fermin, S. Henderson, T. Sheppard (2012)
These shots gave me a run for my money… and time… but definitely got me motivated to buy Silhouette and learn how to do 3D mattes. It’s pretty much the same process but perfection is essential.
This is from the trailer to the upcoming Martin Scorcese 3D movie “Hugo”, by the way.