Friday, 23 September 2016

Come on baby, light my fire!

The purpose of an ignite talk is to enlighten your audience, but doing so quickly! In an ignite presentation, Presenters get 20 slides, which automatically advance every 15 seconds. The result is a fast and fun presentation which lasts just 5 minutes.

Me, standing by, as a video plays as part of my ignite presentation

Today the MDTA cohort were given the challenge of creating an ignite talk about a given topic. (When I say given, I mean drawn out of a basket a few hours before presenting!). There was one extra topic that could be chosen, had someone wanted to swap what they received - that person ended up being me and my topic changed to Carol Dweck's revisiting of the 'Growth Mindset'. I felt the actual presentation was a nightmare, with my preparation not feeling complete, my slides not automatically advancing despite my tinkering with the settings, and of course, me having WAY too many words to each slide, meaning I fell behind and what I was saying did not match with what was on the screen! Ah! It makes me cringe just thinking about it. Obviously this was a great learning experience and if I ever had to curate a quality ignite talk within a few hours again, I would focus on getting the technical parts working at the beginning, a word to represent each slide, and a script that was finely timed with the moving of the slides, rather than the aesthetics of each slide!

Below is not my live ignite presentation, but rather a recording of my presentation with some audio on top. If you would like to see how to do this, see this YouTube video!

Friday, 16 September 2016

Getting kinaesthetic with Keynote

I must admit, prior to today, I had never used keynote as a presentation tool and honestly had no intention of doing so. This makes me wonder what other gem of applications and programmes are out there that I just haven't given the time of day!

Today we discovered a world of opportunity to create and customise within Keynote! Despite not having the major 'ability to collaborate' Keynote has many other features which we were introduced to and given the chance to explore and experiment today! 

One of the awesome features of keynote that I had already used was it's ability to make buttons for my Hub Google site as seen below. The ability to insert a shape and put a picture inside it makes it perfect for customising your buttons so that rather than just plain old text, sites get a multimodal sort of feel to them! 

Another fabulous feature which I quite enjoyed but ran out of time to do was the 'magic moves' feature. This is an awesome way to display pictures within a presentation - I will definitely be trying it next time I have a need! See the video below for a really helpful tutorial.

I also had a play with using Keynote as a tool to create a stop motion animation using images. I used the instant alpha tool (okay, this might be my most favoured thing about keynote!) to remove the bird featured in the following 4-second clip from quite an intricate background. 

And there you have it, I am sold on Keynote! Am looking forward to exploring this really nifty tool further next week! 

Friday, 9 September 2016

Editing etiquette

Image result for editing filmToday we were lucky enough to have the WHOLE day to edit our Manaiakalani Film festival entries. Despite my last post of feeling quite unorganised, I feel like the entirety of this year's Fridays, up until now, have scaffolded us really well for this day! The iMovie little tips and tricks come in handy when splitting and merging clips and all of the filming has been done with the camera in a landscape position rather than a portrait one! Yay.

Although we had the whole day, I spent most of the day editing about a 5 second piece in my film because I didn't have one clean shot of a really significant scene of dialogue between two characters - this meant that instead of one clean shot, I had to cut to one learner's face, then to the other and then back to the original, all the while ensuring the voice over matched the image - what a mission! Had I been as organised as my last post fantasized, I would not have had this problem! Just as well we had the time to edit today!

It was brilliant to be able to play the small portion of my film that was ready to my colleagues to receive feedback about what could be done differently, Dorothy forewarned us that when it is our project with our lovely learners within the scenes it makes it hard to edit objectively! It also really helped to have the big loud speakers when playing back our film, as it made it possible to hear any discrepancies in the audio.

A couple of reflection points:

  • As I was editing today I wished that I had taken more shots at different/interesting angles
  • I think this year I addressed an issue that I noticed was quite prevalent within our school community. Next time, I would like more learner voice in the say of the topic of the movie. 
  • I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge how easy it is to edit on iMovie. I can only wince in pain as imagine what people 'back in the day' would have to go through to edit films!

Friday, 2 September 2016

Filming for the Manaiakalani Film festival

I had a lecturer at university who always used to say...

"You don't know what you don't know until you know it"

My peers used to get annoyed but I loved the truth that was in it! As you might have guessed, this was my experience when Filming for the Film festival. We had been prepped in every way possible by Dorothy, but I still had no idea what I was in for!

I had the storyboard all mapped out, the props, the timetable of shooting, the sounds I would use...

What I hadn't anticipated was...

  • The ability levels of my actors
  • The haircuts they would get (we filmed over a number of days)
  • The different shirts they would wear (short polos and then a long sleeve)
  • The weather! 
  • The technology breaking down (microphones not working)
  • Learners being away
  • The giggles throughout filming!
  • The wind
  • Finding time to re-shoot scenes when they don't work out the first time (or second or third time)

I guess my main learning in all of this is to be as organised as possible, test your equipment BEFORE you start shooting, get as much shooting done in one day to ensure continuity across scenes and start as early as possible so you not only have ample time to edit, but also to reshoot!

Really looking forward to editing the footage and creating my first Manaiakalani Masterpiece!

Below is my favourite blooper - so many amazing facials from this aspiring actor!