Approximately 5 minutes in duration.
Five short scenes shot by five students with little-to-absolutely-no video production experience. Each student had to act, shoot and ultimately direct their own interpretation of an intentionally inane, ten-line script.*
Between freelance gigs and my own projects, I also work as an instructor for IFP Minnesota (ifpmn.org). I recently completed an eight-week "Introduction to Video Production" course with a group of five great students, and "Five Possible Scenes" is one of the projects we made within our breakneck timeline. Since this was the first time I taught this particular class, which was revamped from a previous version with the same name, I thought I'd keep the weekly agendas on the 'lighter side' of the content spectrum... Lo and behold I realized pretty quickly during weeks one and two that my "light," can often be others' H-E-A-V-Y, and I was struck at how I've come to take for granted the value of role specialization, technical prowess, careful craftsmanship and artistic integrity that are intertwined in professional production.
That said, throughout my "Intro to Video" experience, I was able to rediscover several vital values I associate with teaching film/video as an art and practice, and that is the freshness, the undying collaborative spirit, and moments of discovery made by minds that have not been over-steeped in the culture and industry. I am proud of what these five students were able to accomplish in the few-to-four hours we'd spend together once a week. And since this was the first time that most of them handled a camera and heard of things like color temperature, codecs, and C-stands, let alone stood in front of a camera and performed while "hitting a mark," I trust they're proud of their achievements too.
* A shout out to Chicago-based actor Cheryl Graeff (the original source of the "I Wasn't Expecting" script used for this project) and her numerous acting workshop visits to my Columbia College classrooms which were always a very welcome treat.
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