In Depth Blog Post 3

For the past two weeks, I prepared a screenplay for a one minute film exercise. I focused on the chapters “how to be interesting” and “how to respond” from De Beno’s Beautiful Minds book.

For “how to be interesting”, I focused on #6 To find and make connections that link matters together and generates interest. Before I started writing my screenplay, Nathan recommended that “[I] should create a list of things [I] want and don’t want to see in [my] films”. This way, every time I write a screenplay I can look over the list and remind myself what my filming goals are. It will become a pattern that will make filming less complicated and more straightforward. During our last meeting, we compared our lists, making connections and looking for common items. It interests me to see how we differed in our view of what makes a film good.

I incorporated # 10: modify an idea to make it more acceptable to yourself and to make it stronger or more practical, into my meeting by asking my mentor for feedback on my screenplay. I did this because I wanted to focus on improving my story writing skills. I took out all faults or weaknesses that my mentor pointed out so it would be prepared for Tuesday.

Nathan’s main feedback was to “show, not tell” my story. He said that I should “make my dialogue more natural,” and “make it sound like a real person would say it.” For example, at one point my character says, “I know you love music a lot, but I feel like you should take a break. You’re a great friend and all, but you listen to music ALL the time and it’s kind of rude to have your earphones in while talking to someone. Can you take a break from music? For me?” It appears to be normal dialogue, but most of the time, people speak less formally and with extra filler words. This is why he recommended I keep my dialogue to a minimum, and show character personality and thoughts through actions instead. This advice helped me, because I feel I will be more confident when I film on Tuesday.

Click here if you would like to see my list of things I want and don’t want to see in my films. I plan to shoot my one minute film on Tuesday, with the help of my mentor and two additional actors. After I finish shooting, I will post my screenplay and my film.

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In-Depth Blog Post 2

On February 7th, I met with my mentor, Nathan, for the first time. Angelina, Ethan, and their mentor, Elyjah, came as well. Rather than having two separate meetings, we held a joined group meeting. We introduced ourselves, talked about filming in general and what we want to get out of this project, and we created a plan for the next few months. I ended up changing my original plan, to one that my mentor suggested. In the first two months, I will focus on learning and developing my filming skills, by working on filming exercises. In the last two months, I will regroup with Ethan and Angelina, and, with our new knowledge and skills, we will create a final film product. Even though we will work together, each person will also have individual jobs to complete.

In my original plan, I wanted to keep track of my progress by posting an extra blog post each month. This blog post would state my SMART goals for that month, and how I improved on them. Now that I changed my plan, my SMART goals do not apply anymore. Once I get advice from my mentor on my plan for the next few months, I will create new SMART goals.

I disagreed with my mentor about the importance of a story line in filming. During the meeting, Angelina and I voiced our concerns about how we believe coming up with a good story line is one of the hardest parts of filming, but Elyjah and Nathan had a different opinion. They believed the story line is not as important as other aspects of film making. Our difference in opinions is most likely based on experience. Once I complete this project, my opinion may change or stay the same.

Because we held different opinions on this matter, we sought to find points of agreement. For example, we found circumstances where each opinion was correct. We came to the agreement that, for beginners, the technical aspects of filming outweigh coming up with a good story line, because you have not acquired the knowledge and skill to shoot quality films yet. On the other hand, for professionals, coming up with a good story line could be harder, because they are already comfortable with filming, and they already possess the required skills.

During our meeting, I noticed that Nathan and Elyjah used strategies from the Beautiful Minds book to disagree with each other. For example, Nathan thinks filming is a very wide topic, and that we should only focus on one aspect of it for in-depth. Elyjah disagrees, because he believes you can cover filming as a whole, even though it is a much broader topic. Both of my mentors used strategies from the Beautiful Minds book, because they made sure to disagree kindly and politely, and they did not disagree just for the sake of disagreeing. I believe that their opinions differ because both have different experiences and focuses that change how they perceive things.

Overall, the first meeting with my mentor went really well, and I am really excited to learn about filming. To start, I watched a couple of videos and I took notes on them. If you wish to see my notes, view them here.

 

 

 

Midnight Summer’s Dream – Letter to Theseus

My beloved king,

I would like to inform you that I decided to allow Lysander to marry my daughter, Hermia. You may wonder why I made this decision.

Lysander did not use magic to win Hermia’s heart; he genuinely loves her. Yes, at first I believed he bewitch’d the bosom of my child, but now, I see past my assumption. The gifts, the songs, and the attention he gave her, were merely methods to display his love and affection. How could Hermia resist falling for such a fine gentleman?

Now, Demetrius on the other hand. I thought he was the one for my daughter, but I have changed my mind. He is an unreliable and untrustworthy man. Before I choose him as the husband for Hermia, he was in love with Helena. Then, when I asked him to wed my daughter, he abruptly lost interest in Helena and “fell in love” with Hermia. I beg your pardon, but this seems rather orchestrated, don’t you think? This makes me believe he only fancies my daughter for her money. By allowing Lysander to marry my daughter instead of Demetrius, I am assuring that they will live a happy and genuine marriage, with no ulterior motives.

I spoke with Lysander and Hermia, and we agreed to have the wedding in two days. Yes, it is quite soon for them to get married, but I feel as if I owe this to the two eager lovers, for being a hindrance to their happiness. Unfortunately, I must miss their wedding. I made a promise to a few companions to go on a hunting party with them. We will be gone for around two weeks. I deeply apologize for this.

I bid your Grace farewell, and I wish you and Hippolyta have a glamorous wedding.

Your dutiful and obedient subject,
Egeus

ZIP Final Blog Post

  1. What is your inquiry question? What initially drew you to this question? Did your question stay the same, or did it change overtime? Why?

 

When I started thinking of a topic for ZIP, I noticed that most of my favorite stories interacted with the reader. For example, some of my favorite stories included choose your own adventure books, video games, and board games. This led me to the question, how can a story effectively be developed into an interactive experience? I came up with this question so that I could create my own interactive storytelling experience. I decided to make a board game, which would serve as my interactive experience, because I own a lot of board games and I thought it would be cool to create my own game. But over the given project time, I changed my question to Why are stories more interesting when they are interactive experiences? I chose to adjust my question because I wanted my question to match my research. How can a story effectively be developed into an interactive experience? has a broad variety of answers and is a question that might not require as much thought and research. I could choose to list steps to turn a story into an interactive experience if I wanted to. I believe that my current inquiry question provides more depth, and is worded better than the first one.

 

 

  1. What skills have you expanded on / learned during the inquiry process? How are these skills applicable to your success as a student?

 

During this project, I achieved my main, skill-related goal: to practice taking the feedback I gained from Mr. Morris and my research and implementing it into my stories. I also expanded my planning skills, because when I created the board game, I had to plan before creating it. This applies to my success as a student because in the future, I will have to plan many things, and planning something like a complex board game will allow me to practice for that. Other skills that I expanded on during ZIP were second person and descriptive writing.

 

 

  1. What did you learn about / what is your answer to this inquiry question? Remember to be specific and provide direct evidence from your research.

 

I believe stories interest people more when they can interact with the reader. By giving the reader choices, this allows them to guide the story in the way they believe is correct.  This is particularly effective because “people want the control. They want the freedom” to make correct decisions (Kevin Specey, 2013). It makes them feel helpful and powerful. As the reader chooses the path of the character, the story becomes more relatable and personal. You feel connected to the characters, because every decision reflects your beliefs and values. The more the characters execute your choices, the more you feel like you are the character. This also makes you “feel much more responsibility for what happens,” for both positive and negative outcomes of your choices (Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Michael Mateas, 2017). For example, the reader could feel proud for choosing to spend the character’s money on sponsoring a child in need, or the reader could feel devastated because they couldn’t save a character from their death. In both cases, this sparks emotion and interest in the reader. Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” By telling a good story, you bring out emotions in people and they remember the story more clearly. In conclusion, I learned that, by allowing the reader to have the freedom to make, it makes the story more interesting, meaningful, and connectable.

 

 

  1. In what ways does your final learning artifact demonstrate your learning / answer to your inquiry question? How does it connect to your chosen curricular competencies? Consider listing your competencies and including images, links, or excerpts from your work to demonstrate this.

 

I chose to create a board game as my final learning artifact. It demonstrates my learning related to my inquiry question, because it is an interactive experience that has many choices you can make, to get to multiple endings. For example, the game has events where characters make choices to survive. You can either rebuild your ship, be rescued, or die. Depending on your actions, you will reach one of the endings. You are responsible for the character and their actions.

 

Think critically, creatively, and reflectively to explore ideas within, between, and beyond texts

I thought critically, creatively, and reflectively to create my board game, which was my “idea beyond the text”. I thought creatively about a story idea that would go well with a board game. Next, I thought critically about the board game mechanics and rules. Finally, I reflected on my board game to look for any flaws.

 

Assess and refine texts to improve their clarity, effectiveness, and impact according to purpose, audience, and message

I originally wanted to create a rule book as my evidence for completing the competency, but I underestimated the amount of time I had to make the board game and I ran out of time. This competency still can be applied to my project, because I edited my story to improve its clarity, effectiveness, and impact, which matches what the competency states.

 

Exchange ideas and viewpoints to build shared understanding and extend thinking

I exchanged ideas and viewpoints by asking others for feedback. By analyzing that feedback and implement it in my board game, I extended my thinking and built a better understanding for the future. If I had published my board game, this feedback would have helped to make my board game clear and understandable.

 

 

  1. What resources did you find useful during your inquiry and why were they useful? (Cite at least four resources you consulted, with links, and write a brief 25-50 response as to was important to your learning).

 

When beginning my primary research, the source I found the most helpful was Elizabeth Sim’s 7 Simple Ways to Make a Good Story Great (See the first link down below). I learned a lot about writing that will help me a lot in the future. For example, I learned about strategies to engage your audience, editors, and agents. An experienced writer wrote the article, so I believe it can be trusted.

https://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/7-simple-ways-to-make-a-good-story-great

 

I found three useful resources, which help me learn about my inquiry question. (They are listed down below). These articles talk about interactive storytelling, which resembles my inquiry question, but focuses on digitally stories. Even though the topic slightly differs, they still talk about the same values that answered my inquiry question.

https://www.ceros.com/originals/the-power-of-storytelling/

https://medium.com/@benhoguet/what-is-interactive-storytelling-46bfdd2a8780

http://theconversation.com/the-future-is-in-interactive-storytelling-76772

 

 

  1. What new questions do you have about your inquiry? What motivates you or excites you about these questions?

 

When I research, I learned about interactive storytelling. Interactive storytelling is quite like my inquiry question, because it focuses on telling stories through interactive experiences. The only difference is that interactive storytelling focuses on digital stories. Example of interactive storytelling include Firewatch and Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. After looking at a few articles about interactive storytelling, I came up with the question, how does interactive storytelling differ from linear storytelling, and which one is more effective?

In my original plan, I wanted to write a rule-book for my board game, but I underestimated the amount of time and I decided not to write one due to lack of time. Another question I have, and could do for a future Zip project, is How do you write an effective and clear rule-book that is clear and understandable by all audiences?

 

Zip #4: January 16 & 17th

Describe the ups and downs you have encountered to date in your inquiry. Specifically, when you were frustrated or struggling in your inquiry, what did you do to address the situation?

The ‘ups’ of my project was when I was researching, and brainstorming the story for the board game. I enjoyed the research because I like learning new things about writing, and I enjoyed the brainstorming because I like coming up with stories. The main struggle I face in this project is time. I have 10 days left, and I still need to create the board game, write the rule book, finish my final blog post, and plan my presentation. To address this situation, I will spend extra time over the break to complete the project. I also decided to spend less time working on the rule book, so I can focus on the story aspects of the game.

Zip #3 – January 14 & 15th

Take a moment to reflect on your inquiry plan (calendar). Do you need to make any revisions to your original plan? If so, why? If you haven’t made any changes to your plan, why do you feel you have been so successful in sticking to it?

I am two days behind in my plan. So far, I finished my research, created my assessment rubric, and started brainstorming for my board game. I feel like I underestimated the amount of time needed to plan my board game, but in reality, it could take months to plan. Rather than adjusting my schedule, I am going to stay at the same pace. To catch up on the schedule, I will spend more time working on Zip during the semester break. I will also play-test my board game only once, and spend less time writing the rules.

In-Depth Introductory Post

For my In-Depth project, I want to explore filming. I have prior experience in filming from previous projects, both in and out of school, but I want to try and explore it more in-depth, and learn on a professional level.

 

Every month, I will focus on different aspects of filming. For example, in the first month, I will focus on planning a film and writing a script. In the second month, I will practice shooting scenes. In the third month, I will practice editing. In the last two months of my project, I will create a final product that I will present at in-depth night. This will be a short film.

 

Through-out this process, I will continuously research and meet with my mentor. I have not found a mentor yet, but I contacted one of Gleneagle’s teachers about locating one for me. In this project, the skills I will learn are planning, script writing, shooting scenes, and editing. Along the way, I will post my SMART goals for each month, and at the end of that month, I will explain and include evidence on how well I did on that goal. This way, I can show my progress in my project. Chanel, Jian, Jasmine, Natasha and I will celebrate at the end of the project by going out to snowy village.