Monday, December 12, 2011

A final summary.

The Engaging Shakespeare event on Friday was a great success. I enjoyed seeing the other groups presenting and talking about their final projects. I was surprised how keen I was to know more about their motives behind certain choices they made and ideas they came up with. During the question and answer sessions, it seemed like the rest of the class shared a similar interest as it was us that asked a lot of the questions.

For me, my improved knowledge and interest in Shakespeare became apparent on Friday night as I could distinctly see my own investment in the conversation compared to some of the others in the audience who were otherwise not as informed on the subjects.

I was also really impressed with our work and felt that the most obviously when we were watching our documentary. I only say that cause I didn't expect people to laugh so much. I guess after seeing it so many times while editing, you forget that there were a lot of funny moments. It seemed like the audience was impressed and appreciated it.

Learning outcomes:

1. Gain Shakespeare Literacy
2. Analyze Shakespeare Critically
3. Engage Shakespeare Creatively
4. Share Shakespeare Meaningfully

In creating the documentary, we realized that a lot of practical skills were going into our final project. So while we might have been filming others engage and learn about Shakespeare, our project did not require us to be so involved in Shakespeare's text. Because of this, we tried to think of ways that we could be critically engaged in Shakespeare. One way we thought of doing this was looking at the story arc of Shakespeare plays. Though it may seem like an obvious creative choice, we did consciously decide to make the documentary like how a play would play out in chronological order. The beginning saw footage of them just talking about their final and reading through lines in the classroom. We then shifted gears into the rehearsal space which was slowly introduced to the point where they were semi in costume and really using the performance space rather than just sitting and lounging around in it. TO make a full complete 'performance' of the documentary with the end being wrapped up by the final performance -and not wanting to spoil the performance for the actors and the audience on Friday night, we finished on an image of the lights being projected on stage. This lent the documentary to be like a pre-cursor to seeing the performance and did not spoil anything for the live audience.

I also looked at incorporating text clips into the doc so that we could see how Shakespeare related even to the act of storytelling in a documentary form. We chose not to include Shakespeare text in the final version we posted on the internet but played around with it. I think it didn't work simply because it was becoming very wordy as we were hearing Shakespearean text from the actors on screen and then adding more of it to read just seemed a little over-bearing. We wanted the screening to be enjoyable and easy-going and very accessible for those who were only being introduced to Shakespeare.

Creatively, we were constantly thinking of ways to tell the story. On set, I was always trying to frame things well and capture the whole scene as well as individuals and their up-close emotions. I think the end-product shows this -a story aided by close ups of telling-images and emotions from the actors. This blog post was part of discovering the different shots we wanted to get and what we could accomplish with those different shot. Editing wise, we tried out a lot of different little segments to put it that completely changed the feel of the story and how everything was depicted. Having full creative freedom in the editing room, allowed all of us to have our own input and decide together the best possible way to shape the story.
In pre-production we had to think of appropriate things to ask our subjects that would be best when editing and what would really bring out the most emotion from the actors. These are what we primarily came up which was added to along the way as we realized there were other important things we needed sound bites of while on set. 

Along the way, we shared Shakespeare meaningfully by posting a couple preview videos (this one and this one) to the public. together, those two videos have over 100 views now I believe. It allowed others to see what we were doing in class and see the passion/anxiety etc felt by those performing it.

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