Final Project: Evaluate

01/06/2011 § Leave a comment

The majority of this project consisted of a lot of research about sleep and sleep deprivation. I looked up a lot of websites about sleep and the medical/scientific explanations about sleep. After researching sleep, I had enough information about the topic to seem like something of an expert about sleep and the effects and causes of sleep deprivation. At that point, I could start interviewing people about how much they sleep and get footage for my mini “documentary”. Since interviewing took a total of three days (and a few hours each for every single day) and I was able to film all of my house films at home, filming really took only an overall total of a few hours (maybe between four to five hours). The final product looks like an amateur blog-slash-documentary that is still very informative about sleep and the different types of sleep. It might be a little weak on its amount of facts but it spreads throughout the school and provides a very little amount of comic relief but gets down to my point: sleep is very important. I was also able to emphasize that point and did that by using some of my peers as an example. (I used mostly myself as an example, though.) Overall, the documentary is fine, in my opinion, but I really only worked as much on it as I could but couldn’t quite put 120% of my effort into it because of other projects for other classes.

Inquirer: I am an inquirer. This is because I seriously developed a natural curiosity for how much time people sleep and how much they’re supposed to sleep. Before, I was always worried about, “Oh, am I sleeping too much, am I sleeping too less, am I abnormal, am I doing unhealthy things to my brain and my body?” and those kinds of questions and I really did stress over the amount of sleep I was getting. Therefore, I first did a lot (a lot) of research about sleep and the scientific explanations about how much sleep we’re supposed to have, what happens when we sleep (aka why we need it so much) and how to get the right amount of sleep you need. I also asked a lot of people a lot of questions about whether they’re satisfied with how much they sleep, how much they sleep on a daily basis and what time they go to sleep and wake up, etc., etc. I was seriously very interested about other people and wondering if they were sleeping right. If I found out how much they were sleeping and if they were satisfied about their sleep, then I would be able to determine if I was sleeping right and if I should be satisfied with how much I am sleeping — my conclusion was this: the amount of sleep amongst my grade varied and no one was truly satisfied with how much they were sleeping. I am an inquirer because I improved my researching skills and used them to research many websites for this project but also to gather information independently about the amount of sleeping other people in the grade get and was able to make that part of the project fun (filming other people).

Knowledgeable: I am knowledgable. This is more about the amount of research I did. The amount of research and note-taking I did during the first half of this project resulted in a document of notes on my computer that consisted of about 8 to 9 pages of notes about sleep and sleep deprivation. And that document is not double-spaced. I was able to discover many different little facts about types of sleep, why we should sleep, how much people sleep, why people don’t sleep well, and is it normal to be getting such-and-such amounts of sleep? I also discovered the medical facts about sleep and statistical facts as well, like the REM stage of sleep, the NREM stages of sleep, and such. Being knowledgeable, I was able to go very in-depth about sleep and was even able to discover ways to improve your sleep patterns and get advice for changing your sleep patterns and improving it. I am knowledgeable because I put my research skills to use and gained a lot of information about sleep.

Thinker: I am a thinker. This is because I made a product that is very different from other peoples’ projects. In doing so, I needed to think about a plan, a schedule, a tactic and an order of how I would be executing this project. Once I got the idea (once again, from Grace), I had to organize a plan and schedule that would help me finish the project in time — or at least, before it was due. (Actually, the plan was working fine before Tuesday because my schedule shifted entirely on Tuesday and now I’m turning in my blogs a little later than planned.) I think the worst decision I made during this project was going out with a few friends on Tuesday and not staying at home. By doing this, I wasn’t able to finish anything that night and ended up doing them today — before exams. That was my worst decision ever. I really should have stayed home. However, prior to that bad decision, I made all the right schedules and dates and lived up to them and was able to film everything on time and was also able to finish all my research on time, updating my Investigate, Plan, Design and Create blogs on time as well. I am a Thinker because I can organize and I was able to design this project effectively and think my way through by really organizing this documentary.

Final Project: Create, Part 3

01/06/2011 § Leave a comment

Editing and finishing up the documentary took a lot of “split clip”-ing and trimming of clips. I also had to adjust the volume of the music and other certain clips that were particularly quiet. I also added some text to certain scenes here and these texts consisted of numbers.

Below are some photographs of how I edited and finished the documentary.


Whenever I was trimming part of an interview that I took, the Clip Trimmer was what I used. Dragging the end of the yellow box would let me cut up the clip however I wanted to.

 


Adding music was very simple, simply go to the music icon (a bit cut off but at the bottom left of the iMovie window, it’s the very left icon and it’s a music note) and type in the song you want. Afterwards, drag the song from the list and onto the project. Quite simple.

 

 

 


If you look closely at this screen shot, the orange highlighting line only highlights portions of each clip. These are the parts that I’ve chosen and cut out to put into the iMovie project.

 


Adding text was also easy, I took the text choices from the bottom left and typed what I needed to by double clicking the text box on top of each clip.

 


Also a text-adding screen shot but much more text on the movie.

 


Finally, a view of all the things I saw as I was editing the documentary. You can see the text boxes (the blue rectangles), the music boxes (the long green rectangles) and the text-scene choices (all the black boxes at the bottom right).

Final Project: Create, Part 2

25/05/2011 § Leave a comment

At this point in time I’ve gathered all of the interviews I need for the documentary. As of now, I’ve interviewed Ayushi + Natacha, Grace, Mee Jung+Jemima, Kirthank, Dhilan, Shi Jia, Freddie, Kevin and Vineet. I’m planning to put all of the interviews in so that my interviewees get their due credit. The way I plan to cut up the interviews is whenever I need a certain answer on my document, I’ll find the interviewee who answers it best and will cut that up (“split clip”) and put those into the right places in the documentary.

Tonight, I think I’ll be able to film the blog-like home scenes where I do all my explaining and the majority of the clips where I am the only focus of the camera (listed on my outline that I posted in my previous Create blog). I have about eight of those to film but some of them are quite quick to film. Also, I think it would be much better if I do finish all of the home-clips today to get those out of the way and give myself some time to see how to arrange the entire documentary and also give myself more time to edit it properly.

I’ve also added the music onto the iMovie project as I said I would and all of the interviews are not only in my files but also uploaded onto the iMovie project. The music edits will only be volume, fade-ins and fade-outs, and where to put them (and how long each song will have in the documentary, since there are three songs but only about five minutes).

Final Project: Create, Part 1

22/05/2011 § Leave a comment

Before Friday at school, I came up with some questions to ask my interviewees/classmates at school. They are:

On average, how many hours do you sleep a night?
What time do you go to sleep and when do you get up? Normally?
Have you ever stayed up til really late at night to do something? (anything)
Are you satisfied with how much you’re sleeping every day?
Do you know how many hours you’re typically supposed to have at this age?
Do you know what can happen if you don’t sleep right?

I have currently interviewed Natacha and Ayushi (together), Grace (alone), and Mee Jung and Jemima (together). I know I seem sexist and biased as of right now, because I’ve only filmed my friends, but I do plan to get some interviews in other classes (it was just Friday, after all). I’m planning to get the rest of my filming done by the 23rd (Monday) but any extra will be filmed on Tuesday so I’ll still bring my camera that day. Classes I think I can get some interviews done in are during advisory, math class, social studies, chemistry (tentative, though), english (also quite tentative), and any last-minute filming on Tuesday’s health/tech class.

Also, I have yet to start filming the house-clips (explanation clips) but I have made quite an outline for the documentary.

Outline – Sleep Documentary

Attached above is the PDF of the outline I made (I use Pages and it had a template for storyboards) for the documentary. I’ve included any props I need and the music I’m planning to add. Also, today, I already created the iMovie file that will eventually become the documentary but have experimented with some added-text features. I’ve chosen to use the ‘scrolling’ and ‘soft edge’ choices whenever I need to add text onto the documentary. I plan to film my first home-explanation-vlog-like clip tomorrow (Sunday) and will also insert the songs into the iMovie so I won’t have to spend time on it later.

Final Project: Plan

18/05/2011 § Leave a comment

The tangible resources that I’ll be needing for this mini-documentary are:

  • a camera that can take video
  • iMovie (to edit the movie)
  • lots of people to interview
I’ll be using my computer to edit this movie and if I can’t borrow my dad’s camera (I’m sure I can, though), I’ll borrow a video camera from the school – maybe the ones that we used while producing the PSAs.
Other things I’ll be needing in order to make this mini-documentary are:
  • important and arranged information to mention in the documentary
  • an outline of what I want to do for my documentary (what I will ask my interviewees, my main point/idea, the information I want to share, etc.)
  • a schedule of when I plan to finish everything
From my experience in making the previous PSA, I think that this is all I’ll really need (outline, schedule and research; and I have all my research already). The following dates are the film days and editing days that I intend to follow so that I finish this project before the week that exams start (which is in two weeks). I intend to get this project finished before the end of next week. Luckily, I’m a fast editor when it comes to iMovie.
  • Interview filming days (all at school): 20th, 23th, and the 24th (the 24th being an extra day)
  • Home filming days: 20th, 21st, 22nd, and the 25th (the 25th being the last extra day, if I need it)
  • Video editing: 25th, 26th and the 27th
If you’ve ever watched “Easy A,” you’ll know that the whole movie is basically a video-blog about the main character’s story, with the back story and the actual film as her proof. I might be able to get in some explanation-clips at school (like right after someone’s said something that really applies the information I’ve gathered) but most of it will be done at home. The home filming and interview filming days are overlapped because I am positive that all of the people in my grade (all the people I intend to interview) have different sleeping schedules. I’m positive that some people sleep more than others and that certain people get next to no sleep at all. I know this because I’ve already talked to them about it before and when I talked to them, it wasn’t for a class.
I’m also planning to get the outline of this project done by tomorrow so that I can start filming by Friday, this week. 

Final Project: Design

18/05/2011 § Leave a comment

At first, I had a difficult time trying to figure out what kind of project I wanted to make for this final assessment. At first, I thought that making a power point would be the best option for me because it wouldn’t be too time consuming to make and I would only have to prepare for the presentation in front of the class. However, with the research I have, I think the presentation would be long and quite boring and not a very successful presentation. Also, I really don’t think I have the kind of time to prepare for the presentation. In any case, a presentation with Powerpoint (Microsoft Office) or Keynote (iWork?) doesn’t seem technologically appropriate enough for this project, even if I add fancy transitions or something.

The second choice I had was to make some kind of graphic manipulation poster (or two or three) with Adobe Photoshop because I’m not that bad at making graphic manipulations. After using Photoshop for this one English project that required us to make a movie poster for a story we read, I realized that I wasn’t half as bad at Photoshop than I thought I was. I thought making an informative graphic manipulation poster (or two) would be good enough for this project but I remembered that graphic manipulation actually takes a lot of time and patience and with the exams coming up, I don’t think I’d have the patience to do that. Also, I’d need to plan out both posters and arrange all the information I’d gathered. So that option wouldn’t work for me.

Then I thought making a PSA like everyone else would actually be the best choice but if working with a group for a month was hard enough (because it was just a long process), then I think making a PSA in under a week would be ten times harder. Also, I’d need to plan and get my Dad’s camera and ask people to be in the PSA and because of their schedules this month, I’m pretty sure they won’t want to be part of the video.

Finally, Grace introduced me to the idea of making a mini-documentary (it will probably be a few minutes) that would consist of multiple short interviews and a few clips of me explaining the topic of sleep and the problems of the deprivation of sleep. I think the only major problems I’ll find with this choice is the amount of time it’ll take and stopping people every once in a while to interview them and ask them how much time they sleep. Also, I’ll have to ask one of my friends (probably one that is in most of my classes) to help film while I interview random persons. I think this kind of project would put together the technology I’ve learned in class, the information I’ve applied from my research and from the health lectures, and will also try to include people from the outside.

I’ve chosen to do the mini-documentary that Grace suggested for me to do. I chose this because I felt that the cons of the choice weighed less than the cons of the other projects. Also, the filming of this project would take a maximum of three days at school (including maybe two days at home) and I have a week next week (including this week) so I feel that I can get the project done by then.

[Also, I’d like to dedicate this blogpost to Grace Yun. Find her blog here, on WordPress. She’s awesome.]

PSA: Evaluate

06/05/2011 § Leave a comment

I think that the technical side of working and making this PSA was easy enough for me. I’ve already used iMovie before to make school projects or just to make movies, in general. According to my abilities from using iMovie before, I think the putting together of the PSA was quite easy and simple – as my group had planned it out to be. In my humble opinion, I had absolutely no major problems in using iMovie and even learned a few new things about using the software. However, filming the PSA and planning it out wasn’t as easy as the computer-side of the production but it wasn’t difficult either. I think the hardest bump my group had to face was transferring all the files from one computer to another. Only two people had some of the clips each and no one had all of the clips throughout the entire project. We spent about two class times trying to figure out the fastest way to give each other the files. Honestly, it wasn’t too hard of a problem, I just needed to clear the “how-to” open a folder up to the rest of my group and afterwards, after a few more little problems, everyone had the clips.

The content of my PSA, I think, is intended to take commonly-known experiences, tries to put facts with that, and at the same time, make the funny experiences seem humorous. Also, adding those serious sign-scenes is the heart of the PSA. Once we get into the discrimination half of the PSA, then people are educated majorly on discrimination and the different ways people are treated unjustly.

At the very beginning of this humongous project, after my group chose to study homosexuals and sexuality as our topic, I remember directly that Ms. Ishihara told us to find the heart of sexuality; the cause of problems that happen in relation to homosexuality. I also remember clearly that she helped us realise that there are problems with gay persons and the rest of the world because gay groups and homosexuals are discriminated against for who they are. Thus came the topic of our PSA (and the idea of using the SU2C PSA as a major influence). We focused totally on discrimination and put discrimination against gay people at the heart of the PSA. My group manipulated the information we found (so this project also made us do some math) to make the discrimination against homosexuals the most drastic. I’m not saying that we made up fake facts – all the facts on the PSA are true and can be verified at the site linked below – we only manipulated a few of them to make the discrimination because of your sexuality look like the worst kind of discrimination. Using proper facts and adding a little bit of humour into the PSA can easily attract students’ views and attention and, in the end, education them a little more about not only the unfairness gay people face, but the different types of discrimination that the whole world faces (which is the point of this PSA, too). We were just able to use sexual orientation as a way of justifying that discrimination is not a good thing.

The process of making this PSA, as said earlier, wasn’t very difficult. Sure, the group might have faced what may have seemed like dead ends but were only momentarily lapses of no-focus and a blank mind. We eventually got around all of these by brainstorming more ideas and deciding on topics, ideas, and how-to’s together. I thought I helped lead the group really well in distributing work for everyone to do, asking for everyone’s opinions and ideas, and just getting the work done. Our group worked quite well together, considering that sometimes we got stuck on blank ideas and couldn’t do anything during class time.

My PSA might not do much to impact other peoples’ lives but I’m positive that it’ll get them thinking. I’ve shown the PSA to some of my friends and other classmates already and they’ve asked me about the facts – whether or not I made them up or found them. I think that’s a sign that the use of facts did its job and it got them thinking – either about the chances of seeing a UFO, chances of becoming president or being possessed by Satan, and in the long-run, maybe even the chances of discrimination because you’re Asian, or a girl, a boy, because of your race/ethnicity and because you’re gay.

This PSA’s effect on my life is mostly that it taught me how to construct an idea for a movie (in this case, a short 1:00 minute PSA) with a group of people, how to work with people who may not be as accomplished as you or might not have as many ideas/skills as you do, and how to use iMovie to make a movie. I already knew how to use iMovie to make a movie but I learned to use the iMovies tools more this time around. Also, the PSA actually brought up some facts I didn’t know about the world and how much people have been or are being discriminated against. I’ve never actually discriminated against other people – I’ve seen no reason to – but now I don’t think I ever will discriminate against people because of who they are.

Throughout the process, I think I handled all of the stages well – from the very beginning. I helped lead my group during brainstorming, I also lead my group in researching for facts and websites/books that we could use for our PSA, then during the filming of the PSA, I feel as though I acted like a little director, saying “stand here, do this, look up there, put your hand like that, look serious, etc.” but people followed anyway and did as I asked. All in all, I felt like I was a bit of a leader during the entire process, helping out here and there.

The three IB learner Profile characteristics that I thought I unknowingly strove for during this project were Communicator, Principled, Reflective. I feel like I learned to be a better Communicator during this project because no one else was stepping up to be the head (or something) and someone needed to take over and lead the group. I thought I learned to be more Principled because, as a leader, I needed to be fair with the distribution of work while being the leader. I also had to make a lot of the decisions and set up different times, so if anything went wrong, I would have to take responsibility for that. I was very Reflective during this project because of the many blogs that I had to post. It kept me in check with the main idea of this project and the heart of the message but also showed me my strengths in leading a group and making movies.

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