Xcelerate 2017: Week 6

Week 6 of Xcelerate is complete! The end is in sight. I won’t lie. The fact that I’m getting so close to the finish line is making it harder to wake up in the morning. The list of things I have to do keeps getting longer and longer, and I won’t be able to fully dedicate myself to any of that until the classes are over.

With that being said, this week wasn’t too bad. I had two classes yet again. One of them was a familiar camp, and the other camp was new, but it covered familiar material.

The first class I was working with this week was a photography class. This was the one that was new, but familiar. Throughout the week, the students played a variety of games that challenged their creativity while taking photographs. There were scavenger hunts, a “photo bomb” activity, as well as daily challenges such as taking pictures that interpreted words like “hot,” “blue,” or “wet”.

It was a good time. I think the kids had fun taking the photos throughout the week. On Friday, they compiled all of their prints onto a poster board and had a bit of a show for parents and visitors.

The other class I was working was a familiar one. I was back in the science class (which took part in for two days last summer after a different class cancellation). It proves to be a popular one. There were 25 students in the class this week, all between the ages of 7-10. Take that how you will.

In this class throughout the week, we did a variety of little crafts and experiments. We made a few types of slime, made some chemical reactions, attempted making a watermelon explode, lots of fun stuff. It was also pretty messy. I ended up bringing some old clothes to change into for this class specifically.

There is only one more week of Xcelerate left for me this summer. Let’s hope it’s a good one!

Xcelerate 2017: Week 5

It’s been a bit since I last posted a reflection on a week of Xcelerate. I had a small vacation over the first week of July. No classes were scheduled because of the Independence Day holiday.

During that small break, I was hoping to catch up on rest and get some other work done. I definitely caught up on rest, so much so that it feels like I’m starting over on my morning routine. As for the other work that I wanted to get done, I didn’t accomplish as much as I would have liked. Alas, my vacation ended, and it was time to get back to summer camp business.

This week brought me back to the computer lab. That always has its pros and cons. There was definitely a lot less set up and clean up than I was having to do in the previous week with painting and cupcakes. That’s definitely a pro. It was also nice to be in the same place all day, not having to travel between buildings while trying to squeeze in my lunch.

The class was about designing worlds, structures, skins and the like for the game Minecraft. I’ve never played Minecraft before. I don’t really know anything about it, other than the fact that the kids love it. This fact made me a little uneasy. It’s never fun to not be able to answer questions as well as I’d like.

In order to combat some of this, I asked for a flash drive with the programs the kids would be using, and the instructor was nice enough to send me PDFs of the lesson plans. Looking these over before the classes kept me more prepared. It was easier to manage.

I’m still not sure how I feel about Minecraft after all of this. It doesn’t seem like my sort of thing. The lesson on command blocks was the easiest for me to grasp out of it all because it’s essentially writing computer code. This is a subject that I’ve definitely had experience in through several other camps at this point.

There are only two weeks left of Xcelerate 2017. I’m approaching the home stretch!

Exit Interview

Don’t let the title deceive you. I’m not leaving any jobs.

This post will be about the short film Exit Interview, directed by Jason Rugg, which I recently produced. Conceptualized as an entry for the 2017 Rode Reel competition, Exit Interview follows a man who doesn’t understand that his ideal girlfriend is just not that into him.

Going into the production of this film, my role was more of a line producer. This means that my main job was to keep the production on time, to make sure that everything happened and stayed on schedule.

Over the last few productions I’ve been a part of, I’ve used Shot Lister to help with this. I definitely have some complaints about the current state of the program, but it has the potential to be a very nice organizational tool. I would suggest checking it out. It might be of use to you.

We had a small crew, but there was a bit more help than we usually have. Rugg was directing. I was doing my producing role. Erik Leal of E Leal Productions was running audio and helping with lighting. Rugg also brought in someone to record behind the scenes video and assist when needed. We had three cast members, and two groups of extras throughout the day.

It was an all day shoot. As a crew member, I was there from 9:00am till almost 10:00pm. All of the scenes were shot at a central location, so break down and set up throughout the day wasn’t incredibly difficult. Overall, the day was very eventful and a good learning experience for everyone involved.

You can view the Behind the Scenes video below.

As for editing, that was a bit of a challenge. Everyone just has so much going on, its hard to set time aside. We managed to get an edit done for the Rode Reel deadline. It’s so nice to see how everything came together in the edit.

I’m a really big fan of how the locations look and the performance of the actress who plays Amy, Emma Baker. She was fantastic on set, and her performance comes off really well in the final film. I’m super pleased.

You can see the Rode Reel submission below!

At some point in the future, there may be a director’s cut that would give a little more freedom in the edit without the Rode competition restrictions. If that comes to pass, I will be sharing that as well.