When Cathy Duffy expressed an interest in reviewing our curriculum, I must admit, I was nervous. We're brand new. We've put all our heart and soul into this program. If our first big review went poorly, that could be devastating to us! That's why I'm pleased to announce that Cathy Duffy did an extremely thorough review of our curriculum.... and she loved it! Here is what she said:
Intro to Filmmaking, an online course covering filmmaking, film history, and film analysis, should be very popular with teens. Damon Evans is an inspiring teacher and presenter, and the inclusion of real-life teens throughout makes it very relatable. The outstanding production values of the course itself make it is a great advertisement for Evans’ own filmmaking expertise.
The course is taught with streamed videos, a textbook, photo and video assignments, and movies (which students need to access however they can).
The course is laid out in 18 sections, each with four parts. The first part of each section is the video lesson that students will watch online while completing note pages in the workbook.
This is followed by an assignment, although the type of assignments vary from lesson to lesson.Students have photo and video assignments beginning with Section 3. In Section 11 they begin preproduction on a video they will shoot.
The third part of each section, a film report, requires watching a specified movie, answering questions in the workbook, then watching a video discussion between Evans and some students about the film. Evans wants to introduce students to a variety of classic movies using films such as Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, War Games, Searching for Bobby Fisher, and Life of Pi.
The final part of each section, the Fun Film Fact, is a brief presentation about something interesting from the history of film. These are both entertaining and instructive.
A brief quiz at the end of each section asks questions about key information that students really should remember. So quizzes are important reinforcement tools as well as assessments.
Some early sections don’t require a great deal of time. Watching the movie might be the most time-consuming part of a section. However, in Section 4, students will need to shoot photos from ten different camera angles, a project that could take quite a bit of time. When students begin researching their equipment in Sections 9 and 10 and doing preproduction work in Section 11, the time required ramps up significantly. From there, they will be putting lots of time into shooting their film and editing it. In Section 15, Evans’ lesson demonstrating editing takes much longer than typical lessons, and student work on editing will also require much more time. However, even though time demands increase, students are likely to be highly engaged in the process and are unlikely to mind. My point is that as a parent/teacher, you are probably going to need to schedule extra time for some sections rather than stick with a consistent schedule.
Students will need equipment. Presenter Damon Evans stresses that students can use nothing more than a smartphone—even for the editing process—if that’s all they can manage. However, he discusses and demonstrates many different options for cameras and sound recording plus some simple ways to work w