Task: View the slides and characterize the students' experiences in a sentence or two as best you can with the excerpts presented.
“Masque of Red Death” and “Tell-Tale Heart”
Short Stories by Edgar Allan Poe Mini-Movie Experience Excerpts from Reflection Papers by Students
• “In my Honors English II class with Mrs. Townsend, my class created our own video representation of Edgar Allan Poe‟s Short story, „The Masque of Red Death.‟ We developed a script, cast for parts, and filmed it completely in only a week‟s worth of class time.”
• “While developing our class version of „The Masque of Red Death,‟ I realized how hard it is to produce a movie. Although it is very easy to think of ideas to put into a movie, it is actually hard to execute. It takes a ton of teamwork.”
“Making a mini-film was a very educational as well as enjoyable class project. This is a project in which the whole entire class was involved and had a job. To include even more class involvement, Ms. Townsend let us vote upon who was going to be the director, photographer and other major roles. This project is something that students can and will enjoy. „Cut…and that‟s a wrap.”‟
• “To fully understand something, it helps to do it yourself. This is what our class did to better understand the work of Edgar Allan Poe and also how a “movie” works. We included set changes, costumes, several characters, and a director. All of this, of course was set to music.”
• “Making a mini-video isn‟t the easiest task to complete. It takes patience, work, skill, and time. Although making the mini movie was fun and a creative ay to learn, it required teamwork. This project really challenged our class because we all had to work together to get the mini-movie done. This project really pushed us to work hard.”
“When you make a movie based upon a piece of literature, it really defines the story and helps you realize a story‟s key parts. I now better understand Edgar Allan Poe‟s “Tell-tale Heart” thanks to our class‟s mini-movie making experience. I am very glad that I got to partake in such an experience.”
“Everything we do revolves around the smallest of tasks we do everyday. Sometimes a small task can end with something way bigger a few days later. That‟s what happened in my sixth block English class. We were reading short stories by Edgar Allan Poe and other authors. One of Poe‟s stories we were‟ required to read was „The TellTale Heart.‟ I learned some things while working on the project, one of them is to work on your part of the film as much as possible. The other thing I learned is to work as a group.”
• “In real life it takes years and months to produce a final product, but in our case, it only took a week. We had created a five minute movie of „A Tell Tale heart' in a new present-day version. It took us two days to cast, write scripts, and for set/prop design. Two days of filming went by with an hour and a half of each period to do so; finally the last day was used for movie editing and special effects.”
Michael Green Cont‟d.
• “As an actor I practiced my lines, of course, like others have done when getting ready to perform. When I was with others performing, I practiced my dialogue and the expressions used alongside it to make this short film really come alive. I hope I get more experiences such as this because it gives me a chance to practice my speaking skills without reading aloud my own work in class. For the mot part I know it went well but there was a time we didn‟t realize someone outside the bathroom was wearing a mic, so the sound went bad. I hope I‟ll get to be a part of something like this again.”
• “Overall, this was an enjoyable activity and I would recommend it to future classes because it really did help us better understand the story. Some of the skills t hat were enhanced or created were how to be able to better talk in front of an audience without being nervous or getting stage fright… .” • “There was something new to be learned for everyone.”
• “We did a lot of things right in that we were prepared with a script, costumes, scenery, music and everything else that was used in the making. The preparation for that was great and it helped us a lot to be able to sit down and to look at what we had and what we could do and what we would be able to do.”
• “Throughout the process I gained much insight into the very detailed work of movie making. The class put a lot of time into the success of show and our efforts were well displayed. As the filming and special effects came to a close, the excitement began to build as to the unveiling of the finished product. At the moment when we finally saw the completed film, everyone was greatly pleased with our work. This film was a wonderful adventure for me in which I learned a lot and had great fun.”
Mary Cullen Pennington
• “When our project was coming to an end, we had to deal with technical problems. We had trouble getting the movie onto a DVD, but after patience from the class and teacher as a whole, we got it done. Putting those final touches onto the movie was very rewarding. I think that the class really enjoyed this project. It was a good project because it allowed us to use some of our other talents. I would definitely recommend that this is the project to be done in years to come in the Honors English II classes. The best thing about the whole process is that it gives people a chance to explore their strengths and weaknesses.”
• One important thing I learned was that teamwork really is key and without it, things definitely can, and will, go wrong. I also learned how to write a decent script and how to organize a cast and film crew as well as props and scenery. Our script was all right, and our props were decent but all-in-all, the activity was both creative and fun.
Alex Garden Continued
• I recommend that all of Mrs. Townsend‟s classes participate in the “mini-movie making” experience. It is a very rewarding and enjoyable activity. I think that this experience helps all students learn a little more about script writing, movie making, and the writing process in general.”
• Making a mini-movie as a class was a new experience for me. As a matter of fact, I‟ve never been involved in a major class project as in-depth as this one was. It impressed me that a group of thirtyplus teenagers could work together so easily, especially during a block so close to lunch.”
• “Working on this project taught me a lot about working in groups. I joined the script writing group where I worked together with other script writers to take the story “Tell Tale Heart” and make a unique and original twist to the short story written by Poe. To do this, I had to work with other group members who had different writing styles from my own. At times it was difficult to combine ideas and work together, but the end result turned out to have some very good qualities, while combining the ideas of five other people. Once we completed the script, the other groups took over to take the words on paper and turn them into a visually-pleasing movie.
• “I recommend this activity in the future. Making this movie showed a lot of people how to lead and how to follow. Some people are better at leading and some people are followers, and we definitely found out who they were in this project. People also learned how to work together, which will prepare everyone for the future.”
• “Who knew that making a movie took so much work, and we made only a „minimovie.‟ Making this „mini-movie‟ was a lot of fun and it really taught us many new skills and lessons. I highly recommend this project for further classes. It can help students of all ages excel in many aspects of life in future problems.”
• “I would recommend this activity again. It is good to take learning to somewhere outside the classroom ever once in awhile. In doing this you learn how to take a story and learn to apply to different settings and situations. This will help you understand the story and other literary works better and may spark your interest on other literature.”
• “The mini-movie activity was one of the most enjoyable activities that we have done all year. We had to go through a lot of process to make the film. Some of the processes were harder than others. We had to read the story „Tell-Tale Heart‟ and change up the plot to make our own play. I think doing the project is a great idea. This helps other students explore what they are good at, and what they need to work on.”
• “The experience was extremely helpful to my writing. I learned to take in the minutest of details from the story, and convert them into a similar creation with a twist of my own creative imagination. This revolution has allowed me to take in more of what I see in my surroundings and daily life, also in what I read, and convert it into something of depth and meaning and add a beautiful twang of my own. I definitely enjoyed this activity, and believe I will continue to reflect back on it in the future.”
• “I think the only thing needed to really improve our movie was a little more effort, a little more communication, and (as cliché as it sounds) a little more teamwork. Still, I did my tasks. I made walls and doors and hallways. I did what I always do, in any production I get dragged into. I made scenery.”
• “All in all, I believe the class learned about the preparation and hard work that it takes to make a movie. Hopefully, through hands-on experience, Mrs. Townsend‟s fourth/fifth block class learned of the hard work involved in movie-making and, in response, will give a good deal more credit to the movie you‟re planning to see next Friday night in theaters.”
• “After finishing the movie our class made about „Tell Tale Heart,‟ I had learned a lot about many things. I learned so much more about the story by doing a movie on it than I would have if we had just read the book. Doing hands on activities like this one and working together as a class was also a great way to make learning fun. All in all making the mini-movie this hear has most definitely been my most memorable and fun experience that has happened all year so far.”
• “Overall, I thought this was an enjoyable activity. Everyone seemed to have fun, and it definitely beats sitting in class for three days. Also, this minimovie making activity further expanded my knowledge on the movie making process; therefore, I recommend more of these types of activities in all classrooms.
• “Reflecting on old memories isn‟t always a bad thing, and I‟m glad that I have this memory to reflect on.”