Monday, June 20, 2011

Update on the great class zombie project

Since it became clear we had neither the resources nor the time to make a solid short film out of any of the scripts the kids wrote for their screenplay projects, I assigned it to them as a final exam. Each group was to take their script and somehow present their story to the class. They could make a video or a play or a comic book or a puppet show or anything in between.

First of all, the screenplay have been great. This started as a zombie project, so most of the kids did exactly that, although there were a couple of exceptions. So you'd think, given how many zombie stories are out there, that I'd see pretty much the same shit over and over. Not so. Sure, some of them went the traditional route of people being chased across the city. Some of those were well done, some not so much. But some totally surprised me. I had zombie love stories, intelligent zombie comedies, and one story that was supposed to be serious but the kid who wrote it was so unintentionally funny I laughed my way through the damn thing.

My favorite line: "Guy bites her skin off, which appears to have caught her off guard." Always a joyous surprise to laugh that hard when you're grading papers. She did not understand what I thought was so goddamn funny.

Anyway, today they started presenting their projects. One group used Photoshop to turn pictures they took into a comic book that they then showed in a PowerPoint presentation. That was super cool.

The best part of all this is how some of the kids who did the most amazing work on this thing were some of my laziest kids. It's like they came alive as soon as I showed them the literary value of film. Hopefully that will carry over into their classes next year and they'll realize that what they learned applies to all the stories, not matter what the genre.

I'm definitely doing this next year.


  1. cshel3:08 PM

    That line made me laugh out loud.

    Very cool project that sounds like a lot of fun.

  2. Yes...that would catch me off guard too.

    I think that those students are very glad that Ms Blake decided to move to California.

    I'm reminded of great "teaching" movies:

    I guess "lazy" doesn't mean "without potential".

  3. Ever see the movie "Summer School" from 1987)? Two of the students aren't particularly bright book-wise but want to do horror films and are willing to put lots of time and energy into that. :)

  4. I LOVE To Sir, With Love.

    And yeah, Hugo, I saw Summer School, but it was so long ago I don't remember much about it. I remember that I liked it. Perhaps I will see it again.


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