Wednesday, November 3, 2010

School Music Videos

My first introduction to making music videos with students was watching the delight that Mr. Malkin took in editing and creating Paleta with at Colegio Bolivar in Cali, Colombia. This video, you'll notice, has more than 33 thousand views!

Since becoming a homeroom teacher myself, I have made a point of having a class song each year. It must be a song that we can all learn the lyrics, one which we appreciate because it has a meaningful message and that hopefully we find very fun to sing along to. Working with Gr. 5 means that I need to be careful in my song selections (possibly a little more careful than Mr. Malkin was back in 2005 when he let his Gr. 9 students choose a Daddy Yankee song with scandalous lyrics and pretty inappropriate innuendoes).

In 2008-2009 my class, The 5E Explorers, memorized and recreated, Michael Jackson's We Are The World That was a blast! In 2009-2010 we learned the Black Eyes Peas' song, Where Is The Love? And although we never actually made a final production, we often had fun taking pictures and even recorded a few clips throughout the school of us reenacting the original video. In general we listen to and watch music videos at least once a week for most of the school year in Grade 5.

For this year, the 5D DJs haven't chosen a song yet and I'm not sure that we'll really have time to make a music video, but I have a couple songs in mind if we do get around to it.

Today in class we watched a wonderfully creative video-off. The following videos were produced by film classes in rival high schools in Seattle, Shorewood and Shorecrest, as a sort of video battle. First, Shorecrest created their version of Hey Ya!

Then, Shorewood responded to the challenge with this, 

Both videos, playing with lipdub and reverse video techniques, included almost the entire school body. I think it's pretty entertaining stuff, these energetic and enthusiastic student-centered videos. If the effects don't quite make sense to you, or you're not sure why these videos are amazing, then watch this video, which shows behind the scenes of the Shorecrest video, explaining how was originally filmed (with the leads walking backwards) and also with some filmer commentary that also might help to make more sense of it.

Of course, these videos circulated like crazy about a year ago and created a buzz of excitement. Schools everywhere wanted to join in the fun, boost school-wide spirit and be famous on the internet! Some schools responded with videos of their own, not done in authentic reverse video style, but in a way parodying this new genre of teenage hit project, sometimes termed the "Hall Rock" (this is actually a really great example of reverse video made by CLC (Communications Learning Community) high school program).

Today in Gr. 5, after showing these 2 clips and attempting to explain (somewhat unsuccessfully) to 10-year olds, exactly what these videos involve from a filming and editing perspective, one of my students showed me this little beauty.

I am pretty sure that I had a lot more fun watching this than my students did, mostly because they can't quite conceptualize exactly what the backwards choreography entails. I think it's just plain amazing!

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