Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Benny Hill Theory

Using video in the classroom is not a new idea.  I remember making movies for my senior year in high school; however, editing was a lot different back then.  We used to do all of our editing right on the camera so every take had to be perfect or else you had to do the whole scene all over again.

After high school I enjoyed filming and acting so much that I went to two different acting schools: The Gulf Island Film and Television School (GIFTS) and the Victoria Motion Picture School.  Both programs were great and I learned a lot about the process on either side of the camera.

The other day in technology class the experience I have behind the camera got a chance to show itself for the first time in a long time. We were presented the task of basically proving we could compile and edit a video.  I decided to take some footage I have from my other hobby, racing cars, and to make a short video out of it.  This is something I have been doing for years so I found it rather easy.  I also decided to apply “the Benny Hill Theory.”  The idea being that if you take any video, speed it up and add the Benny Hill theme song then that video instantly becomes funny.  I thought that this would make an excellent project for students when talking about tone.  

What struck me today while I was making the video was how much fun everyone was having and it reminded me how much fun I had back in high school doing the same thing.  Some friends and I made a video on Hamlet where we re-enacted the whole play.  By the time our project was finished all of us knew that play inside and out.  Making the film let us explore much more than plot, we also got to know each character’s motivations as well.  The best part was, the day we spent making the film was a laugh fest from start to finish and we were so proud that we could not wait to show it to the class.

So while this assignment might have been a bit “redundant” for me, I am still very glad I did it because it was a great example providing students with the room for creativity and allowing them to understand their work while still having fun.


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