Thursday, July 18, 2013

MA Learning Contract or How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Prime Question: How can I become a more effective teacher/facilitator/tutor of media subject matter?

Research Methods: I plan to look into three areas of Teaching for Film/Television/Media.

  1. What are the techniques being used to teach Film/Television/Media in Canada?
  2. What results have the courses been getting?
  3. What do students and teachers think that success means in terms of the industry?

While these may seem like three different research questions I think they are all so intertwined that I must address all three to provide a clear result to help my learning out comes. My methods will include two surveys and direct interviews with a number of teachers, filmmakers and students.  These interviews will be filmed and used as the basis for my major thesis project.

Negotiated Project 1:  I am going to compare and contrast the financing models for three series that I produced in the past.  All these series had different financing and management structure and I will include a great deal of documentation from the productions.  The final part is to introduce a new financing model which responds to the changes that are currently taking place in the television marketplace.  By understanding these changes it will help me to do a better job of presenting options to my students.

Negotiated Film Production: Over the years I have stopped doing a lot of the hands on part of the filmmaking process.  However, since most of my students are making their films by themselves I plan to do the same.  I am developing a short comedy film with an actor friend.  She has been on the Fringe circuit for many years, writing and performing comedy plays.  Together we will write the film.  Then I will produce, direct, photograph and edit the film.  I was going to sing the theme song but my daughters vetoed that.  During the project I will video blog on the components as they come together.

Negotiated Project 2: Based on NGP 1 I am going to complete a full business plan for a DIY web series.  I will show extensive documentation of the creative and business approaches to this project.  I will do a video blog explaining the process of gathering the data and preparing the plan.  The learning outcomes will provide me with a greater knowledge of business and creative approaches in the contemporary market place.  This will lead to stronger teaching moments for my students.

 Masters Thesis Project:  My plan is to make a full-length documentary examining the way film/television/media are taught today in Canada.  I will use the interviews that I have shot during the research methods project.  As well, I will interview additional people and shoot in classrooms at the High School, College, Private Training Institutions and Universities in Canada.  I will also expand the number of interviews with students, teachers, film and television makers, discussing the way they learn, teach and the results of these disciplines to their long term success.  Again I will use a video and written blog throughout the process.

In all areas I have built up a bibliography of materials to investigate including books, articles, web posts and films.  I want to make sure that I provide the history and context for every area of investigation.  Reflective papers will also be produced for each section.

So that is the quick overview. And like Tim, shoes will be involved.

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