What a Wonderful Creek – video (3rd Grade)

This video is the result of a collaboration with a group of third graders and their teachers, from Sausalito in California. Students have worked on a 5 year project about a great environmental topic: the conservation of an eco-system through the reclamation of the creek flowing nearby the school. During the last months of the project (Spring 2013), the school, through the Sausalito Art Festival Foundation, asked me to collaborate with the students as a teaching artist to create a video about the project.

I worked with the students on a storyboard, and they filmed and conducted the interviews. They also did some of the editing. They created the music and sang their version of “What a Wonderful World” for the video. The idea was to work in small groups and to have each child experimenting with each aspect of the making of the video. In the end the video encompasses history, biology, sociology, music and arts.

Sausalito Art Festival Foundation / Teaching Artists Program

What a Wonderful Creek! The Willow Creek Reclamation Video Project (3rd Grade)

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Great project with Willow Creek Academy Elementary School in Sausalito funded by the Sausalito Art Foundation / Teaching Artists program.

I worked with the kids on their project: the reclamation of the creek which flows by their school. A 4 year project in total (weeding and planting). My intervention came at the very end and we put together a video which will be posted soon!

For me this project has three great things about it: I worked with children on an environmental issue, it is about water and it is a video!

The video crew was constituted of 6 students, from two classes. I spent seven [4 hour] sessions a their school. Before going on the field we talked about the footage we needed: landscapes, groups of students working (weeding, planting), plants, animals, and we talked about the interviews they had to conduct. We took some time to talk about light, framing and sound. I used my material, and I am very happy to have a microphone perfect for this project.

Going to the creek together was a great experience. I enjoyed the energy of the students, they were all very excited about the reclamation project and the video project. The crew was focused. Although it was difficult for these very young students students to stay steady while videotaping, to hold the microphone pole without moving too much!

We recorded some original music made by the students in the Music Teacher’s class. I find the music very interesting, it works great in the introduction and background. We also recorded the song, “What a Wonderful Creek!” outside with a nice lush and natural background.

We watched lots and lots of footage. The video team took some time to watch and select the clips they found interesting. Some clips were interesting for the sound, some clips for the images, and some clips for both.

The students worked on a sequence with prints from each clip taken at the creek and at school: They organized a timeline, moving around the images, to see what could come first, next, etc… They taped their timeline.

I showed them an example of editing with Adobe premiere with a few clips from previous footage. I explained briefly the workspace in Adobe Premiere.

Then each of them tried some editing (we had the computer and the projection):
– importing a file in Adobe Premiere
– selecting an interesting section from a clip using the workspace in Adobe premiere (“Mark in” and “Mark out” points)
– dragging the selected clip to the timeline
– superposing a title (the name of a person on top of the image)
– Superposing a footage on someone’s interview so that one can hear the voice but see a different image.

I took care of the editing of the video and I submitted what I did to the students for critique. Then I finished the editing and the video is now ready for its first screening which happens today at Willow Creek Academy in Sausalito!

What a Wonderful Creek! (08:30) from Michele Guieu on Vimeo.