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Month: October 2020

Film – Week 8 – Screenwriting

Film – Week 8 – Screenwriting

“Eurabia screenplay” by Joe in DC is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

“You can’t fix a bad script after you start shooting. The problems on the page only get bigger as they move to the big screen.” – Howard Hawks


This week was definitely much better than last week, but still extremely stressful and hectic. Although, I was really glad to see that a few of my classes were having a day without a zoom call this week, in order to give us time to get caught up.


I found the introductory videos to be very helpful and clear in their instructions. I’m excited to use this program as we begin working on some screenwriting!


Image from

During this Sneakonthelot activity, I learned a lot about the basics of film and how important each person is on set. The history of film section in this activity was really interesting to me, because I think it’s so impressive that just a few people were able to create and develop cameras and the entire film industry. Hearing about the different roles that are involved in the film making process started to give me an idea of what I want my role to be when we finally start creating. Overall, I felt like this room was definitely the most time consuming, but the content being presented was still really interesting.


As I write this, there is something outside my window causing quite a bit of tension: my neighbor blowing leaves off his driveway. It’s been going on for about twenty minutes and I am desperately hoping that it ends soon. However, that is certainly not the main source of tension in my life right now. That title already belongs to school. Every week, it’s the same schedule, with me constantly doing school work and wondering if I’ll have time to do something that I actually enjoy. The majority of my teachers assign a huge workload that’s really difficult to keep up with, especially during this time. For a lot of students, it’s really difficult to find the motivation to get every assignment done right away, so they keep piling up. Another source of tension in my life comes from the pandemic. This seems like a universal experience for those of us who are trying to stay safe and slow the spread, as life is completely different. For the most part, you’re completely isolated at home and you end up missing the normalcy that you used to have. On top of that, I have to turn on the news everyday just to see that cases are still rising because our government isn’t being responsible with the handling of this pandemic. The political state of our country is also a huge source of tension, especially with the presidential election coming up. My biggest worry is that a certain someone will win and continue to disregard the urgency of the climate crisis (along with tons of other important issues), setting back any progress that has been made and ruining my future and the future of so many other young people. For the cherry on top, Amy Coney Barrett has been officially confirmed as a Supreme Court justice, even though we are less than a week away from an election. Now, I have to worry about the loss of my reproductive rights and the future of the climate more than ever!


  • I battle hunger as I search for the leftovers that have already been eaten, unbeknownst to me.
  • Mr. Big Head (my cat) fights the neighbor’s cat over who gets to claim the beach territory as theirs.
  • My brother battles with the piano keys as he attempts to learn a new song.
  • The boy battles his social anxiety as the waiter approaches the table to take his order.
  • Josh fights Fillip to prevent him from killing his grandmother.
  • I fight my brother over who gets to play guitar for this round of Band Hero.



Today, I learned a lot about how films are made and what kind of things are required to happen in each step of film making. Outside of this class, I learned about the history and organization of the periodic table and how the thirteen original colonies were formed. Out of all the things I learned today, I think that hearing about the general structure of every story was the most interesting. I had to problem solve today in multiple small instances, like when I had to adjust my lunch plans after finding out the leftovers had already been eaten, or when I had to figure out how I would manage my time in order to get all of my assignments done.

Film – Week 7 – Tools, Time, and Rooms

Film – Week 7 – Tools, Time, and Rooms

CreativeCommons image Tool Stash by Meena Kadri at


This week has been really stressful for me, and I’m sure it will continue to be as we enter the weekend, because I have a huge amount of work to complete for most of my classes. My time management has also not been as successful as it usually is, but I think that’s because I have so much going on. However, I did have a few great moments this week, as I made brownies and was able to watch Howl’s Moving Castle and Spirited Away with my brother.


Link to playlist:

The channel that created this playlist is actually the same channel that went over the best free video editing software, which led me to choose Shotcut as my software for this class. This playlist has 15 videos, each one being less than 10 minutes long, and they go over the basics of this software. The instructions provided in the videos are very clear and were helpful to me as I tested out the Shotcut software.


Image from
Image from

Today, I spent about 20 minutes going through the First Time User activity on the Sneak on the Lot website. I found it really interesting and it taught me a lot about the way Sneak on the Lot works. The activity was brief, but was successful in incorporating the important ideas that one needs to know when using this platform. After hearing about how Sneak on the Lot works, I’m pretty excited to start using the platform to create new projects and explore work that other people are creating. It’s really amazing to know that there are so many films available to watch and review on this platform, as it really shows how much creativity and passion people have for film making.


As I sat on the patio outside my house, looking out at the water, I found that it was difficult for me to find peace of mind. This whole week has been really busy with school work and various responsibilities, and I’ve found myself succumbing to the stress that comes with those things. Similarly to previous years of school and the weeks prior to today, its been difficult to be present in my own life. I judge my level of success for each day based on how much work I completed, or what grade I got on that one project I worked so hard on. Rather than focusing on how I genuinely felt during the day, I allow the state of my to-do list to dictate how the day went. I’ve been trying to break away from this by doing something for myself everyday and setting out time to spend with my family and friends. Luckily, as the protagonist in this story, I’ve been given a pretty fantastic sidekick and support system in the form of my older brother. He’s already gone through the stress of high school and college, so he’s been there to give me advice and encourage me to not base my worth upon the grade I receive or the amount of work I am able to complete. He always makes sure that I set aside time to do things outside of school work, like watch Studio Ghibli movies with him. I’m really grateful that I have him in my life to support me when I face my nemesis, which is sometimes school and sometimes myself. From these thoughts, I’ve made a goal to include a spot on my to-do list for what I want to be each day. I want to make sure I’m paying attention to how present or kind I am during the day, rather than only focus on the things I complete each day. This will take a lot more self-reflection and genuine effort than my previous to-do list system, but I’m up for the challenge because I know it will be greatly beneficial in the long run.

Developing Quality Workflow

Developing Quality Workflow

What is Workflow?

Image Creative Workflow from,

Work•flow /ˈwərkflō/

“The sequence of industrial, administrative, or other processes through which a piece of work passes from initiation to completion.” –

What is a quality workflow?  How do we develop it?  Below are elements of the production cycle that most creative people move through as they create something.  First, we must identify the stages of project production. What is each stage and what are the quality checks for each stage.  Read on and find out!

Stages of Creation Development


How do we find ideas to develop?

  • The tools we need to find inspiration are creativity, open-mindedness, and observation.
  • We can often times look at our surroundings or evaluate the various things in our lives to find new ideas. Sometimes, we have to seek out the help of others to develop ideas.
  • The quality of an idea is measured by its success and its impact – How can this idea lead to more opportunities? How will others react to this idea?
  • The people who measure the quality of an idea are often the people who will be affected by the outcomes of said idea. In a lot of situations, the most important person who measures the quality of an idea is one’s superior (boss, teacher, CEO, etc…)


How do we clarify our specific goal(s) for a project?

  • The tools we should use to show intention while making a project are clarity, concision, and precision.
  • In order to clarify our specific goals for a project, we have to explain our intent, whether that be literally explaining our goal or clearly showing our intent through our work.
  • The quality of our intention in a project is measured by if our intent is understood by those who view or critique our work. If we’re looking to make a successful comedy, the quality of that intention might be measured by how much people laugh, or if they even considered our work to be funny.
  • Though our superiors still measure the quality of our intent, I think the quality our intentions are more so measured by how our audience reacts. If we’re successful in communicating our intentions, the audience will have the reactions and feelings we hoped for.


How can we brainwrite, brainstorm, storyboard, and plan our ideas at this phase?

  • The tools we should use in pre-production include creativity, communication, and collaboration. In order to brainstorm an original idea, we have to be creative and communicate with each other. We also need to use some of the skills that good screenwriters have in order to successfully communicate our ideas through story telling.
  • When we brainstorm our ideas, it’s important to put ourselves in the best possible environment to find inspiration and originality. Some people work best in a very quiet, isolated space, but others find their creativity when they hear the various ideas of their group mates.
  • The quality of our brainstorming is measured by how successful we are in building off of an idea. If we can take one idea and successfully build an entire concept around it as a group, we have done a good job creating our storyboard. Another measurement of the quality of our brainstorming is how an idea makes us feel. Does it make us excited to expand the story or are we dreading the rest of the process?
  • Along with every other stage, the quality of our work is most often measured by our superiors, whether that be a teacher, a boss, or a film critic. With that, the people who we work with on our storyboards also measure the quality of our ideas. We have to do some amount of self evaluation in this step.


How do we communicate with each other and execute our plan for this phase? This is where we actually make the project.

  • The tools we should use to execute our plan during production include communication, patience, and flexibility. When we encounter an obstacle during production, we have to be patient with each other and be flexible in order to find a solution. Some form of directorial skills are also really important here. As far as actual tools, we of course need cameras, lights, and microphones during this stage of creation.
  • In order to be successful during production, we need to have a clear idea of what want to do during each scene before the camera starts rolling. Sometimes we have to go through some trial and error to figure out what works best, and that requires everyone to be patient and willing to work together.
  • The quality of our production is measured by the success of our work: how the audience reacts, how much traction it gains, etc… We also determine the quality our production by how content we are with what we’ve made.
  • The people who measure the quality of our production are our superiors, the audience, and ourselves.


How do we communicate with each other and execute our final stages of the project for this phase? This is where we publish the project.

  • The tools we should use in post-production are communication, precision, and attentiveness to detail. We also need to have some basic editing skills and a software to execute that editing process.
  • Of course, we need to go through the processes of proper editing to develop the final cut that we will eventually publish. This means dedicating time to sound editing, creating different cuts, and fixing lighting to the best of our abilities.
  • The quality of post-production is measured by the way in which our film flows and the overall value of our editing. Determining whether the editing of each scene successfully relays our intentions is crucial in measuring the quality of our work in post-production.
  • As usual, the quality of the final stage of making our project is judged by our superiors and our audience.


How do we share our project with our learning community, advisory members, and the world?

  • The tools we should use to share our project with others are clear communication and connections. In order to share our work with more than just the people we know personally, we have to use connections and communicate with our recipients on where we want the project going. We also need to use websites and different forms of communication to present our project, whether that be sending out emails or publishing our work on sites like “Sneak on the Lot”.
  • Some processes we might need to use during this stage include emailing, publishing, and reaching out to new recipients. If we want our work to be seen by more than the learning community around us, we have to publish our project in a far more public manor.
  • We measure the quality of the sharing of our performance by how the recipients react to our project and whether or not they successfully receive our project. Making sure that our audience and critiques can easily access our work is crucial to this stage.
  • The quality of our presentation is determined by those who are receiving our work.


How do we conduct a feedback session at the end of the project development cycle?

  • The tools we should use to conduct a feedback session at the end of our project are respect, clear dialogue, and optimism. We have to be respectful in the way we conduct a feedback sessions because we’re trying to help each other improve our projects, not just critique them. There are plenty of ways to conduct feedback sessions online by publishing your work and providing a space for people to leave their opinions.
  • Being patient and open to suggestions is a crucial process in this stage, as we often get defensive when our work is critiqued or criticized. If we are able to, feedback sessions are best done in person with people whose opinions we respect. However, during this isolated time, we can use online resources to find feedback on our work from various people, and we can even find ways to give feedback to others.
  • The quality of the feedback itself is determined by how clear the critiques are and how reputable those who are critiquing us are. If our feedback session is successful, we will have learned exactly what we’re doing wrong and what we’re doing right. We then have to take that information and apply it to our future projects.
  • The people who measure the quality of our feedback sessions are ourselves, as we are receiving the responses of our audiences and our critiques. What we do with the feedback we receive is crucial in this learning process, as we can either ignore criticisms and continue to make the same mistakes, or we can listen to people’s responses and grow from them.
Recipe For Success: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Recipe For Success: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Born: October 13, 1989, in The Bronx, New York, NY

Personal Success Definition

I define success as someone who works hard to improve the lives of others and aims to change the world through their accomplishments.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman to ever serve in the United States Congress, as she took office at the age of 29. She began her grassroots election campaign while working as a bartender in New York and beat out a 20-year incumbent for her congressional seat. Since taking office, she has pushed for Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and tuition-free public college.

Skills for Success

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is an 1) outspoken and intelligent woman 2) ambitious thinker and 3) hard worker. AOC began her political career during college when she worked as an intern for U.S. Senator Joe Kennedy. A few years later in 2016, she worked as an organizer for the Bernie Sanders campaign. She was also very intelligent as she, “[C]ame in second in the microbiology category of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair … [and as] a show of appreciation for her efforts, the MIT Lincoln Laboratory named a small asteroid after her: 23238 Ocasio-Cortez” – Wikipedia. Alexandria went on to double-major in international relations and economics at Boston University. She is a very ambitious thinker as her platform aims to make huge changes to our current economic system and she has big progressive goals for the future. AOC is a also a very hard worker, as she ran her 2018 campaign while also working as a full-time bartender and did not rely on large donations to build her success. She ran a truly grassroots campaign and won her seat by a large margin, even though her opponent outspent her 18 to 1.

How They Used These Skills

Image of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from TIME Magazine,

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez used all of these skills to build her successful political campaign and earn her spot in the United States Congress. Her ambition and her drive to make real change is what got her the support she needed to beat a heavily endorsed incumbent. Most people would not have attempted to run a political campaign knowing they didn’t have big donors and while working a full-time job, but AOC pushed herself to work harder because she is so passionate about her beliefs. In office, AOC has continued to be outspoken against some of her colleagues and she constantly uses her intellect to create new bills and legislation.

Challenges Overcome

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had to overcome the challenge of working a full-time job to support herself and her family while also running a political campaign. Her success in her election was not easy either, as she was running against a 20-year incumbent and had no big donors or name recognition to work with. AOC now faces constant criticism and doubt from her colleagues, but always rises above and continues to fight for what she believes in.

Significant Work

Video from NowThis News,

The video above is a speech given by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the climate crisis and her proposed legislation, the Green New Deal.


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