We start with familiarising the boys with both the UK and the French blogs. I show them how they are structured and the various blog conventions: categories, tags, chronology of posts, navigation and the function of comments. The posts including their film clips have received some comments and we look at those. I suggest that they try uploading a comment themselves because ideally blogging exchanges can develop into a virtual conversation, which, if pursued positively, can be an effective tool for reflection and encouragement. However, as it’s all in the public domain, you’ve always got to be prepared for negative feedback and those whose purpose in life is to make you feel miserable! Just for the record, our section of the French blog is here.
We then turn to the business of creating and pitching story lines for the “2 Secrets” film brief. Emma asks someone to quickly outline the plot of “Star Wars” and establishes that there has to be some kind of conflict explored in virtually any storyline, as well as some form of ‘character arc’ eg. it could be said that Luke Skywalker gradually matures as he progresses on his journey to kill Darth Vader, a journey filled with action and adventure, goodies and baddies, helpers and love interest.
The boys pair up to think of a story that contains 2 secrets and then present them to the rest. A majority vote is cast to decide which is the most appealing one to use for their short. Most are of the thriller/action/suspense genre; one is comedy.
A storyline is chosen. Emma makes the point that their stories can’t have too much mystery about them as it’s off-putting for the audience. You don’t want to alienate them too much with too many oblique and ambiguous references. Indeed if there are to be such sequences then the director him/herself must know what it all means (even if the audience doesn’t) because the film will be the richer for it.
The boys are then asked to go into different pairs to rework the story and consider the confusing elements and rehash certain bits. This generates much chat, whereupon Emma gives them the opportunity to recast their votes and an alternative story idea is then selected. All the boys are then encouraged to think democratically and accept one boy’s vision as the collective vision… this is now everyone’s story and not just one person’s.