Kurtis – Bronze Arts Award Portfolio
part A: explore the arts as a participant
Description of arts activity
Kurtis attended a filmmaking club both in school time and after-school. He helped make the film The Book Thieves (below). In particular, he helped develop the story and acted in the film, playing the role of Chicken Legs, the lead robber. His big scene is at the beginning, including a lot of improvised dialogue.
Evidence of participation
Evidence of development and a summary of what Kurtis learnt and how his skills improved
part B: explore the arts as an audience member
On 8 December 2016, students were taken to a screening of Elstree 1976. This is a feature documentary about the original Star Wars film, examining the roles of some of the more prominent extras. This was an event screening, with pre-show entertainment featuring a cosplay Stormtrooper, and a Q&A afterwards with the film’s producer, director and sound recordist and three of the actors who were featured in the film.
I interviewed Kurtis about the event and then edited this film on his behalf, including inserting some photos from the event and finding and inserting some clips from YouTube.
part C: arts inspiration
Kurtis chose comedian Kevin Hart for his arts inspiration. After discussion with me, his teacher and the rest of the group, he decided to do an interview on camera. He set up the interview, including finding a good image of Kevin Hart and putting it on screen. In the interview, he talks about how he came across Kevin Hart, why he likes him, and what he means to him. The most relevant section is 0:10 to 0:55.
Kurtis then goes on to describe his favourite Kevin Hart story. After recording the interview, Kurtis directed a reconstruction of the first part of this story.
I edited all this material into a short film on Kurtis’s behalf.
part D: arts skills share
All planning was done verbally.
Kurtis and the rest of the group decided that the obvious thing was for them to share their skills of filmmaking with iPads.
They talked about whether to deliver a lesson to a group of Y7 students or to some of their teachers. In the end, they decided they would prefer to deliver a lesson to some of their teachers, with the aim of persuading them that it would be a good idea for the school to buy some iPads so they could do more filmmaking in the future. They felt that iPads would make English lessons better, since they find filmmaking more accessible than writing. They also thought teaching their teachers would be more convenient because they were now doing their filmmaking club after school. So their teacher arranged for them to teach filmmaking to a pair of her colleagues.
They weren’t sure exactly how to go about devising a filmmaking lesson, so I told them about a simple exercise I often use with pairs of students to introduce them to filmmaking. The exercise gives the participants a clear structure to follow and allows each student to have a go at filming, acting and editing.
Rather than have me try to explain the exercise, the team elected to have a go at it for themselves. Here’s what they produced.
Knowing that they each had to lead on teaching one section of the lesson, the final part of their planning was for the group to decide who would do what. Kurtis’s favourite part of filmmaking is acting, but he let Tom teach that part and elected to teach the script development part of the activity. So he would have something to refer to detailing the structure of the exercise, I prepared this worksheet for them.
Here’s the short film the teachers produced.
Reflection on how it went