Sunday, June 8, 2014

5 days, 5 perspectives, 1 week, 1 video post 25

Exciting News! I finished my documentary! I finally got it to upload to youtube! Here is the link! I hope you like it!

Since this is our last blogpost, we have to answer some assigned questions about our 20 Time experience this year.

1. Overall, what is your opinion of 20 Time based on YOUR experience in class?
-20 Time really opened my eyes to all of the things that I am capable of doing in high school and in the future. It made me realize how many extraordinary things you can be achieving if you push yourself. I learned this from both the concept of 20 Time, and my peers. It also taught me a lot about time management and sticking with something even if it's hard because you enjoy it. 

2. What are some aspects of 20 Time that you think should be adjusted for students next year?
-I think 20 Time should be started in class after our Transcendentalism unit, and that 20 Time Fridays should be more class interactively involved. An example of this is may be some activities for each table group or something so that it is not just a wasted period. 

3. What are some aspects of 20 Time that should NOT be changed for students next year?
-Every other week blogposts helped me to keep my project in the back of my mind and keeping talking and thinking about it, so I think that they should stay. I also liked how we talked a little bit about our project in front of the class one day, because it made it a lot easier to speak for our final presentation later on. 

4. Is 20 Time something that more students should do in school? Please explain why or why not.
-Yes, I think students should be able to study and have the opportunity to work in-depthly on something they want to learn or teach themselves about. I think 20 Time should be a separate class so that this idea can be pursued within it's own subject. 

5. What advice would you give to students who are doing 20 Time next year?
-Remember it's okay to change if you picked something you really don't like anymore. Since it's something you do all year, it should be something you really love. Try and make it a goal to set a little time once or twice a week to work on your project, because it is very easy to fall behind. Most of all try not to stress about it too much and just have fun with it! 

Thank you for reading about my video progress and lengthy editing stuff this year! I hope you like the final product! 

Monday, May 26, 2014

5 days, 5 perspectives, 1 week, 1 video post 24

Update: Last Thursday everyone started to give their speeches. My friend Emma ( first and she was really brave, and everyone's projects are awesome. I am excited to see more presentations because I think it is definitely better listening to the talks in person rather than only reading blogs. Seeing the slides with pictures from the projects and hearing what they have to say is so cool. The next day on Friday I gave my speech. I was really nervous and I forgot to ask my time after, but I think it went okay. I think I was able to cover everything from each person that I filmed but I'm not sure if I spent a long enough time explaining what my project was about. I definitely have a lot to improve on but considering the last time I ever got up in front of a bunch of people with a microphone was pre-school when we had to recite a letter of the alphabet (mine was K I think), and I tripped over the chord and my shoe flew off, I would say I did pretty well this time. A couple weeks ago when our class was asked to raise our hands if we wanted to be considered for the TedX conference, I was a little hesitant at first but decided to do it. I knew that I probably would never be able to be apart of an opportunity like this and I should just go for it. I'm proud of myself for raising my hand regardless of if I speak at the conference or not, because I did something that I wouldn't normally do.

I thought I would be uploading the documentary this weekend but I was very busy and got side tracked and still have some editing to do on the last days, so I'm hoping to have it up by next Sunday. The stuff to do is pretty minor so it may even be before that depending on homework this week. It's weird to think that I'm almost done with this, and especially to write a blog post saying that I'm almost done, because I remember when I was first figuring out Final Cut Pro X in December and I really had no idea what I was doing. I think it's kind of cool that I am now rounding the finishing point a few months later.

I wrote about the key points that I did my talk about in my last blogpost, if you want to check it out here:

Thanks for reading!

Fun Film Fact: There is an estimated number of 3,000 film festivals in the world every year!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

5 days, 5 perspectives, 1 week, 1 video post 23

Update: I think I am going to try and work on a trailer. I know that trailers are released after the movie is made, but I don't have a lot of time before I need to post the documentary (I will try and post it before the TedX conference). I have roughly 2 weeks to finish up everything, so I want to be able to space the trailer and documentary out about a week apart. Posting everything on a Youtube channel has gotten me really excited about possibly making short films in the future. A huge part of this project has been learning about movie-making at home, and I think it would be cool to continue this in the future. I have been collecting some ideas for short films, and since I have learned more about Final Cut, I can't wait to use it again after the documentary.

More about my final presentation: Something to help me during my speech will be dividing up each slide by something new I learned from each person that I filmed. I talked a little about this in my last post, but I didn't really specifically say what I was going to focus on, besides using the "stepping in another's shoes to understand them" ideal as the main focus. Here are the 5 different things I have been jotting down to include in my speech.
Day 1: Professor Jason Roche- Faith in God, himself, students, coworkers, family and his job overall. This helps him through his everyday life as it provides hope and comfort.
Day 2: Paulina Perakis- Relationships guide her in everything."It's not necessarily all about the things you do, but the people you knew who shared in those experiences." Overall it's important to cherish the relationships you create and form throughout your life before they're gone.
Day 3: SOC Executive Sharon Maier- Helping Others. After a childhood of helping her disabled mother get through life and make it easier on their family, it would seem as though she would be tired of helping others all of the time. Instead, the feeling of helping others is something she loves to surround herself with, in the act of helping seniors as well as those in her everyday life.
Day 4: Firefighter Sundee Harland- Perserverance. As a women in an occupation where it's important to strengthen, she quit smoking and exercises 6/7 days a week so that she can do her best in her work and let nothing slow her down, or stop her on the way.
Day 5: Freep Editor James Jahnke- Dedication. Ever since he was little he wanted to work in journalism, and in a technology filled world where working at a newspaper may seem like a job that in the near future may not be the same, he continues to put everything into his work because it is what he was meant to do.

That's just an overview of 5 of the slides separated by each subject. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

5 days, 5 perspectives, 1 week, 1 video post 22

Update: Yesterday I filmed the very last subject! I received some contact information from my newspaper advisor of reporters and editors she knew, and I was able to contact the Assistant Sports Editor for the Detroit Free Press James Jahnke. It was a very cool experience to be inside the historical building that contains both the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News. I mostly filmed in the office cubicle area, and then later went to a planning meeting for the publication. When I walked in I was told that life as an editor wasn't very interesting, unless there was breaking news, and while I was filming, news came in that University of Michigan basketball player Mitch McGary will go pro and also failed a drug test. Although the editor and receptionist were the only ones working in the office that morning, it was fun to see how everything suddenly got a little more exciting with the phones ringing, even if it was all in the same place as before.
Here is the self portrait:

Overall I feel very relieved to be done with filming. I have gotten my slide photos together for my final presentation, but haven't put them in any particular order yet, and have collected notes for my speech, but haven't organized those uniformly together either, so I have a lot of work to do. I also have to keep staying on task with editing the documentary. It's a long process, but as long as I do at least a little everyday, I will stay productive. For my speech, I have taken one specific thing that I have learned from each person and turned it into sections represented by a picture, so I can know exactly what I'm talking about. The 5 things I have learned will be wrapped up as things to help appreciate an average person's story, and the act of placing yourself in another's shoes, which I hope to base the presentation solely around.

Fun Film Fact: This year a "Vlogumentary" (documentary on vlogging), will be released by Shay Carl, a youtuber who has vlogged (shown his life on camera) every single day for the last 5 years.

Friday, April 4, 2014

5 days, 5 perspectives, 1 week, 1 video post 21

Update: My phone has been unexpectedly useful for the movie. I discovered that the audio on my camera is not clear. In interviews when writing stories for my newspaper class, I always record the person I'm interviewing so during the filmed interview I decided to. It really wasn't for any specific reason at the time, but when I was uploading the footage at home, I realized how awful the audio in each video turned out. It's the person voice with a loud gushing sound in the background, not wind because all of the interviews were
shot in their offices or a quiet room. So I decided to check out the voice recordings on my phone, and they sounded great. At first I tried the perk on Final Cut where you can take out unneeded noise in the background, but it made them all sound like they were underwater. So even though it is a little extra work having to sync the recording with the  video made silent, it is worth the good sound. Another reason that it was helpful is the video on an iPhone is actually not too bad, and when I am in the car I will film the outside for transitions, like the way the sun hits the trees or something. I always have liked those transitions of the clouds moving over many hours in a day but are sped up, this is kind of the same thing but just a lot less battery life and work.

I contacted the vet and he said that the filming would be disruptive to his practice, but I'm not giving up! I'm going to contact another local vet, and the newspaper advisor is going to give me some names of reporters she knows that may allow me to film them. I just have to be persistent in contacting people so I can film the 5th subject soon! The perfect time would be on a day we get off the week before break, because it is right in the middle of the week.

Fun Film Fact: On April 21 in 1895, Woodville Latham and his sons, Otway and Gray, demonstrated their “Panopticon,” the first movie projector developed in the United States. Those are some pretty cool guys. 

Information from:

Sunday, March 23, 2014

5 days, 5 perspectives, 1 week, 1 video post 20

Update: This week's post will be about filming the third and fourth subjects, the student pursuing music and the firefighter.

I filmed Paulina Perakis, a senior here at South. She has her own band and goes by "Paulina Jayne Music". When I was picking people to film I thought of her, because I had remembered seeing her perform at my middle school and thought it might be cool to spotlight someone younger in the movie, who was very serious about their future career.  I spent the day at Paulina's house, where her living room is set as a carpeted stage and I got to film her interactions with band members and also the practice. I knew band practice was something that happened often in the Perakis house, when her mom offered me some ear plugs :). It was so cool to see how all of the people at her house including some of Paulina's extended family were so involved in her music. I got to capture a little piece of those relationships in some of the footage. Here is a picture of the converted living room.

Here is a recent article that came out in our local newspaper for more information about her music:

Next I filmed Sundee Harland, the only women firefighter at the Grosse Pointe Farms Police and Fire Department. I was not planning on filming her as at first I was going to film one of my dad's friends who works there, but he contacted me that he was injured and referred me to her instead. It was really nice of him to refer me to someone else that was interested, so that I didn't have to go and hurriedly try and find a fourth subject. She works a 24 hour shift, so I arrived at around 8:00 a.m. and stayed until 1:00 p.m., which was enough time to capture a normal morning for her at the station. It was very interesting seeing the checking of the trucks and how every aspect of every compartment must be thoroughly inspected so that if called on a run, everything is ready and working. I know what your thinking, "Did you get to ride in it?!". "Did you get to go to a fire somewhere?!". For safety precautions no, but I did get to sit in it, and believe me when your up that high just sitting in it is actually quite fun. And if you end up watching that part of the film you will sort of get to sit in it to. Here is a picture of the whole front of the truck that lifts up. Its pretty awesome and I had no idea those huge trucks could do that conversion.

One more person to film left! Thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

5 days, 5 perspectives, 1 week, 1 video post 19

Update: About 2 weeks ago, I filmed the Executive Director at SOC (Services for Older Citizens). I started by coming into the SOC offices at 8 am and meeting Sharon Maier. The first thing I did was interview her, which I think was good so that I knew a little bit about her before following her around with a camera, and it helped during the day, because I was able to ask her some questions about a few of the things she told me in the interview. After that I began filming her daily activities, and was able to walk around the building. I filmed her office and different places in the setting when she was just doing work at her desk, and filmed her interacting with her co-workers and the seniors who were there for classes. I was even able to film a little bit of a senior exercise class, which is really awesome that they have so many great facilities for them. After filming for a few hours of her regular work day, she needed to deliver a "Meal On Wheels" (more information here: to a senior who lived in his home locally, and also exchange these huge garbage bags of bottles and cans for change, so that SOC could get some postage stamps. It worked out that I was filming this, because I was able to send her some footage from both times, so that they could put the videos on their website.

When we arrived at Roger's house, a 99 year old man who graduated from Grosse Pointe South to deliver the meal to, his daughter greeted us and went to get him. He came in with a huge smile on his face, and this was one of those moments that I was really excited that he was okay with me filming him. He was so happy to receive the meal, and although he didn't really understand that I was taking a video, he did really want a picture, so I got some still shots from the footage and gave them to Ms. Maier to send to him. He was very quiet, but when Ms. Maier asked him what the secret to living to 99 was, he said, "Just keep breathing,". This was probably the highlight of my whole time time filming that day, and getting it on camera was so cool.

At the end of the day I had a lot of footage, but she still had an hour or so left of work, so I asked her if she needed me to do anything. I ended up organizing a binder and delivering some papers to her fellow co-workers. I'm really glad I got to do this, because I was kind of able to step into her shoes in a small sort of way, and see some of the things that she does everyday for her job.

Here is a picture of her with the picture she drew of herself, I explain a little bit about what the drawing is for in post 11 in the 3rd paragraph:

Thanks for reading! To learn more about SOC, click here: