Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Sex & Ethics DVD - another review...

Another nice little review about the Sex & Ethics DVD that I was involved with last year (currently being followed-up by this new one about the environment).

"Making applied ethics, relevant, interesting and thought provoking for teenagers is not an easy task, but this DVD manages to do all three. An excellent multi-media teaching resource and well worth the price of a few text books"

Andrew Pearce, Principal Religious Studies Examiner

I'd also been hearing from Joe about comments he's been given about the DVD, and how people have been impressed with the over all presentation of it - i.e. it's not just some boring trudge through facts and figures, visually speaking - instead it's visually engaging.

I'm pleased that other people are seeing that, as from my side as the dude who filmed and edited it, I wanted to make it visually appealing, as I knew full well from my own experience in school, how boring these educational videos can be if they're not engaging.

From students as well, we've heard good things about it - the visual style changes frequently throughout, in that there's always something new to look at. We mixed a variety of things together, photographs, stock footage (from many eras of public domain videos, or the excellent Global Cuts website), and things we filmed - which included students in a group debating directly about the issues being discussed (a great way to help the students in other schools get that start for their own discussions, rather than everyone sitting quietly not wanting to say anything - again, I've seen that when I was at school - students just need that little push), and also filming "scenarios" as I liked to call them.

Scenarios (made up of stuff we filmed, and using a wide variety of disparate stock footage) that related to the issues at hand, and which were presented in different ways, some of which were quite striking from a visual stand point - lots of colour, lots of imagery, and liberal use of compositing - or, for the laymen out there, simply getting two layers of video and putting one on top of the other to create an interesting look for the segment.

And of course - for these scenarios - Magic Bullet really came in handy. I'm a big proponent of colouring video, and it really does help make the visuals more engaging - if you can keep the students looking at the screen, they'll keep their ears listening to what's being said.

It certainly seems that we have succeeded in keeping the students engaged with this Sex & Ethics DVD, so I'm quite chuffed that it's doing well. The link for it can be found on the right.

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