Something To Look Forward To…
Radiation Level: Free and Clear
Listening To: Behold a Marvel in the Darkness by Deerhoof
|I wrote last week about teaching screenwriting to Final Draft proficient 8th graders. Today I taught screenwriting to 3rd and 4th graders. Though they weren’t tech-savvy, they were delightful.We watched the short French film The Red Balloon, which I thought they’d hate because there’s very little dialogue, it’s subtitled and made in the 60’s. OMG – they loved it! They thought it was laugh-out-loud hilarious! Go figure.||
Then we did a writing assignment where the kids had to write instructions for making a peanut butter sandwich for an alien from outer space, unfamiliar with bread and peanut butter. Yes – I would be the alien! Excuse me, I was Xenon from the planet Xenobia with alien antennae I picked up at a party store. As predicted, their sandwich-making directions were lacking in details. But they laughed out of frustration and silliness as I put the unopened jar of peanut butter between two pieces of bread and tried to eat it (per their instructions). Most of them left out of the part about opening the jar and those that said “open the jar”, didn’t say how. It was pretty funny. The point of all this is to show how clear the screenwriter needs to be in his instructions to the actors and director.
After I read though all their instructions, they of course wanted peanut butter sandwiches. Which I gave them. Except the one girl who was allergic to peanuts. She went to sit a few feet away from the offending legume-spread.
We then read scenes from real screenplays including Toy Story and The Wizard of Oz. They loved every second of it. And maybe learned that INT stood for “interior” or that O.S. meant “off screen”.
One little boy told me his father has written lots and lots of screenplays. When I asked if any had been made into movies, he said half-sheepishly, half-optimistic, “We’re hoping”. I feel ya, kid – it’s a tough town. Another little girl told me her daddy wrote the third sequel to a famous dinosaur franchise. Way to go!
At the end of the two hour-and-a-half classes, I said to my students, “See you next Monday!” And a little boy said to me with great concern, “You mean, we don’t get to do this tomorrow?” I said, “No, next week.” And a cute little blonde girl in a hip-hop cap said earnestly, “That means we have something to look forward to on Monday!”
Yes, we both do.