By Luzviminda Uzuri “Ms. Lulu” Carpenter
Performance and Media Arts or PMA is continuing to grow Media Makers and performers who learn how to perform in groups, teams, crews, and solo! In 7th grade, we wrapped up a group project where they created parody lyrics to state what they learned in Social Studies around Amendments. These Bill of Rights lyrics were then sung, recorded, and rendered in GarageBand. They were then tasked to film with DSLR cameras and edit using online software called wevideo.com. We are now showcasing their creative antics at community meetings, and you can hear the gasps and laughter from all grades as they enjoy the different types of videos that were produced.
We are transitioning to solo projects and creating monologues focused on justice to close out the year. This is a stark turn from silly to serious, but as they become wonderful performers able to transition from “actor neutral” (when a performer stands in a neutral stance ready for the next cue or direction) and into action, 7th graders are able to shift and transition in dynamic ways, so they can practice having powerful solo voice on a bare stage. Both group projects and solo projects will foundationally support their transition into 8th grade!
As 8th graders, we learned through creating pop culture videos that were a loving critique and a deep dive into cultural critique. They had to analyze something in pop culture and write a script, film, and edit an independent video. This prepared them for their Humanities Intensive which was Production’s “Filmmaking BootCamp” with various challenges juxtaposed against their STEAM Intensive. They learned to work in crews to win start points and not get rotten tomatoes. Finally, they transitioned in learning screenwriting and how to create dynamic characters for their legacy film that will be showcased on June 3, 2022 for their final culmination project.
Also, in 8th grade, we are trying to provide new leadership opportunities around the school. The 8th graders were tasked with creating a photobooth and having roaming photographers and videographer during our 20th Annual Luncheon. We met this challenge with nervousness and excitement. Media makers are tasked with challenges, so it was great to see the luncheon through the lens and perspectives of students at a major in-person event while we are still in the midst of a pandemic. The view was one of joy and experimentation as well as framing them as being serious and silly during a historic event marking 20 years of our school’s existence.
As 8th graders we are ready for the challenge ahead, as we negotiate over film plots and fight over potential scenes. Every year in PMA has prepared them for this final performance, but before the curtain closes and we bow out--come to Rainier Arts Center (RAC) in Columbia City Neighborhood to see the fantastic 8th graders’ final culmination, aka “The Movie Premiere,” where we will showcase three short films that will highlight 3-4 years of media skills using DSLR cameras, online video editing, acting, screenwriting, storyboarding, and more. Are you ready? Are we ready? Lights, Camera, Action, Respect! Let’s launch!