Before I Graduate: The End

This DIY project has come a long way hasn’t it?  What first was created by an idea, eventually sprouted and became something bigger than it was originally planned to be, also known as my Before I Graduate.  Initially, I thought of a couple of things I wanted to do before I kicked the bucket of high school and graduated.  I dreamed of those ideas, never realizing that I would eventually form these ideas into actual events.  The items on my list that I were able to accomplish were to play Hide and Seek at IKEA,  crash a wedding with a friend, host an assembly or an event, and go to a restaurant in hopes of receiving a free meal by pretending to get stood up.  Yes, all of those things happened and are true!  Pics or it didn’t happen?  I’m glad you asked!!!

Hide and Seek at IKEA was the most fun probably because I was able to spend time with some of my friends and to roam around IKEA as if it were our own playground.  Illegal? Yes.  Fun?  YES.  Funny story to this, we actually met another group of kids our age who were doing the exact same thing!  Their group had around 20 and we had 13, so we decided to combine forces and play one big round.  Except, a Swedish manager (I swear she was) came up to us and told us to stop or we wold get kicked out.  We left.

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I crashed a wedding with a friend of mine, which was surprisingly easy.  I simply called my local church, asked for the dates of the next few weddings and the times, and boom.  With easy access to information like that, you’re basically asking to get your wedding crashed.  Okay it wasn’t a Kim-ye caliber wedding, but it was still awesome sitting with people I did not know and and ended up being invited to the reception later that night.

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I’ve always wanted to host an event at a school function.  So when I was presented an opportunity to host our male pageant, Mr. Baron, with my best friend Matt, I took the offer in a heartbeat.  It was fun as I got some public speaking experience, script experience, as well as a bunch of laughs from the audience.

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Lastly, my attempts in receiving a free meal by pretending to get stood up was most likely the most popular and received the best feedback.  I went to our local Island’s and ordered for a table of two.  I waited for about half an hour and acted sad and very distressed.  After multiple melancholy conversations with the teenager waiter, Johnny,realized that I was rejected and was stood up.  He sat down and gave me pointers in life and tried to comfort me.  Although I did not receive a free meal, Johnny gave me a free basket of fries and a long-lasting friendship.

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This DIY project was truly wonderful.  I was able to jump out of my comfort zone and try many new things.  From this project I was able to become more adventurous, daring, and spontaneous.  I wish to continue my efforts of doing the top things that I want to do Before I Graduate since I did not finish many tasks this year (street perform, create care packages for the homeless, Before I Graduate chalkboard wall @school).  It was a great year, and I know that this is just the start for Before I Graduate!

 

– Nick

 

 

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DIY: This is the end

That’s it. We’re here. After such a long time of working on this project, we’ve finally reached the end of the school year. It’s time to take a good look back at all we’ve done in creating our DIY documentary.

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We could not finish the actual documentary, which was ultimately the final product we were aiming for. There just was not enough time to edit all the footage that we got. I think part of the problem was the fact that we had five people in the group, and we insisted on doing everything together, so we couldn’t really find much time for that.

In addition, we did not do much publicizing for our project, even though we had initially attempted to do so. We started an Instagram account, and although I personally tried to post on it when I could, only six total photos were posted. We didn’t follow anyone on our account, and we did not have  followers. Our slack on the Instagram was probably due to the fact that none of us really used this type of social media, so we didn’t know what to do with it.

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However, despite the fact that parts of our project did not turn out as intended, I would say that the project was not a complete failure, because we did get stuff done. We spent many hours filming, and probably approached about 100 different people for interviews. Although we did not finish editing the documentary, we did manage to make a shorter trailer for it, just to have  a product to show. The trailer isn’t perfect, but my group members seem to be very content with it, because it does show that we’ve done work all year.

Furthermore, this entire project in itself was a huge learning experience. I’ve learned more about filming and editing, which will help me a lot in my video production class. I’ve also developed my interview techniques, and became more comfortable approaching strangers for interviews, skills that are valuable to me because I will be editor-in-chief of my school paper next year. I have also learned a lot about working with other people, as well as time management from this group project. I discovered that time is something that can be easily lost if you do not work efficiently, by dividing the jobs and sharing responsibilities.

At the end of it all, I am very glad I tried to do this, to make this documentary. In all honesty, since the beginning, I have had doubts about whether or not we’d be able to get it finished. Even though my doubts have more or less been confirmed, though, I do not regret taking on this project. I’ve worked with and met some great people throughout this process, and it was worth all the stress and the time spent.

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– Karen

DIY: We’ve come a long way

With the deadline for this DIY project creeping up on us, my group and I are trying to pull together what we have. Recently, we’ve mostly been just editing because there is no time to get any more footage. For the past couple Fridays, we’ve been spending time working on editing on Adobe Premiere Pro.

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My teacher is planning on having an event in which students get the opportunity to talk about their projects. My partners and I want to be able to participate and give a presentation about our project, and the process of working on it. However, we do not think that we will have enough time to finish the entire documentary that was supposed to be our project in time for this event. Therefore, we have decided to create a little trailer for our documentary, to use in our presentation.

The trailer so far is about two minutes, and it is basically shows what our documentary will be. A while ago, Brandon and I went to Jessie’s house in an attempt to record some of Brandon’s piano-playing for the background music of our trailer. However, that did not work out because there were other sounds in the recording besides the piano, so we decided not to use that music. Despite the fact that we cannot use our own music for the trailer, though, my group members are still quite happy with the way the trailer is coming along.

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In all honesty, both the trailer and the documentary itself is not turning out the way I had planned it. There are so many things in them that I was specifically taught to avoid in BBN, my video production class. There is annoying background music and noises in the interviews. Some of the camera work is out of focus and shaky. We do not have any B-roll. However, the rest of the people my project group are quite content with what we have and continuously tell me that our project will turn out fine. I am grateful for their optimistic attitudes, because I am learning to look past these flaws and see that we really have come a long way. Even if our project does not turn out perfectly perfect, it will be amazing, simply because we have worked so hard on it.

– Karen

 

 

DIY: The Battles We Face

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For our DIY project, my group and I are planning to make a documentary on the struggles that regular people face in life by interviewing people in public places. The point of this documentary is to spread the message that everybody has their own problems and battles to fight. In addition, we will also be making a second video about the process of making our documentary, the problems we came across, our thoughts on the finished product, etc.

Progress:

We had planned to have some filming finished before the end of Thanksgiving break, but as of right now, we have not filmed anything yet due to scheduling conflicts. However, we have finished the preparations that are needed before we can actually film, such as creating a consent form for people we are interviewing, planning out locations to film at, and making a flyer to inform people we want to interview about our project. We  have also started to publicize our project’s Instagram and WordPress. Because we are a group of five, my project partners have been taking care of the things listed above. My role was to make sure we have equipment to use to film and everyone knows how to use the equipment. Over the break, I was able to check out cameras and mics from the school to bring home and have taught my group members how to to use them, as well as basic filming rules such as the Rule of Thirds.

My group and I are planning to begin filming this upcoming weekend. We have learned that because our group is relatively large, scheduling may be difficult. However, we are going to adjust our individual calendars so that we can complete the project, and hopefully do a good job.

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My DIY group and I are determined to succeed in our project and have a good final product.

– Karen

DIY: The Start

I recently joined four of my classmates in our DIY project (which you can read more about here). In a nutshell, we are planning to create a documentary focusing on the problems that people face in society. We are going to be going to public places and conducting interview with people that we meet. In addition, we will be making another video to show the process of making our documentary, our obstacles, our thoughts on it, etc. With this project, we are really hoping to encourage people to be kinder to each to each other, because everyone has their own challenges and obstacles to overcome.

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Progress:

As of right now, we are still planning out the things we need to get done. We plan on doing some filming during Thanksgiving break. However, before we can film anything, we have many preparations we need to complete such as writing a consent form for those we are interviewing, finding equipment to use, setting up a calendar of deadlines, etc. My job is to take care of equipment so I plan on teaching all of my group members how to use the equipment from BBN, the video production class at school that I am in. My group and I have realized how much work and effort is needed for this project, which is relatively big and time-consuming. Therefore, we all agree to make time for the project, and make an effort to be part of the team. In addition, I personally discovered that I am very much of a control freak and I am actually stressing out a bit too much over this project. However, I am learning to be part of the team and share the responsibilities as well as the worries with my team members.

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– Karen

How often do you get to do what you love?

I saw this video recently, and I absolutely loved it. This little girl, Heaven, is obviously having the time of her life out there. At such a young age, she was able to discover her passion for dancing, which evidently helps her dance incredibly well. (Seriously, she’s three years-old and she can dance better than I can.) What’s even greater is the fact that she is given this opportunity to dance on Ellen’s show, a chance to do what she loves.

I think I really liked this video of this adorable dancing little girl because I can relate to her, in a way. Even though I am not on TV or becoming an internet sensation, I feel as though I am in a position quite similar to Heaven’s. In English class, the DIY project is meant to allow everyone a chance to explore individual passions and interests. For my project (which I will describe in greater detail in my progress updates), I am able to incorporate some journalism and video production skills, two of my favorite things in the world. My friend, who loves to travel is using her DIY project to help her fund-raise for a trip next summer. I know someone else who is incorporating her passion for art and drawing into her project. This is truly a wonderful assignment, because everyone gets a chance to pursue their areas of interest and do what they truly enjoy doing, which I know is not an opportunity that many are lucky enough to come across.

– Karen

 

We All Face Battles

Throughout life, each and everyone of us faces battles. Whether they are caused from school, work, friends, family; we all have them.  Going off this theme, I have joined four other classmates in my English class’ DIY project.This project is a way to expression our passions and so we have decided to team up to accomplish one main goal-to spread kindness. In order to fulfill this goal, we are making a PSA that talks about the struggles that everyone faces. We plan to set out and interview completely random people to ask them some of the challenges they face. We are doing this in hopes to show the world that everyone has challenges, they are not alone. Instead of bagging and putting people down, society will start to help one another because we are more similar than we think.

I came up with the seed of this idea as I was talking to a friend about for difficult junior year has been for me, and how I think that everyone, no matter what classes they are taking, or sport they are involved in are a bit stressed because junior year is the most crucial year of high school. I came to realize that we all have similar struggles and that instead of competing with one another, we should be helping each other be the best we could be. Before I reached this idea, I knew I wanted my project to have something to do with either service or kindness, so I took my the idea of kindness and remixed it with the idea that we all have struggles, and that’s how this project came about. As soon as I came up with this idea, I pitched it to my other group mates and it is safe to say that we are all very excited to share out work with you all.

If we all help one another with our problems, the world will be a much better place. I challenge you all to go out and spread some kindness by helping others!

Also, if you would like to give feedback or be apart of this project, feel free to comment below!

-Kim