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Go Green (Screen)! Taking Projects to the Next Level.

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1 Go Green (Screen)! Taking Projects to the Next Level

2 What is Green Screening? Green screening is a video editing technique commonly used in weather reports during the news. An actor is placed in front of a vibrant green background, and using computer editing programs (we will focus on iMovie) an alternate background is supplanted over the green wall. In the news, this is your weather map. In schools, this can be settings, diagrams, video clips: whatever you desire!

3 Basic Green Screen Images

4 Why Green Screen? Green screening can get students VERY excited and engaged in project-based learning. If the ultimate goal is a smoothly produced video clip, shared with a global audience, students try harder. Taking projects to the next level (making them professional-looking and available to the public) is a huge motivator.

5 Why Green Screen?

6 Kids are Already Trying It One problem with schools is that we are often a step or two behind what is going on in children’s homes. Kids are often quoted as feeling they’ve gone back in time when coming to school. This is what kids are doing ON THEIR OWN. We need to keep up so we can make learning relevant and meaningful for them!

7 But You Already Knew This… Chances are, if you are here, you are already sold on the idea of using green screen technology in your classrooms and schools. So, how do you begin? It takes a bit of capital investment, this is true. There is a cost associated with creating or purchasing a green screen, buying video cameras and accessories, and the appropriate editing software must be obtained as well. At Crestomere School, we relied heavily on our fundraising branch (Friends of Crestomere) and School Council to assist us with this project.

8 Getting the Green Screen There are various options for a green screen: – Professional Canvas (prices range from $150.00 to $300.00 for smaller sizes plus you’ll need a stand or a way to mount it) – Homemade Canvas (buy 6x9 canvas @ ~$20.00 then paint – you’ll also need to iron it and prime it first) – Mounted Boards (cost of boards and paint) – Painted Wall (cost of paint) There have been some commercials and YouTube videos of kids using poster paper in a vibrant green color. This can work, but the quality is poor and quite choppy. Try to go with something a little more permanent.

9 Getting the Green Screen At Crestomere, we opted for the “Mounted Boards” option, as it was cheaper than the professional canvases, easy to install, and easy to remove if we needed to relocate it. We purchased 2 large plywood pieces and painted them with a special green screen paint called DigiComp Green ($50 - $100 per can – ask the supplier for exact pricing since it has changed several times since we began our project). We mounted the screen in a room with some semblance of privacy (but not the greatest for soundproofing). We made sure there was no visible seam between the two pieces.

10 Building the Green Screen Before mounting, set up your camera on the tripod to ensure where you are mounting the boards gives maximum screen availability. Don’t place your screen right against the floor – the results in a floating effect. Move it up about six inches to a foot, and when filming, sadly, you have to cut off the feet of your performers. Ensure you have bright lighting so that the action is highlighted, but not too bright. When the light reflects back, lighter objects tend to turn green (then see-through when you edit). There are more tips and tricks in the “Green Screen Technology at Crestomere School” handout, which is also available at the “Tech 4 Learning” page on our school website.

11 Supplier Info to Build Your Own To get the paint, contact: – Direct Paint in Calgary (403-243-1274)

12 Getting the Cameras & Accessories The digital video cameras we chose to purchase were HD JVCs. We also purchased two tripods and several SD memory cards. During the last year, we have also discovered that SD cards can be problematic: they often go missing, or are not cleared off regularly. You will have to develop a system within your school to regulate this, such as sign-out sheets, and a schedule for card-clearing that all students are aware of. Then they must be responsible for downloading their clips in a timely fashion.

13 Getting the Technology Here is everyone’s question. How can we do this without buying 50 iMacs, which we can’t afford? You don’t have to buy 50 iMacs. We recommend doing some fundraising to purchase ONE to start with. As your school learns to use the technology, projects will be slow and few and far between, until someone rises through the ranks as an expert. Once you have an expert who can share their knowledge, your projects will increase in numbers. Until then, start small with one machine. This is affordable and manageable.

14 Getting the Technology At Crestomere, we began with 2 iMacs, each with iMovie installed on them. For the first few months, only 2 teachers in the school knew how to run the program. Once we became competent, we began to share our learning with staff AND students. Now we have several staff member and MANY student experts. We have increased our iMacs to 4 desktops and a laptop. Students pump out the projects at a regular pace. But this was 1 ½ years in the making!

15 Getting the Technology Most schools in Wolf Creek School Division are predominantly PC schools. This was something we had to deal with at the beginning of the project, as there really are no comparable programs in PC at the moment. iMovie and Final Cut are the two best programs, and both are developed for Mac. Mac computer purchases have to be approved through Wolf Creek School Division and typically run as SSDZ machines, as they don’t have tech support through the division.

16 Using iMovie or Final Cut Learning how to use these programs was the biggest learning challenge for this project. We began with two teachers learning the ins and outs of iMovie through online tutorials, contact with the Apple Store, and trial and error. Final Cut Pro was later added to our software repetoire, and we learned to use it in the exact same method, although there was a lot of overlap, thank goodness! Use the Apple Store! They are VERY helpful!

17 Using iMovie Tutorials on iMovie: – Importing footage, turning on preferences, green screen basics, adjusting colors to prevent see- through images: – Turning on preferences and adding green screen footage to iMovie: – Adding green screen clips on top of an image or video file: – Once you get proficient at iMovie, there is so much fun stuff to do! Check this dude out..

18 On PC There are other Green Screen editing programs out there for PC, although we have never tried them so we cannot comment on their usefulness. – Sony Vegas Pro 11 ($550 USD) – Adobe Premium Pro ($800 CAD) – Magic Video ProX ($400 CAD) However when you Google best programs for Green Screen editing, iMovie and Final Cut (both Mac) show up at the top of the lists.

19 How Do We Begin Creating Projects? STEP ONE: START SMALL At Crestomere, we began small. Our ‘projects’ in the first year included inviting three students to the screen at lunch and goofing around in front of it, doing fake news reports or pretending to fall down a waterfall. Then we would take those few students to the computer lab and add fun backgrounds and effects. This got the students excited. Our first couple of months were pure experiment and silliness. Students were also exposed to how the program worked.

20 How Do We Begin Creating Projects? STEP TWO: START A CLUB Invite students who have a technology aptitude, or who are frequently finished their work in class, to join a “green screen club” of sorts. Give these students a short clip to try to produce. Allow them some recess or lunch time to film, download, and edit their clips. Having a few student leaders who know how to film, how to download, and how to edit will help you immensely during larger class projects (ie: you can be editing clips with some students while your student leaders assist with filming.)

21 How Do We Begin Creating Projects? STEP THREE: TRY A WHOLE CLASS VIDEO As ironic as it sounds, it is easier to start with a whole class video rather than having kids divide into groups to do short videos. If you have someone able to either watch your class, or do the filming, then you can send kids down in small groups or individually to film their portion of the play / skit / production. Meanwhile, the other students continue on with their daily work. The editing can be done by yourself once all the filming is done – a great learning opportunity for you! This is how we filmed many of our first projects.

22 How Do We Begin Creating Projects? STEP FOUR: GROUP PROJECTS Group projects are best done in older grades, and each group should have at least one student expert in it. This means small group films need to be done once capacity has been built throughout the school. Groups basically take a skit or visual report to the next level, filming it as if they were making a movie or documentary. Groups do the writing, practicing, costumes, filming, downloading, and editing themselves, with you acting as a guide and resource only.

23 How Do We Begin Creating Projects? STEP FIVE: MASTERY LEVEL! MOVIES & MUSIC VIDEOS The most challenging projects, yet most rewarding, that we have tried in Crestomere require most experience on the editing side. These projects require dedication from both students and teacher. They are also a bit more time consuming, so only attempt these types of projects if you have a lot of school hours to attend to them. However, when they are done, they are so much fun!

24 More Ideas… Here are some examples of what we’ve done at Crestomere School in the last year. Many of these are available to view on our school YouTube channel. – Grade 1/2 - Crestomere Big Burgers (LA/Art) – Grade 3/4 - Structures Around the World Documentary (Social / Science), My Wild Self storytelling (LA) – Grade 5/6 – Old Yeller “TV” Show (LA), Xmas concert video clips (Drama), Digital Citizenship infomercial (Health) – Grade 7/8/9 – End of Medieval Ages Documentary (Social), The Fur Trade Documentary (Social), Viral Video Clips (Drama), Mixed & Market Economy Skits (Social), Music Videos (Social & Science), Junior High Christmas Concert movie (Drama), Roots of Empathy Christmas Carol video (Health), Canada’s Government Music Video (Social)

25 How Can Green Screen Be Effective? This is what I wanted when I first started using green screen: inspiration! I am trying to share what I know. – Kids teaching kids – use the videos as resources to teach other grades, or within the class (a better way to ‘jigsaw’). The junior high created a digital citizenship series that the elementary used in health to teach digital citizenship. In Grade 4, students taught each other about different structures and how they strengthened using scientific terminology. Plus, you can use the video NEXT YEAR as a teaching tool.

26 How Can Green Screen Be Effective? – A skit is just a skit. Kids don’t put much effort into a regular skit performed in front of the class, because it is performed and then its done. The only audience is their teacher (“good enough”) and their friends (so they want to make it silly and screw up for a laugh). Put them in front of a green screen and tell them its going on YouTube and suddenly they are professionals! – Finished video make for GREAT portfolio pieces. If the clip goes online, kids share them at Thanksgiving and Christmas with not only parents, but aunts and uncles. I had a student email the link to all of her family in Holland! World wide learning!

27 But Be Careful! With this global audience comes some new eggshells to walk on. – FOIP Ensure all students have their FOIP papers signed, and that parents understand exactly what that means. Sometimes, to be safe, I send home an extra form for parents to sign before I even film projects that I intent to post on YouTube. Communication is KEY. – Audience Now that content is going online, you have to be extra diligent that all content is appropriate and sensitive. We ran into some struggles filming about the Middle Ages, when we had to describe the conflict between Christians and their Jewish and Muslim victims. Tread lightly!!

28 But Be Careful! And the biggest issue: – Copyright Background Images / Video Clips for Green Screen – select pictures from Creative Commons or other sites that clearly state there are no copyrights attached. You can also take your own and use those as backgrounds. Music – Copyrights are held on music for the duration of the author’s life span, plus 50 years. So 50 years after the author’s death, you may use the piece copyright free. For anonymous works, it is 50 years from publication or 75 years from creation, whichever comes first. Otherwise, you need to jump through 500 hoops to get copyright permissions and licensing.

29 But Be Careful! And the biggest issue: – Copyright Sound Bites - There are free music sites such as that allow you to sample their music. If all else fails, iMovie really does have a great selection of copyright free music. When doing music videos, have permission from the copyright owner before even introducing the project to your kids. It is a time-consuming thing to obtain!

30 Copyright Free Websites Feel free to use images, video clips, or music from the following sites: – – – – – – commons-sources/ commons-sources/ –

31 Okay, I’m Ready Now, if you feel ready, get started! This handout, the Crestomere School “Tech 4 Learning” website, and the “Tips & Tricks” handout provided for you (which can also be found on the “Tech 4 Learning” website) will be a nice stepping stone to Go Green (Screen)!Tech 4 Learning Be sure to share all of your great projects with the rest of the division! (Just watch your FOIP!)

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