In bahasa Indonesia, the word for movie is film. However, its pronounced as you see in the title, two syllables, fee-lum.
In February, as we were trying to think of an interesting project that would get our students out of the rut of usual class activities, my counterparts and I decided that we would have our students make movies. Initially we weren’t sure how this would go. We decided to pilot it with one class and if we thought the students had the means to get the project done, we would spread it to other classes a few weeks later.
We asked the students if they had access to cameras. At first the students were hesitant and didn’t think they would be able to do it. After some prodding, a few students mentioned that someone in their families had cameras, others said that they could use their smartphones. Our project was off and running.
The students formed groups of 6 students and had to first write a script. It could be a completely new story, or a re-telling of a traditional story. After a few weeks of working on the scripts, they gave them to me for editing. During the next class meeting, my counterpart and I consulted with each group about their script, made sure they understood the edits and, in a few of the more complicated sentences, helped come up with the best way to phrase what they wanted to say.
After that, the students were off and running. They had about a month to film, edit and turn it in. Knowing that the students had never done something like this, I didn’t know what to expect. However, the results were incredible. Some traveled 20km or more to the ideal locations for filming their movies. Most found ways to include soundtracks. Each group had to teach themselves how to use free editing programs by watching YouTube. Some of our worst students really shined in their acting and editing. I couldn’t have been prouder.
At the end of the project, we spent a few class periods in the language lab (seen in the photo at the top of this post) watching the movies. The students told me about how much they loved the project and all of the challenges they overcame in completing it. My counterparts were equally impressed and I hope that they continue using this idea in the future.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting some of the students’ movies on the blog. Some reached nearly 20 minutes in length, so I don’t expect anyone to watch all of them, or watch them all the way through. I do encourage you to at least watch a little, or skip through the movies because, not only do they showcase my students, but you can see parts of our students’ lives that we haven’t shown previously on our blog. Their homes, villages, school and more.
Without further ado, here is the first installment for Fee-lum Friday: