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Friday, October 21

October 21, 2016

CNF Workshop: Today: Koscinski and LeRoy. WE held Mckinzie over until Monday. Nice job today in a smaller-than-average workshop!

Remember: Monday by 8 a.m., your fourth-round piece is due. And we’ll start with a reading quiz on the two essays I gave you last week.

Screenwriting Workshop: Today we read an excerpt from Mean Girls (referenced in the reading assignment), and briefly discussed the reading assignment. For next Wednesday, please read through page 88 (chapters 3, 4& 5). There may be a quiz, but either way we’ll definitely be discussing this in class, so it’s in your best interests to read.

On Monday we’ll be doing an activity in class.

Sarah and Sara are due to post on Monday; Ash and Chip are due to post on Wednesday.

Public Speaking: Today we watched five short TED talks, all within the length guidelines you’ll be observing for your midterm and final. They all came from this playlist.

We started with Matt Cutts’ “Try Something New for 30 Days,” which had as its strengths its well-chosen images, its you-centeredness (this is something that benefitted me, and will benefit YOU, the audience, as well), and his post-opening — which was very simple. He just said “The first thing I learned,” which told us two things: that we were transitioning into the body of the talk (it’s what a post-opening does), and that there would be a finite number of bullet points (in fact, there were three).

The second was Terry Moore’s “How To Tie Your Shoes,” which took a simple clickbait-y premise — you’re tying your shoes wrong! — and evidently made it irresistable, judging from the number of people who immediately tried it. The setup wouldn’t work well for us unless you used video; we won’t have different camera angles to see what you’re doing. But the gentle humor and audience-centeredness were both winners.

The next two speeches we watched were super-risky, and the polarized responses we got proved it. Some people loved Damon Horowitz’s decision to act out the inmate character in “Philosophy in Prison,” while some were distracted. And while I think most people agreed about the emotional impact of Stacey Kramer’s “The Best Gift I Ever Survived,” which was basically one long setup for an ending punchline (what’s in the box?) that was, we must admit, very audience-centric, not everyone liked the conclusion reached. Those are high-risk, high-reward gambles. My advice would be not to take them, but I wanted you to see them anyway.

The fifth and final talk was by Derek Sivers, “How to Start a Movement.” Here there are a couple of things worth pointing out: this is how you want to use video, if you use it: it perfectly illustrated his points, entertained viewers, and allowed him to do “play-by-play” as the audience watched. The other thing is that this talk was a great example of the value of being counterintuitive. Rather than deliver another boring talk about leadership, Sivers came up with a new angle: it’s better (and braver) to be the “first follower.”

There’s no assignment for Monday, but expect regular assignments over the next couple of weeks. We’re going to get these speeches written during that time.

BatCat: Please check your calendars: first, for Handmade Arcade (Dec. 3) and for the following Saturday (potential workshop in Millvale).

We will be staying after school next week for marbling – Thursday!

Horror: Began watching Tod Browning’s 1932 classic Freaks, the film that essentially ended his Hollywood career. We’ll finish on Monday and discuss.

Survey: Combined: Bookmakin’ (not the gambling variety).

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