ScreenNation’s first ever challenge closed barely a week ago and the winners are already announced as they prepare to open the next challenge in the coming week or so. There was a wide range of entries for this one giving us very creative perspectives on a diverse group of towns. Some students focused on their schools’ service to the community while others, like “Kenya Water Project” and a student’s volunteer service award based on a chess tournament show us projects with an international impact. By chance, the top three entries cover the country from coast to coast in very different ways.
First place and camera kit winner, Union, NJ, starts out as a traditional 1st person view of a life lived in what might seem to be a neatly trimmed small town celebrating its bicentennial. Not! As our host digs a little deeper, we find the roots go back to the Revolutionary War and even include a historic first with George and Martha Washington.
Oakland, CA claims its fame from the creative slang that’s its inhabitants have been sharing with the rest of the U.S. for over a generation. As an educator with a linguistics background, this tickled my etymological funny bone. A street interview style with quick edits and no transitions lets different speakers expand on or finish each others’ thoughts. And what an appropriate use of text to clarify the spoken word!
Decorah, IA uses a drive through tour of town to illustrate its proud Norwegian heritage and the legend of the Nisse. Though this Nisse fellow sounds suspiciously like a renegade leprechaun to this great-grandchild of Irish immigrants, his ubiquitous presence as house guardian in town definitely makes him unique and forms a common bond among all who live there.
Check in often at ScreenNation for ongoing opportunities to share and learn. 13-18 year old students are contributing to an ever growing collection of film making how-to’s along with fictional flights of fancy. And watch for the next challenge which will be hosted by a well known celebrity.