I spent everyday Christmas Break working on the videos. Editing, finding video clips, filming, listening, re-editing, watching and watching over and over again what I had already edited till I absolutely hated my videos, but they looked good. So far I have only finished the kids video, but I am almost done with the adult and the teen videos.
I have completely finished all my interviews,and I have spent the past week trying to fit together the quotes that I like to video. I am using both my own videos as well as videos taken by others from the internet, primarily vimeo. It is a time consuming process filming and searching for appropriate video. I am also doing a lot of editing and overlaying to create interesting visual effects as I am manipulating the videos to suit my needs. I am editing with the latest version of final cut pro which I am constantly learning as I have not used it before.
This week I spent time creating and editing more footage for my videos. I conduced four more interviews. On Friday morning I interviewed my cousin Jake who lives in Ireland over Skype. He has a very positive outlook on having dyslexia and gave some great quotes that I’m going to use. On Sunday I interviewed two 8th grader twins who both have dyslexia. This was really amazing because I was finding it extraordinary difficult to find younger students to interview. One of the twins goes to the dyslexic school Winward while the other is at Sacred Heart, an all girls’ private catholic school in the city. Both of them have completely different learning experiences as a result of the differing approaches at both schools. The twin that stayed at Sacred Heart wished she had attended Winward. I interviewed their father who is in his mid 50’s. He grew up in England at a time when not very many people really knew about dyslexia. Despite his learning difficulties he is a very successful businessman and has a positive look on dyslexia. I currently have enough Interview material for my project.
During the Thanksgiving break I worked on finding specific quotes from my interviews. I filmed and found footage off the Internet to work together with the quotes. I also filmed a few more ideas with stop motion. For example, to convey that having dyslexic leads to the difficulty of telling the difference between homophones, I wrote out sentences using homophones and then switched out the right homophones with the wrong homophones back and forth really quickly.
I went to the MoMa and looked at some video instillations to get inspired. I saw one that triggered some ideas for my headphone placement with my installation.
This week I was finally able to find a child who’s parent was willing to let me interview them. I had to approach this interview differently as the parent had not told the kid he might have dyslexia. The parent explained to me that the child had a great deal of trouble learning to read up until last year; he is in third grade and it has finally clicked with him. I asked this child questions about his favorite books and why he did not like reading until last year. He explained that it was just very hard for him to read until he found books that he was interested in and wanted to read. Similar to this child I was not able to read until the end of third grade. He explained that instead of taking Chinese he and a few other kids go and practice reading. Also during this weekend I filmed some more stop motion ideas to do with reading. I am trying to convey what it is like to read with dyslexia. I got ideas from the book I Wonder What it’s Like to be Dyslexic by Sam Barclay. He combined his skills with graphic design and his personal experience with having dyslexia to create the experience of reading with dyslexia and highlighting specific difficulties. Such as homophones or reading words that are capitalized.
This week was spent filming ideas that derived from interview quotes. For example Jon Mulhern in his interview said the following,
“How I visually describe it, challenge wise, a lot of people ummm when their reading, when their learning to read, get the tricks and they are able to take the tunnel through the mountain. Uhhhhhhhh were as a dyslexic student uhhh has the hard task of having that bag of tricks but not being able to really use it well and they have to go over or around the mountain but uhh the mountain is still always there rather than the path through the mountain uhh if you take the tunnel you might not even notice it”
I filmed this Quote using a stop motion paper cut out of students going through a mountain while the dyslexic student goes over it.
I also attended a lecture by David Flink the author of the book, Thinking Differently, an Inspiring Guide for Parents of Children with Learning Disabilities, at East Hampton Library. Mr Flink is a Dyslexic with ADHD and is a cofounder of Eye to Eye, a mentoring program for children with learning differences. He was a very captivating speaker that was extremely passionate about fighting for learning accommodations for students that need them. His lecture was full of personal anecdotes about growing up with dyslexia and was extremely interesting. Ms. Gillespie told him about my project and after the lecture he asked me to send him the videos when they are completed.
I met with Ivan this week and we discussed technology problems. I am having difficulty editing sound bites from the interviews and he advised me to meet with Sy to try and come up with a solution. We also discussed my plan for the videos and setting up a stop motion station. I am consistently reviewing the interviews that I have done and was struck by a comment from a graduate of Ross. I asked him if he had ever been bullied because of having dyslexia. He responded by saying “Nobody has come up to me and like started mocking me or bullying me ‘cos of my dyslexia. ummmmmm but I always kind of felt bullied by the system, as they like singled us out and since they did it in front of everybody else it was like a little bit of mocking so I felt more bullied by the system then by my peers” This quote resonated with me. The education system can be such a nightmare for dyslexics. Many of my interviewees despised elementary school because of the pressure to be a reader. The multiple-choice test is another nightmare. Being tested with an emphasis on being able to retrieve facts as opposed to testing a persons ability to reason and understand focuses in on a dyslexics weaknesses as opposed to their strengths.
This week I began to film some of the ideas I came up after listening to the interviews again. Many of the adults told stories of teachers getting extremely angry at them for not performing well in the class room. I wanted to have a screaming teacher in my video and I asked Skelly if he would scream at me while I filmed it. He did a great job.
This week I have been trying hard to find children who have dyslexia to interview. I have send out lots of emails to old tutors, an occupational therapist, the head of the learning strategies department at the lower campus, and a neuropsychologist to see if they knew anyone for me to contact. They all were extremely happy to hear from me and excited about my project. Most of them knew children and emailed the students parents to get permission for me to interview them, but none of them had any luck with replies back yet. This is a bit stressful because I really need interviews with younger children to start coming up with ideas to film. I will continue to try to find young children to interview and focus on interpreting my existing interviews in the meantime.
This week I only interviewed my advisor who, as it turns out, also has dyslexia. I focused this week on re-listening to the interviews and writing down ideas to film based on the stories people told me. This past weekend I filmed the emotion of frustration. In almost every interview the interviewee would always describe parts of their dyslexia being ‘just frustrating’. In order to convey their frustration as a pure emotion on video, I used a strobe light and filmed Zoe Yektai, my little brother Dualta, and my mother Abigail being frustrated at the camera. My little brother was actually the best because he was genuinely frustrated at me for making him be in the film.
Last week I interviewed one person on Skype. I spent most of the week editing (using GarageBand) the music for my videos. I want to make the songs that I am going to use instrumental because I intend having voices overlaying them. This was actually a lot more complicated then I imagined because I could not just click a button to make the song instrumental. I also do not have that much experience in editing music so it was a trial and error technique. I am still working on the songs to make them sound perfect. I have broken my project into three separate videos. Each video will have its own theme music.
I have continued to conduct as many interviews as possible. I have interviewed two additional people last week and I have more interviews scheduled for the following weeks.
This is a still from my interview with Gloria Feuer
Quote from the interview: “when I found out I wasn’t like upset or anything, I just kind of realized that like thats why I’m kind of better at like art, rather then like english or like writing essays”
For my senior project I am using the personal experiences of people with learning disabilities to create an abstract video of what it is like to have and live with a learning difficulty.
In order to acquire these various experiences I am interviewing people with learning disabilities. I have interviewed a total of six people, three of which I interviewed last week.
During the interview I ask a number of questions trying to trigger interesting quotes/experiences that I can perhaps visually portray.
This is a still from my interview with Ned Smyth
Quote from the interview: “reading out loud….really difficult for me to follow the page, to kind of continue ummmmm from one line to the next, so reading out loud was like painful”