Every August I order a bunch of new books to help me in the classroom and this year was no exception. The first book I want to review is The Director in the Classroom by Nikos Theodosakis, it is the second edition of this book or as it says on the cover: "Version 2.0"
I have a very well-used copy of his first edition and have used it for years when working with my students on making movies. I mostly use the forms that come with the book, there are over 20 of them, everything from checklists to rubrics. Nikos has done all the hard work, now all I need to do is use these forms in the classroom.
What I really love about this book is how complete it is -- it is missing nothing as far as I am concerned. Nikos covers everything about student filmmaking.
Here is an outline of his book:
Part 1: Why Filmmaking Belongs in the Classroom He covers topics like higher order thinking skills and personal and social skills like creativity, confidence, and self-esteem. These are all ideas that I have personally seen when I make movies with my students. So as I read his book I find myself nodding my head in agreement as I highlight another sentence or paragraph.
Part 2: The Filmmaking Process in the Classroom This part covers all the nuts and bolts of filmmaking with students. He breaks each of the phases (development, pre-production, production, post-production and distribution) into easy to manage step-by-step instructions (with forms and checklists).
Part 3: Obstacles and Opportunities Nikos takes on the issues like assessment and copyright and how filmmaking meets SCANS goals.
Part 4: Some More Thoughts This part is where Nikos has added the most in this edition of his book. He makes connections to the new Web 2.0 opportunities for filmmakers as well as connections to 21st Century Skills. He concludes with ideas on how to get your student-made films in to film festivals.
Part 5: Teachers as Directors His ideas to help the process move along.
Part 6: Teacher Resources This wraps up the book with a glossary and copies of all of his forms and checklists.
So if you are like me and you enjoy filmmaking with students, this is a definite must have book.