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April 26, 2006

2006 Best Teaching & Learning

In May of 2001, we held our first Film Festival. That year, we did something that was really new: We made movies that were completely produced on the computer. At that time we did not realize that this simple idea, to have students and teachers use more technology in class, would lead Mabry Middle School to set the standard for technology innovation in public schools for the entire United States.

The power of ideas! The idea was simple. The idea was transformational.

The power of this little idea led us to receive the prestigious Schools of Distinction Award for Technology Innovation from Scholastic and Intel Corporation. Because of this national recognition, Mabry has had over 200 visitors come to our school from all over the nation to learn about what we do. Magazine articles have been written in professional journals about us. And our school even received over a quarter of a million dollars in grants and technology donations.

Mabry actually competed against over 3,600 schools around the nation that applied for the award. We were even competing in the high school division. Because of this innovative use of technology for learning, the film festival, we won!

Tonight we have the privilege and the pleasure to welcome you to the 5th Annual Mabry Middle School Film Festival. Tonight we celebrate our theme: “The Power of Ideas–-Stories From Our Studies.”

Our first category for the evening is Best Teaching and Learning. The objective for these movies was to create a movie that would be the best representation of curricular significance.

The nominees in this category are:


Click the link above to download the movies in this category just as they were presented on April 25, 2006, the night of our film festival.

Posted by Tim Tyson at 06:03 PM

2006 Best 6th & 7th Grade Indi

From the very first year, students who were not participating on a school team for the Best Picture category still wanted to submit movies. The Independent Film category was born.

This year, in the Independent Film category, one 6th grade movie, one 7th grade movie, and one 8th grade movie will each take home the gold. Since there are so many Independent movies to show, we will begin by showing the 6th and 7th grade films first. After we have shown the 8th grade films later tonight, we will then announce which movie won in each grade level.

And because of the generous gift of an anonymous donor, a 4th award will be given to one of the Independent Films: a 60 gigabyte video iPod. But we will have to wait until just before the evening ends to learn which movie from the Independent Films wins the video iPod.

The nominees are:

  • The Adaptations of Seals in the Antarctic
  • Atomic Bombs that Ended WW II
  • Human Predators -- Devastation in Antarctica
  • Lionesses


Click the link above to download the movies in this category just as they were presented on April 25, 2006, the night of our film festival.

Posted by Tim Tyson at 06:02 PM

2006 Best Documentary

I am not sure that people realize what a distinguished panel of judges we have each year, people who work in the communications and media industry in television, cable, radio, and film, as well as people in technology, education, and even the State Department of Education. During the judging this year, one of the judges, who has served as a judge since our very first film festival, said that our movies this year weren’t just the best ones yet, they were more seasoned, refined, and mature this year than they have ever been.

The movies in our next category, the Documentary, were to strive to be the best presentation of political, social, or historical subject matter in a factual and informative manner.

The nominees are:

  • The Art Project
  • The Choice
  • Got Water?
  • The Heat Is On
  • Technology -- Losing Human Connection


Click the link above to download the movies in this category just as they were presented on April 25, 2006, the night of our film festival.

Posted by Tim Tyson at 06:01 PM

2006 Best Sound

This next category is absolutely the most difficult one for our students to master. The sound in a movie shapes the whole emotional tone of the movie’s content. The sound can make a great idea even more powerful. But while it is so powerful, it is very hard to get clean sound without a lot of noise.

The nominees in this category did an excellent job of using sound, sound levels, and sound elements to powerfully convey the message of the movie.

The nominees are:

  • The Choice
  • The Dark Side of Chocolate
  • Freedom
  • Stem Cells -- Science and Faith Divide
  • Technology -- Losing Human Connection


Click the link above to download the movies in this category just as they were presented on April 25, 2006, the night of our film festival.

Posted by Tim Tyson at 06:00 PM

2006 Best 8th Grade Indi

We now conclude the Independent Film category with the 8th grade independent movies.

The nominees are:

  • Chain Reaction
  • Keeping the Faith
  • Microbes -- They Got a Bad Rap
  • Together

One thing the audience will find interesting: In the microbe movie, a rap music video staring the microbes as themselves, the students not only wrote the words to the rap, but they also created their own music in GarageBand and did their filming through a microscope.

That’s pretty creative! We will now announce the winning Independent movie in each grade level. Please hold your applause until all three grade level winners are announced. Winning students, if you will please come up together as a group to receive your trophies after all three grade levels are announced.


Click the link above to download the movies in this category just as they were presented on April 25, 2006, the night of our film festival.

Posted by Tim Tyson at 05:59 PM

2006 Best Dramatic Comedy

Before we begin this next category, we would like to remind you that we still have one final award to be given to a movie in the Best Independent Film category. This award, the 60 gigabyte video iPod, may be awarded to any movie in the Independent Film category.

That’s right. It could be given to a 6th, 7th, or 8th grade movie. It could be awarded to an Independent Film that just won a trophy or it may go to an Independent Film that has yet to win an award tonight.

We will just have to wait to see. The video iPods will be awarded later in the evening.

Wait a minute, Austin. Did you just say iPods?--as in more than one?

Oh no! I gave away the big secret. You’re right! We will be giving away two 60 gigabyte video iPods tonight! One will go to an Independent Film, and the other will be awarded to… Well, you will just have to wait and see!

The Best Dramatic Comedy category is new this year. It was created to suit the needs of three special movies that fit just perfectly in this category. This category was created for films that effectively use parody or humor as a means of conveying a meaningful theme.

The nominees are:

  • Dude, Where's My Lock
  • From Fantasy to Fact
  • Take French


Click the link above to download the movies in this category just as they were presented on April 25, 2006, the night of our film festival.

Posted by Tim Tyson at 05:58 PM

2006 Best Cinematography

The movie-makers in the Best Cinematography category did an excellent job with the overall visual impact of their film: lighting, composition and camera angles, photography, and framing. They did an exceptional job of making sure that the visual information in their movie told their story well.

The nominees are:

  • Drugs, Are You Addicted?
  • Dude, Where's My Lock?
  • From Fantasy to Fact
  • Stem Cells -- Science and Faith Divide
  • When Things Go Wrong


Click the link above to download the movies in this category just as they were presented on April 25, 2006, the night of our film festival.

Posted by Tim Tyson at 05:56 PM

2006 Lifetime Achievement

And this is the part of the Film Festival that is always so sad to me. This is when we pay special tribute to the teachers that are retiring after a lifetime of service to children.

This year Mabry only has one teacher that is retiring. We will now show this short clip to honor her service to the many children whose lives she has touched in her 26 years of service.

Click the link above to download the movie in this category just as they were presented on April 25, 2006, the night of our film festival.

Posted by Tim Tyson at 05:55 PM

2006 Best Alumni

For the past two years, we have been asked by former Mabry students if they could enter films into the Mabry Film Festival. We created the Alumni Category to meet this need. Any movies submitted in this category only compete within this category and not for Best Picture.

In this movie, Matthew, a former Mabry student now in 10th grade, demonstrates excellent use of his own 3D modeling, computer animation, student-generated computerized digital and in camera special effects, as well as blue/green screen and alpha channel compositing.

Click the link above to download the movie in this category just as it was presented on April 25, 2006, the night of our film festival.

Posted by Tim Tyson at 05:54 PM

2006 Best Picture

The iPod is such a powerful media player device. I love mine! I love listening to all of my music on it. But when Apple announced the video iPod, it got even more outrageously cool!

Dr. Tyson has already placed all of the movies in each category on Podcast Central. That means, when we leave tonight, anyone in the world will be able to download the movies you have seen tonight from the iTunes Store or from MabryOnline’s Podcast Central!

To think that every movie seen tonight is already in global distribution–that’s just amazing! Anyone, anywhere in the world can watch our movies and can even download them onto their video iPods. So tomorrow morning someone riding on the Tube in London might be watching my movie!

That’s just way cool! And one of our Mabry student’s is about to win a video iPod. Tonight they can download all of our movies, including their own, onto their new video iPod! We now have the privilege of announcing which movie in the Best Independent Category will receive the 60 gigabyte video iPod. [Award]

And earlier we learned that a second video iPod will be given away tonight. The judges decided that this second iPod could go to any movie from tonight’s film festival. [Award]

Of course, the most coveted category award is winning the Best Picture Category. The criteria for this category is to combine all of the elements of the movie to bring a powerful emotional impact that convincingly conveys a significant message, leaving a lasting impression.

Before we announce the winner for the Best Picture category, we will hear from each of the nominated teams about the movie their team made.


[Award]

Click the link above to download the movies in this category just as they were presented on April 25, 2006, the night of our film festival.

[Award]

And the final award made possible by another generous anonymous donation is the Apple iBook computer. The judges could select any movie from all of the movies submitted in the film festival to receive this amazing award. Each team had to pick one student from their team that would receive the Apple iBook if their team won this award.

That just had to be incredibly difficult. We will now announce the winning movie and the person on that team who was selected by their teammates to receive the computer.

[Award]

The Mabry Film Festival is an incredible event that has earned our school prestigious national recognition. Your being here tonight is such an incredible affirmation of our hard work. One of the biggest reasons we love making these movies is to see how each of you react to the quality of our work.

On behalf of all of the emcees for tonight’s film festival and all of the students and teachers who worked so hard to make these movies, we want to say, “Thank you, and goodnight.”

Posted by Tim Tyson at 05:54 PM

2006 Special Recognition

We would like to take just a moment tonight to celebrate the theme for our film festival this year: The Power of Ideas. The power of any idea is making that idea become real. I mean, sure, we can have the idea that we want to make a movie, but actually making the movie to show you tonight is a tremendous amount of very hard work.

Taking a brilliant idea from our heads to the big screen in the hope that it will cause everyone in our audience to have other brilliant ideas that will then help us all make our world a better place is what this festival is all about! It takes very special people with very special gifts to be able to go from an idea to a real finished product.

For the past four years, we have been privileged to enjoy a very special collaboration with a real genius, an actual director and producer in the commercial film industry who has done just that: guided us in taking the power of our ideas and turning them into the finished products that you see tonight. His genius is his amazing ability to help each team of students shape their ideas, to focus on making one compelling point as powerfully as we can possibly make it.

He gives each team of students his professional advice, which we could choose to take or not. We got to meet with him five times throughout the course of our movie project. So not only is he a genius, but he is also amazingly generous with his time. Dr. Tyson says that Mr. Ciralante is not a person; he is an energy. He takes time out from his busy production schedule at Toybox to freely give his genius to the students of Mabry to help make our ideas as powerful as they can be.

Tonight we want to present a small token of our appreciation to our very own man of powerful ideas, Mr. Nick Ciralante.

[Link not yet available]

Click the link above to download the movies in this category just as they were presented on April 25, 2006, the night of our film festival.

Posted by Tim Tyson at 04:57 PM

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