Architecture of the Imagination

Over the course of a four month period, Brookview students took a number of field trips to York University where they participated in tours of Saskia Olde Wolbers’ exhibition at the Art Gallery of York University as well as storytelling and drama workshops in the Faculty of Fine Arts performance studios.

After introducing students to the art of storytelling and dub poetry, Michael St. George then guided students as they took on the exciting challenge of writing their own stories which were eventually transformed into scripts. During the story writing stage, students also worked with Kathleen Gould Lundy to strengthen their dramatic performances, rehearsing the script that would later be recorded as a voice over for their video works.

With the support of Bruno Billio, students embarked on the set design process, producing sculpture and creating miniature sets that would serve as the visual backdrop for their video work. The final two weeks of the program took place at Charles Street Video, where groups of three students had the opportunity to work with Sarah Sharkey Pearce on the production of their video and the recording of their voice over with sound recordist Ian McGettigan.
Prior to producing their video, students created storyboards as a way of visually mapping out narrative sequences with corresponding sculpture, drawings, and set design. Using a high definition video camera, students alternated between directing and shooting scenes, experimenting with a variety of camera angles and movements as well as lighting conditions in order to achieve the desired visual and emotional effects. During the video production process, students came to recognize how a carefully crafted mise-en-scene can enhance the mood and atmosphere by layering their story with narrative depth and complexity. Working alongside Aleesa Cohene in Charles Street Video’s editing suite, students took part in the editing process, deciding what footage would be retained as well as how their video images would be paired with their voice-over recording and music.

A truly groundbreaking arts education program, Architecture of the Imagination afforded middle school students the unique opportunity of seeing a project through its various stages of development – from its narrative inception, through its visual manifestation in set design, to its dramatic articulation in voice-over recording – leading up to a final synthesis of all art forms in video production and editing.


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