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How teachers change lives – video commission

How teachers change lives – video commission

Brief: Create one to two minute video comprising Tanglin students’ perspectives of what qualities make a great teacher.

Audience: Tanglin Trust parents and community – to be screened at junior school parent information evenings and for the school community. 

When working with children for projects such as these it’s important to establish the right atmosphere. It helps that that many of the children know me, but genuinely appreciating their time and what they’re trying to express is key to capturing natural responses. I enjoy the process, as I enjoy meeting people through photography and my hope is that some semblance of my interaction or relationship with my subject leads to capturing them in their most natural light. It’s always lovely talking with children so I’m looking forward to hearing what they have to say on the subject of their teachers.

Reflecting on my own experience I fondly remember the teacher I had in my last year of primary school. Mrs Tolhurst, one of the old guard and a strict disciplinarian, turned out to be the most inspiring, thoughtful and kind teachers I’d ever have. If I were to list the most memorable moments of my entire schooling they would have come during my year in 6T. She got to know me and appreciated that some times I needed more time to express myself in my own way. I felt comfortable enough to explore drama, share some quite intimate aspects of what I was interested in which in turn led to extended projects which I maintained complete ownership over. 

It’s true to say that I strive to achieve in my teaching and in my relationships with the young people I teach, what Mrs Tolhurst brought out in me. 

Preproduction Day 1, Thursday:

Teachers to stimulate responses using the Edutopia video and discussion of which children will be selected for the shoot the following day. Choose locations and make note of light at different times – See below. 

Titles and captions: Dense or Adam CG pro Suitable for bold uppercase titles in bright primary colours

Musical themes: inspire, piano, sentimental see themes here

Assistants: Gwen/Lata Collect children, basic styling uniform/hair and lighting.

Camera: Panasonic GH5 shoot in 4K for choice of medium/medium close up.  Sound: Sennheiser lav mic

Production: Day 2, Friday.

Shots: Medium and medium close ups including natural shots and reactions “Smiling portraits” in slow motion.

Locations: Library – Artroom – Field – Classrooms (base 1 or 2) – future learning room – field – top of Nixon –  learning support rooms.

Production notes: Getting natural responses was difficult once the children had been prepped. It was also interesting to observe how the very youngest children were most capable of natural and spontaneous responses. The older children were most comfortable memorising and recounting from prepared statements.


The finished video: