PACE: A Long Overdue Update on Where We Are at in PACE

Wow.  Somehow I just . . . well . . . I just did not blog there for PACE.  I didn’t do it.

Let’s change that right now.

We agreed as a class to move forward with these pitches and develop three of them into trailers/sizzle reels/sample chapters depending upon the nature of the original pitch.

Danielle’s Pastel series of novels, a story about a young woman sucked back in time through a mysterious painting.

Matt’s Bunker (working title) TV series, a story about people forced to live underground while the world goes on outside — and what happens when they come out.

Jake’s The Quest TV series, a story about the finding of the Holy Grail . . . and then another . . . and then another . . .

We agreed that by this coming Friday, March 22nd, tangible progress toward the production of these three projects must be made.

Here are some resources that can help you develop your pitch from an idea into a published product:

Tim Ferriss’ step-by-step account of how he  and his colleagues created a trailer for his book, The Four-Hour Body.  

We looked at this blog post in detail in class last week.

What about another?

This article from MicroFilmmaker Magazine lays out some guidelines for making a compelling movie trailer.

And another?

For my money and time, I think you would do well to look over the above link, take some time with Tim Ferriss, and then really dig into this tool from the fine folks at

Using licensed clips from A Good Day to Die Hard, you can construct your own trailer online and see how different styles of clips, different elements, can impact the final product in different ways.

I mean, I made this trailer for A Good Day to Die Hard in about five minutes. (And it shows.)

Wednesday, I will be providing everyone with a rubric for this new project.  It will be based upon the input I received from the groups as to how these projects should be assessed.

I’m excited to see what everyone develops.

Be prepared for next week, however, as we will be embarking on a journey — a HEROIC journey as we plan to study both The Adventures of Ulysses and The Hunger Games in literature circle style.  We voted today on the best approach.  Folks will have the opportunity to work in groups or individually.  The only limitations will be that you must read one of the two texts.  This work should lead us straight into our trip, if we are able to secure the financing for it.



PACE: Pitching Power Pitches Begin

And that is what we did today.

And they were pretty sweet so far.  Remember, if you want to revise your pitch and/or your show bibles, you certainly may do so.  Learning always requires revision.

We rock more of these on Friday as well as self-assessments.

And from there?  I’ve got an idea.  Let’s talk.

PACE: Pitching Power Workshop Continues

We didn’t have a tremendous amount of time to work today, so we dove into a round robin of ideas.

We ended up hearing a bunch of brilliant notions from JT, Danielle, Sara & Matt.  We really dug into Danielle’s time traveling picture portal idea and left a pile of ideas about Matt’s bunker story on the table because the bell rang.  The projects seem like they have the potential to be really something special.

I also got a look at Brianna’s rap in draft form and Sarah & Miranda’s poetry/video which also hold piles and piles of promise.

To these ends, I’m extending the due date.  WHAt?!?  Yes.  There are ambitious ideas all around and I want to see them fully realized.  Wednesday is the new date.  Take advantage of this time.  If you wait until Tuesday night, the product won’t improve.

The rubric for the Pitching Power project is here.

Reminder that there are still many Macbeth Act Organizers still missing.  (Be certain to be logged in to your school e-mail account before clicking that link.)

PACE: Pitching Power Workshop.

Today we talked about the Pitching Power projects.

A lot.

They are due Monday.

Pitches should be no shorter than one minute and no longer than three.  Use whatever tools (note cards, visual aids) that will help convince the room you have a great idea.  Dress for contemporary, entertainment industry success.

Remember to get Macbeth organizers in and keep up with the blogging.

Here’s a video from Dan Pink that could help.

PACE: Macbeth Act V, Ecology & Trip Planning

Today in PACE we’ll be making clear connections between the ecological relationships you’ve learned about in biology and the characters and relationships present in Macbeth.

Use this little ecological relationship reference guide to help.  It isn’t the best source, but the information seems congruent with what you’ve learned.

We will also discuss the events of Macbeth and the trajectories these relationships and characters took.

After lunch, we’ll be talking about the big trip — what we will do on that trip, the two different strands the teaching team proposes, when it will happen, and how we will raise the money to make it happen.


Pitching Power project due end of the week after break.

We’ll be looking at how pitches work on Friday and workshopping our ideas.

Reminder that there will be a QUACK #2 quiz after break over both QUACK #1 & QUACK #2. (Technically, it is Unit I, divided into parts 1 and 2.)

PACE: Learning from the Pros & the Profs

Today we had a special guest come to class and share his expertise in screenwriting, story breaking, concept development and pitching.  Teal Minton teaches creative writing at UMF.  He sat down and shared his stories of working in the film and television industry and then helped answer questions and shape ideas for our proposed Pitching Power projects.

On Wednesday, we will be looking at Macbeth, Act V in more depth and pay particular attention to how the various ecological relationships emerge in the play.  We will also continue workshopping ideas for our projects.

Also, we will take a quiz over Quack 2 on the Tuesday following break.  Be ready for that.  It will cover both Quack 1 and Quack 2 words.

Another key conversation needs to happen on Wednesday and Friday as well, and that regards our big trip in the spring.  We have some grant opportunities in the immediate future — as in next week — and we have to solidify our plans.  I’ve got some thoughts I’m looking to share about how to make it a great experience for all involved.  Both teacher pace and indie pace folks should be at the table for this one.

PACE: Macbeth Continues & Poetic Term Tutorial Reminders

Today we start things off with a QUACK quiz (#1 for those counting at home) before discussing the Pitching Power project, how it connects to the other disciplines, and reading/reviewing Macbeth.

We will look at Acts III into IV today.

We are a little off from our original calendar and want to catch up.  My goal is to get us through the play so we can spend time looking at interpretations of it next week.

Tonight?  Act IV. Read It.  Complete a Macbeth Act graphic organizer — combine Acts III and IV on it.  This should be here Thursday as well.

Need help with the poetic terms?  Ms. Clark posted the following tutorials on the blog way back in December.

Poetic Terms: Repetition

Poetic Terms: Diction

Poetic Terms: Figurative Language

Thursday, I want to make sure we understand those terms to the best of our ability and read as much of the end of the play as possible.  We’ll have some time Monday if we need it to finish Act V.  It’s really important to me that you have a solid understanding of those terms as they appear in the play.

PACE: Macbeth Teacher Pace Underway

This week those of us on the Teacher Pace climbed right into the thick of the tragic Scot’s tale.  Unfortunately, we also had a snow day which threw things off a bit.

We have made it through two acts of the play and the thinking? It be strong.  Indeed.

The graphic organizer for each act is quite robust.  It’s available on the Drive and will be incredibly helpful if completed as you go.  It will be miserable make up/busy work if you wait until after the fact.

We talked a great deal about the big project and its monster of a rubric.  There is a lot going on there and it can all be seen here.  Pitching a new TV, film, or book series takes a great deal planning and thinking.  Start now.  The graphic organizer is your friend!  As you come up with ideas, get them down!  As you identify  power and relationships in the play, think about how they could be part of your project.  As you discover characteristics of each play, think about how they might surface in the world you are creating.  (Your pre-plan is due next Friday!)

Next week: Acts III & IV!  WHAT?  Two acts in two days?  We’re going to try and make that happen.  Yup.  Why?  Because we can!  BOOM!