published Saturday, December 4th, 2010

Lights, camera, LEED

by Kelli Gauthier
  • photo
    Staff Photo by Jake Daniels/Chattanooga Times Free Press Matthew Craig, technology teacher at the Normal Park Upper School, gives instructions to some of his students during the Digital Arts Related Projects in Action class Friday morning. Some of his students shot and edited the film "LEED, Follow or Get Out of the Way" about LEED-certified buildings. The film will be shown during the MainX24 event.

Right after the keyboard typing test, it was time to focus on the movie premiere.

Who would hold the microphone? Shoot the video? How about the grip?

"Do you know what a VCR is?" middle school teacher Matthew Craig asked his students at Normal Park Upper School, as he helped them load tape into a small camcorder. "I was just wondering; it's a generational thing. I asked some fourth-graders the other day, and they didn't know."

The movie premiere the class was preparing to film was "LEED, Follow or Get Out of the Way," a student-created documentary on environmental building. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is a checklist created by the U.S. Green Building Council to improve a building's energy efficiency and environmental quality.

Students in Craig's Digital Arts Research Projects in Action class shot and edited the film earlier this year, and it will show today at 1 p.m. at Greenspaces on Main Street as part of the MainX24 festivities.

Craig said Greenspaces wanted an informational movie about LEED certification, and the middle school's unit on energy was a perfect fit. The 10-minute documentary was shot with high-definition cameras and edited with iMovie at five locations in two weeks.

"It was crazy, but we did it," he said.


* What: Screening of Normal Park Upper School's student film, "LEED, Follow or Get Out of the Way"

* Where: Greenspaces, 63 E. Main St.

* When: Today, noon to 2 p.m. (film will begin at 1 p.m.)

Craig said he is working on another grant, this time from Allied Arts of Greater Chattanooga, to produce another film. This one will be on the middle school's musical, which it plans to perform this spring.

Because students have been so engaged in the film, it's been an excellent teaching tool, he said.

"Editing a film is just like editing a paper, I think. It's all about sequencing," he said. "It's just a different kind of literacy."

Video editor Braxton Malone, 11, said he wasn't too nervous about today's premiere. He enjoyed the challenge of learning about the video equipment and subject matter, he said.

"The process was hard getting the right footage," he said.

Following the movie's premiere, there will be a panel discussion of LEED certification.

Contact Kelli Gauthier at kgauthier@ or 423-757-6249. Follow her on Twitter at

about Kelli Gauthier...

Kelli Gauthier covers K-12 education in Hamilton County for the Times Free Press. She started at the paper as an intern in 2006, crisscrossing the region writing feature stories from Pikeville, Tenn., to Lafayette, Ga. She also covered crime and courts before taking over the education beat in 2007. A native of Frederick, Md., Kelli came south to attend Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in print journalism. Before newspapers, ...

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hcirehttae said...

This is a very creative teacher and supportive educational environment. Go Normal Park!

December 4, 2010 at 12:16 p.m.
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