Our Documentary

It’s about time I created a ‘biology’ category on this site, as I’ve been studying the subject for a while now (besides my job as a teacher) and I’d sometimes like to use this place to show how cool ‘the study of life’ is too. The past year I’ve been working on a project for this course, with fellow student and now good friend, Edwin Roseboom. The assignment was to make the documentary shown below.

To clarify a bit, you might notice the working title was ‘OMGE’, which is the name of the module. It is short for the Dutch ‘omgevingsonderwijs’, which means ‘environment education’. The title we eventually gave it, ‘Onze Omgeving’, therefore literally translates to ‘Our Environment’.  Which is what the subject was, that was given to us. Inspired by Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, we had to do our own investigation, which eventually had to lead to our backyard. Another given was that we had to show our interview skills. And it had to be suitable for our students. So on an adventure we went. Camera in hand.

In case you can’t tell, it really was a lot of work. But (if you’re watching it all the way through the Making Of you’ll see) a lot of fun too! And besides all the creative editing, this documentary was also part of a bigger picture, for which we had to do a lot of paperwork, creating lesson plans amongst things. So it took us a couple of weekends, for which Edwin – living halfway across the country –  travelled all the way down south. We think it was worth it.

And since this is my website and I can say whatever I like here, I’d like to say thanks to Ed for the whole process. I’m probably not an easy person to work with. I work hard and my enthusiasm is contagious, but I suppose one could also call that ‘tiring’. We’re a great team though, at the end almost finishing each others’ sentences in a language invented by us.

I’m also very happy Philip Brohan, from one of the Zooniverse projects, ‘Old Weather’, was willing to give us the interview. This gave me the opportunity to combine my ambassador role with my student/teacher one. The interview, which explains the climate topics well, comes with Dutch subtitles. I’m afraid the rest of the video is in Dutch, but some other spoilers include video bites of yours truly in a bathing suit on a rather cold summer day. My dad and stepmum also make an appearance and yes, we intended to occasionally make it look like ‘oh-I-can-so-do-this-too’.

The music accompanying the end credits should also get a mention, as it’s from a friend of mine. It wasn’t written for this purpose, but I think it suits so well it might have been. Besides that, the (English) end credits are pretty much self-explanatory. So here it is. We already ‘tested’ it on my students – of whom a few made an appearance in the movie too – and they gave us an impressive average score of 8.7 (out of 10). We will still be judged by another teacher though.

Which will be in the following few days or weeks, as ‘our premiere’ is today. It’s a bit of a shame we’re done with it really, although it’s nice to finally hold the disc and to show the world.


EDIT: We got a 9 for this! And our teacher asked if he could show it as an example to other students! So we’re rather pleased our hard work paid off indeed. By the way, you can watch a bigger version of this here: http://vimeo.com/40960029.