Documentaries in the Classroom Using Adobe Rush

Scroll down for week 2 and final reflection.

Suzanne Arnott - Week 1

Firstly Rush is so easy to use, very intuitive, even for video numpties like me. I really hope the DET will put it into their package so students can use it, without being limited to the trial version. Because of it’s simplicity students can create videos to tell the story in a range of subjects. Stories can include; how to thread a sewing machine, the history of Vikings, reflections of excursions, science experiments and their hypothesis.

What's a Documentary?

What is a Documentary?

“Many documentaries would be a lot better if they were a lot shorter.” A documentary is a piece of non-fiction media which provides a factual report about an event or particular topic. Documentaries vary in tone from humorous, to disturbing, to poignant, and almost anything in-between. They also vary in length: “ For PBS's documentary series POV, the preferred length for a feature film is 51 minutes, 50 seconds . If you go by strict definition, the Academy Awards define the line between a short and a feature-length film at 40 minutes” - from pbs.org .

For me the hardest part was coming up with a story to tell... I put it out to my Facebook fam, and got a couple of suggestions... so as we were off on a long drive to do a 5km run.. I thought introducing Parkrun Tourism, would be a great one. Trying to work out a funny or interesting approach...started story boarding...and came up with a Parkrun tourist diary.


Following the tutorials and getting ideas on cutting together, I really appreciated Kev's comment that

Movement and style should reflect the content of the story...

With this in mind as it's a run and trip (hopefully not while running hehehe) the trip up was fast paced, as was the overall feel. Looking for fast paced music, and a catchy paced dialogue.

First rough cut

I took video with phone and iPad...put it all together on the iPad. I was able to share between my android phone and iPad through the use of Creative Cloud. I planned to use the iPad, as that is the device my students are most likely to use, and I wanted to see how intuitive it was, and was very happy with how simple it was, even for me.

Next part will be to flesh out the script and add a sound track.

Week 2

Editing and putting it all together, the tutorials and live class really gave me some language, terms and skills to improve my video making abilities. I tried to use a range of shots when shooting the first cut, but was limited because of how I filmed. I did try to shoot some video while running.. fail, steady cam I’m not. I did however collect some still images and other pictures to add value to the story. Some stayed others , as they say, are on the cutting room floor. “Kill your darlings” and if I hadn’t the video would have been an hour long....lol. As it was I trimmed and removed clips and sections and 90 seconds was the shortest I could get to, and still have a story with light and shade, sound and quiet, pace and stillness. I also cropped the video to a square look, I did check to make sure nothing of importance was cropped out. I plan to post on Instagram as well as YouTube to explore different display forums.

Some great hints and tips to create more interesting looking movies.

Using L and J editing with sound and picture
Layering each layer to create a smoother flow.

I looked through some free music options, with a key word search of adrenaline, bingo, perfect tune to run under the storyline. It took a couple of times to get the voice over just how I wanted it... having a scratchy post Motorsport plus hay fever voice added texture to the voiceover layer. I ended up clipping it into two layers. I adjusted the volume of video audio layer, the music layer and the voice over layer so each area was at a suitable volume for the section it related to. The sound was muted in some cases, reduced or increased in others. The manipulation was really easy to do.

Audio controls, muting layers to focus on the sound.
Colour made to pop a little using presets, then tweaking.
There are many text and heading options
Select the style
Then edit it to give create your look

The final cut was when I was finally happy with sound, colour, feel ...it took a lot of tweaking, but time was running out... so pretty happy. The hardest part in the upload was my network connection... then not sure why it wouldn’t export on automatic settings, so I chose the 720p option and it uploaded smoothly, using the Match Framerate. I was worried it would lose quality, but after uploading to Instagram and Facebook, they seem ok...

Final Reflections

I was so blown away by how simple and intuitive Rush was to use. I hope I am able to use it in the classroom, a really great introduction for students to the nuts and bolts of storytelling in video form, before being overwhelmed by the software of Premiere Pro. They will have storytelling skills and basic video editing skills under their belt, and more equipped to put it all together.

Students will love the ability to create and share to social networks. To create video which looks well edited and creatively constructed. They can use phone or iPad to capture video and images which again simplifies the process, not having to use a video camera. This also opens it up to share with teachers of all subjects, and create simple video responses to show the student’s understanding of a topic, and their level of learning, by using Rush as a pencil and paper tool. I hope many teachers really start to embrace these 21st century devices to engage and encourage their students and their learning. On the other hand using this as a teacher to create interesting learning objects which stimulate students.

Looking forward to sharing and using the Rush platform in the future, a new tool in my teaching toolkit.

Created By
Suzanne Arnott


Music from Sound Cloud Eddy 01 Adrenaline Parkrun Australia Logos

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