User generated content entered mainstream in 2005 and is continuing to grow in both availability and sophistication. This is due to the increasing affordability of equipment and the simplicity of drag-and-drop editing software. The power is being shifted from mainstream mass-media producers into the hands of the people. The educational implications are profound – having students take ownership of the curriculum by being content creators is right at the top of Bloom’s Taxonomy.
I recently came across this 40 minute film, made by fans, based on the LOTR and was painstakingly shot on a low budget as a homage to Peter Jackson’s trilogy and the writing of J.R.R. Tolkien. This film titled ‘The Hunt for Gollum’ cost less than $5,000 to make, with a team of volunteers, and has had over 2.500,000 views on Youtube since its release in May, 2009.
Enter amatuer film maker Kate Madison. She comes up with the idea for a full length prequel for LOTR called ‘Born of Hope’ – puts her £8,000 life savings into the project, works as an office temp to gain extra cash and raised a further £17,000 by posting a trailer on YouTube appealing for donations. She convinces 400 actors to give their time for free and posts the final version to the web.
She does not get paid. She recieves no royalties. She does it because she can. (It is very likely however, that the exposure will lead to significant financial reward down the track)
If you find the time, watch these movies. Maybe even show them to your students. For low budget, user generated content they are quite good.
The game is definately changing.