A humorous video about how a butterfly giving a lazy student the answers to a class test, has taken out the junior division of a national competition for Japanese language students.
Year 9 students at The Armidale School Holly Dauparas, Olivia Lockett and Bethan Palfreyman scored the success in the Japan Foundation's national Video Matsuri competition, which this year had a butterfly as the requisite signature item.
"We used the butterfly in a way that would be easy to write into the script, while still being a noticeable part of the video. It also allowed us to give all three of our group members speaking parts, as our camera person and editor was able to record a voiceover for the butterfly," Holly said.
The storyline took some weeks to evolve, with COVID-19 a consideration. While the filming was completed in a few class periods, the pre and post production elements took up the equivalent of a term's work.
"By the end of the term we had a fully written draft script. We were going to make some changes to it so we could film in lockdown because at the time we were all stuck at home on Zoom, but thankfully we were back in class and able to film in Term 4," Holly said.
The trio agreed that the three-minute film helped them all learn Japanese in a more conversational tone in a way that extended beyond the way language is taught in the classroom.
"It really helped us expand our vocabulary with words that are crucial for fluid conversation in a practical, out-of-classroom setting, rather than just speaking like a robot. But we also developed other skills in making the film, which was a lot of fun."
The judges praised their entry for its "clever storyline delivered through a well -acted performance using acquired language clearly. Various camera angles, mysterious music and other sound effects were used skillfully and had the judges entertained and glued to the screen until the end."
The competition attracted entries from all states and New Zealand. Another class entry by William Gilpin, Thomas Liew and Thomas Vrkic was awarded a 'Special Mention'.
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