Do you want it perfect, or do you want it Tuesday?
Most of the time, we want it Tuesday. There are very few ideas that merit spending extra time and energy on developing them when you have as much work as Andrew and I do. We often feel pulled in so many directions that it's all we can do just to get them done to Tuesday-quality standards.
The one aspect of our practice where we make an exception is in video production. Sure, we make quick videos, like the ones I do on ShowMe, or the close reading videos
that take more time to record than they do to edit. But most of our best work takes hours.
That's why the summer is the time we get the most video work done. Last summer, I re-edited the research paper series to make it more manageable and useful. We did a series on writing a literary analysis essay using Twilight, by Stephanie Meyer (essay prewriting video here).
And we started a video about The Great Gatsby. It began as a close read of the opening passage, but evolved into something that has taken months to perfect. In order to make it, I had to learn Adobe After Effects. That alone was hundreds of hours. We wrote, edited, assembled, designed, rendered, and then revised it all and started over.
The goal of this video was to help students get excited about reading the novel in class. Not only does it do that, but it also demonstrates how we developed the claims put forth in the video.
So here is the video we made. It may not be absolutely perfect, but of all our work over the last year and a half, it is the product of which I'm proud. If you enjoy it, pass it on. We hope that it helps more than just our own students appreciate a text as rich and beautiful as The Great Gatsby.
And if people like it, we may just try to make another video that ends up more on the "perfect" side, rather than the "Tuesday" side.