Song/Poem by Bill Hillman
...Dedicated to the Strathclair
Community School Class of '94...
...and their teachers...
A live musical performance
followed by a 60 minute video
produced by Bill Hillman
-- the video is comprised
of computer animation, video clips, voice-overs, and music.
Each grad was featured
in a video collage in which s/he provided a 2-3 minute voice-over to accompany
20-50 still photos gleaned from family picture albums. A script and copy
of the video was presented to each graduate.
MILIEU: FISHNET BACKDROP
- 5 TELEVISION MONITORS - VIDEO WALLPAPER WITH OCEAN MOOD AUDIO/VIDEO -
KEGS - CAPTAIN’S HAT/BLACK TURTLE NECK - MOOD LIGHTS - SHIPS LANTERNS -
CHESTS - SOUND FX - STOOL - GUITAR - ETC.
DRAMATIC READING ACCOMPANIED
WITH GUITAR RIFFS AND RHYTHM ACCOMPANIMENT
use a 'ticktock' metaphor to describe the endless cycles of life - and
each 'tick'...as a humble genesis and every 'tock'...as a feeble apocalypse
are seen as a constant beat of ...downtime...uptime... ...nighttime...daytime...
...ticks...and tocks... each set with a beginning ...and end.
has never been so digital...nor as predictable.
a commitment to the digital world of computers... In living I prefer a
more continuous analog approach -- an approach closer to some other-world...wave
theory... ...gone bonkers!
in our world a basic cyclical rhythm... but within major wave rhythms...
...are countless ripples and swells... ...peaks and troughs... ...ever-changing
wave lengths... ...heights and intensities... even the very nature of the
medium can change.
harbours many types of waves -- from tidal surges and toppling breakers...
to quiet ripples.
most beyond our control, are at work to change the nature of these waves.
quakes and tremors spin off racing tsunamis.
currents, storms, and winds of change all set up their own kinds of motion.
by undertows and shallow bottom, pile up until they become collapsing and
close to shore carry broken remnants of once-proud, solid rock bluffs --
hurling these particles to bring about even more shoreline changes.
carry an endless array ...of anchored buoys... ...flotsam and jetsam...
...life and death... and a congeries of vessels: ...ocean liners...old
trawlers...tramp steamers... ...supertankers...greasy tugs...sleek catamarans...
...surf boards...and lowly barges...
on the surface it is important to learn to pick the right currents and
waves... and to ride them well.
can be long and exhilarating... or short and wet.
can harness and go with the force .............. or sink and drown..............
and parents need experience to ride these waves -- the student needs a
navigators seek out little placid tide pools... ...drop anchor... ...and
sit in tired... creaky-leaky dinghies... ...while their young passengers
look longingly... ...expectantly... ...out to open sea...
for the thrill of the salt spray in their faces and the toss of the waves
and a chance to skim across infinite waters to distant adventures -- and
to learn the skills to survive on this life sea.
these tide poolers will either meet disaster when they do break out past
the breakwaters, or will spend a lifetime as land lubbers -- ...frustrated...
...angry... and haunted with personal devils which constantly remind them
of what they could have been.
study the theory behind seamanship -- it can be mastered by most any hotshot
yachtsman, but the experience of the old salt is invaluable when the going
gets long... or rough.
He can read
the tides... ...the stars... ...the wind... ...he can talk to life in the
deep... ...he can create a course and navigate it... ...he can sail by
the seat of his pants... knowledge recollected allows him to cope with
each unpredictable crisis along his course.
To the novice,
the waves and cycles with which the old salt is so in tune, at first appear
meaningless or incomprehensible but really they are just a part of life's
in the oriental concept of yin and yang where two complementary forces
flow into one another, so does night become day... ...season follows season...
...death follows birth...
THE VIDEO SCRIPT ANIMATED
GRAPHICS FOR TITLE WITH THE THEME FROM LOCAL HERO SOUNDTRACK
Luck Grads ‘94"
VOICE OVER - SCROLL
GRADS NAMES ANIMATED COMPUTER GRAPHICS CREATED BY ROBIN HILLMAN
Hi...this is Bill Hillman
Sorry I couldn’t be with
you "in person" for this special evening, but thanks to the "old salt"
for filling in for me - and I hope - entertaining you a little bit with
his deep sea metaphors.
My original plan was to
include a more orthodox "go get ‘em grads" type speech...in fact, I even
But the grads and I got
a little carried away with a nostalgic retrospect of their first 18 years
at home, at school, and at play.
Over the last few weeks
I’ve worked with each grad to prepare a two or three minute peek at the
family photo album.
We spend so much of our
school time studying road maps and keeping our eyes on the road ahead that
we all thought that on this special night it might be a treat to take a
look into our rear view mirrors - for a few minutes - just to pause - to
reflect before 16 young adults plunge into the next phase of their lives
-- and I suspect that we might bring a few smiles and tears to the faces
of the moms and dads out there.
You guys are leaving school
after 12 or 13 years...but I have the strange perspective of having attended
this school for over 40 years --- some people think I’ll never graduate.
But the changes I’ve seen
occur in the school and community since mid-century are mind-boggling.
The amazing thing about
all this though is the way the kids - and especially this class - have
They’ve all taken the
change in stride - in fact, they’ve thrived on it.
So - let’s step back and
share some of the experiences which led to the grads reaching this place
of honour tonight.
ASIDE TO COMPUTER ANIMATED
DOG WALKING BACKWARD ON VIDEO SCREEN - HOUND RELEASES BALLOON TO FOLLOW
GRADS NAMES INTO THE SKY
VOICE OVER GRADE 9
FOOTAGE OF CLASS COMING INTO COMPUTER ROOM WEARING HALLOWEEN COSTUMES
When this motley crew
first entered my computer language arts class in grade nine, they were
excited to take on the challenge, even though they might have been a little
rough around the edges -- some of them were even late for class.
MANY NINJA TURTLE MASKS
AND COSTUMES...A GORILLA MASK...CAPS ON SIDEWAYS...A GROUCHO MARX NOSE,
GLASSES & MOUSTACHE, ETC.
As you look around the
room tonight, you’ll notice the changes that a few short years have wrought
-- now they’re much better groomed...in fact, the girls have traded their
Ninja Turtle coveralls for formal dresses. The guys are clean-shaven with
hair combed - and the girls are permed - no longer do they wear their clothes
sideways and some even have contacts and maybe even plastic nose surgery.
STUDENTS STAND TO PROOF
READ EACH OTHER’S WORK...MILL AROUND UNTIL THEY FIND AN EMPTY COMPUTER
Tonight they’re content
to sit relaxed in their chairs - you’ll notice that not once have they
stood up to mingle in a disoriented fashion.
So lets take a trip back
over 18 years ... Ladies and Gentlemen... The Graduates of 1994.
ANIMATED HOUND WALKS
OFF SCREEN AND PRESENTS TITLE PAGE AGAIN: CONGRADULATIONS - GOOD LUCK GRADS
16 VIDEO COLLAGES -
EACH WITH FAMILY PICTURES, VOICE OVERS, AND STUDENT-CHOSEN BACKGROUND MUSIC
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