Top Ten Reasons You Should Take My “Where’s the Camera” class this summer at the Literacy Institutes at the University of New Hampshire. 

1. Because we are going to talk about films and photos and how perspective changes when the camera angle changes. We are going to look at specific techniques and talk about how those angles and perspectives are vital in written work as well.

2. And then we are going to forget everything technical and just write. You can’t analyze and create at the same time. So we’ll have the creative class equivalent of a “mullet” haircut: business in the front, party in the back.

3. One word: Chinatown. Think you know point of view? Wait till we talk about how the director uses perspective and point of view for Jack Nicholson’s iconic character.

4. Several words: shorts stories and poems! Yes, we’ll read stories and poems that center around the world of film. We’ll examine how we as a culture are film-literate in surprising ways. We’ll discuss how being film-literate is not always a good thing for readers. We’ll talk about why “When I read this it felt very cinematic” is often a code for “The story moves in a way that is familiar to me, but somewhat unsatisfying as a piece of writing.”

5. We will discuss our film literacy narratives—and how the points-of-view in those narratives shape how we see narratives of all kinds.

6. We’ll talk about how point-of-view can lead to discussions of all sorts of “perspectives” writers can assume when writing. This will be an excellent source of potential subject matter for writing classes of all kinds. If you can find out the best position for the camera in your story, essay, critical analysis, research paper, opinion piece, poem—then you’ll be confronting one of the most important choices a writer can make.

7. We will laugh a lot. Actually, I should rephrase that: I will laugh a lot. Whether or not you laugh is up to you. But I’m terribly funny.

8. Because of community! We’ll become a very short-lived intentional community of educators, writers, and film-viewers. Who doesn’t need more community?

9. Because art. Because art. Because art. We’ll talk about art! We all need more art in our lives. Come talk about why perspective and point-of-view is important to art.

10. Because if you come to my class, the cosmos will align in unforeseen ways and you just might win the lottery. Yes, the big money lottery. The Powerball, even. You’ll be rich and powerful beyond your wildest dreams. I’m not allowed to promise you a big cash windfall if you come to my class, but I “promise you” that if you come to my class, you will become fabulously wealthy.

– Note: the views on lotto winnings are solely the views of the author. The University of New Hampshire and the Literacy Institutes neither endorse nor support such obvious nonsense. Still, they hope you will come take this class. Rumor has it that George Clooney will make a personal appearance.

– Note: George Clooney and his representatives would like to take this moment to state that Mr. Clooney is a terribly busy and handsome man and that he probably won’t be traveling to New Hampshire to make any personal appearances. He hopes that you’ll take time out of your busy schedules, however, to see his summer sci-fi epic, Tomorrowland.

One thought on “Top Ten Reasons You Should Take My “Where’s the Camera” class this summer at the Literacy Institutes at the University of New Hampshire. 

  1. Love your POV approach. I’m stealing it for my high school creative writing class. You are, always, an inspiration. I’ll add this to my rocks of character, move-the-stove, and small, tight places.

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