Driving Question: 

To what extent do we live in a Brave New World?

Art, Language Arts, Science
Grade 10
Students worked in teams of 4 or 5 to create a 3 to 5-minute narrative film that addressed the question “To what extent do we live in a Brave New World?” Students read Brave New World in English class, studied genetics in Biology, learned about film-making in Innovation & Design, and discussed concepts such as free will, nature vs nurture and the ‘experience machine’ in AP Seminar. Student roles included director, cinematographer, editor, sound designer, and lighting designer.  Students also skyped with real authors and experts in the field and prepared a 1200 word research report in which they identify an area of resonance from the book and a contemporary parallel. 
Student Reflection

"The filming project makes you realize how much thinking and meaning a shot can condense." - Sophia Z

"Innovation Institute gave us opportunities for learning that we usually do not get to experience until later on. In this specific case of the Brave New World project, we were able to manifest our ideas into a film, from scriptwriting to post-production." - Noah 

"Our film project gave us the opportunity to explore our city in ways we’ve never before." - Sarina Ku

"The Innovation Institute is similar with the Filming Project. We have to continuously shoot from different angles and perspectives. After generating a wide range of small clips, we select the most desirable ones that eventually combine to become our final film." - Wesley Chiu

"BNW project made me and my group discuss utopia, happiness from experience machine or real life, identity and individualism vs. collectivism. I was really fascinated that we can express our ideas in various ways: essays, film, drawings, board games, speeches, scientific evaluations, anything." - Shirley

Student Products
  • Create a narrative film
  • Create storyboards and scripts for the film
  • Participate in going feedback protocols to improve work
  • Write a research report
Teacher Reflection

"It is simply amazing that a group of sophomore students who have not previously been involved with film-making are able to effectively collaborate in order to create a high quality short film in only 6 weeks. The films crafted meaning not just through their stories, but through their creative choices, including camera movement, lighting, and aspects of mise-en-scene. In addition, they made a statement about a contemporary social issue that required them to use multi-disciplinary thinking." - Amy Foley & David Gran

"It was so exciting to see students deeply engage in the issues of Brave New World in ways that wouldn’t be feasible in a traditional program. Our schedule allowed students to continue these conversations, so the debates that began in English class carried over in Biology and AP Seminar and even Innovation and Design, and these same ideas became the seeds of the films they eventually created. - Tiffany Kelley

"I appreciated the exploratory process of this project, when students sat in their groups and generated possible film ideas. Through this, we teachers could really uncover what they were learning, how they were reacting to what they are learning, and what they had to say about what they were learning. My favorite incidental comment during the brainstorming process: “Maybe the perfect human is no longer human”. Place that in the context of genetic engineering, human augmentation, and looming artificial intelligence. The moral implications….Wow." - Tom Musk


Amy Foley

David Gran

Tom Musk

Tiffany Kelley