Monday, June 7, 2010

The writing of Horror Movie Top 20

For about a year and half, I've spent time working on a count down of my favorite horror movies. It started as a top ten, then went to 30, now its rested at a top 20. I've had a lot of fun working on it and am almost done.

This project started at the beginning of last school year. In my classroom, I was trying a writing workshop for the first time. This meant that students could write pretty much whatever they chose, as long as they eventually explored different genres and topics, and used the writing process. I model for them, I wrote the beginning of my horror movie count down. I showed them how I gathered my thoughts in prewriting and also how even though I was writing a count down, there was still writing involved. Above all, I showed them how we can write about topics we care about or find fun.

I wanted this count down to be perfect, so I never had enough time to finish it. Later, I typed it up and put it on my MySpace blog. But it waited there unfinished as well. When I started this blog up about a month ago, I copied what I had on MySpace over to here.

Most of the big thinking of the blog was done, but I had a lot of little details to work on. I had the movies chosen, most of the write ups done, as well as my horror movie criteria written.

First, I decided to add a picture for each of the top twenty movies. I tried to do it as HTML at first, but the sizing and placement weren't working for me, so instead I downloaded the pictures from photobucket and posted them that way. This worked out much better since now the text is wrapping around them and it looks very professional, at least to me. I tried to stick to the movie posters, but that wasn't always possible. I also added the video for American Werewolf in London, since it seemed fitting to have that scene right there as I discussed it. I wanted to add more video clips, but didn't want the whole blog encumbered by videos. Hmm, maybe I will add one or two more through links?

Speaking of links, that is what came next. I had already gone through and added the year for each movie. Then I had to italicize the title of every movie mentioned. Somewhere along the way, I realized that since this is a blog, I could link each movie title to the corresponding IMDB page. I did this for each title mentioned. Very cool, and not that time consuming.

As I continued working, I realized that I needed to say something about remakes, which also gave way to sequel and prequels. So, I added that new section, complete with examples in my discussion. Then, I figured each of the top 20 movies should list its original, remakes, sequels, and prequels. Back again I went to italicizing titles, finding dates, and making links to IMDB.

As I worked, I kept coming up with more movies to add, so I added the honorable mention list for movies that I thought were worth mentioning, but weren't personally meaningful enough for me to go into detail about.

Now, I am left with just a little bit more to write and some editing to do, and this blog count down is finally done!

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