Video Production I: Still Image Sequence Assignment

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Description: For this assignment, you will edit a sequence of still images, taken from the internet, into a story (narrative). For a theme, choose an issue–local, national or international–that you care about. It can be personal as well as political. Choose music to edit to, that can speak to your theme in terms of lyrics, mood or both. You will learn the basics of Final Cut Pro–image placement, trimming and effects–in order to create your sequence.

Steps:

  1. Pick a theme (or come up with several ideas from which to choose)
  2. Choose a piece of music (or several possibilities) to go with your theme
  3. Create 5 folders for 5 different types of images for your video (these will become your chapters)
  4. Save at least 100 images (20 per folder) from the web for your video that support your theme. Images should be LARGE: 1080×1920 pixels (the size of an HD screen) or above is ideal.
  5. Using Final Cut Pro, create a project. Over the course of two weeks, you will lay down your music, edit your images into place to the music, trim and refine your edit based on ongoing class critique, add effects and transitions, as well as titles and credits, then “share” your video as a high resolution quicktime movie.
  6. We will watch your videos in class.

Examples: Go to the “Video Student Work” category on this blog to see a variety of high quality past student Still Image Sequences. (Scroll down and follow the links). Past Student Still Image Sequences

Pre-Production: We will workshop your ideas in class using the following form–

one page Still Image Sequence Pre Prodcution worksheet

Still Image Sequence (Video Production 1, Mr. Gooder) – Pre-Production Workshop

Filmmaker: ______________________ Commenter: ____________________

Title (can be temporary):___________________________________________

Comments or suggestions on…

Theme:

Plot (progression and variety of images):

Soundtrack (supports theme? Mood? Pacing?)

Any other questions or ideas for this sequence?

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Photogram Assignment

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Objectives:

–Learn about the darkroom–procedures and technology (enlargers, chemistry, paper, exposure)

–Play with design — positive and negative space, opacity, designing within the frame

–Work individually to design 2 photograms–one focused on design, the other on meaning. In the spring we will revisit photograms: students will work collaboratively to design one large (16×20″) photogram using natural materials (leaves, sticks, etc) found on our woods walk.

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Download the lecture (which contains examples, hints and the assignment) here: photogram lecture

Independent Project: Explore Your Personal Vision

Download the Planning Sheet for this assignment here: Advanced Photography Explore Vision Independent Project

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“At Warm Springs” by Sally Mann, 1991

Objectives:

  1. Shoot 2-3 rolls around a specific idea in photography that you want to explore.
  2. Make a minimum of 6 small prints (5×7”) and one larger “exhibition” print (11×14” or 16×20”)
  3. Refine your darkroom skills (easel use, using larger paper, controlling contrast, dodging and burning)
  4. Explore a new shooting technique or take something you’ve done in the past further.
  5. Create a series of images around a theme to tell a story with photography.

Steps:

  1. Describe your idea in writing (see next page)
  2. Give your project a title
  3. If needed, learn new technology to shoot your assignment
  4. Shoot (can be shot over several weeks—not all at once)
  5. Print (contact sheets, then as many small test prints as you like)
  6. Edit (choose from the test prints, arrange them in different ways)
  7. Final prints (8×10 or larger; one 11×14 or 16×20)

Ideas:

  • Series of portraits of a particular group
  • Photos exploring one location or type of place
  • Shoot a series of objects that are connected or important
  • Go out at night; shoot long exposures
  • Get very close up with a macro lens

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 “Night Blooming Cereus” by Sally Mann

INDPENDENT MINI-PROJECT PROPOSAL: EXPLORE

Name: ________________________________________ Date: ______________

Working Title: ______________________________________________________

Describe the Idea – What is the content you want to explore, and why does it interest you?

Describe the style of the work – how will the photos be shot and printed? What will they look like (describe light, frame, time of day, location, texture, mood).

You should challenge yourself technically with this new work. What do you need to improve or review? Do you need to learn any new techniques to shoot the work? Describe.

Narrative Exercises – 1st assignment, Video Production II

DUE WEDNESDAY: Full Storyboard and Treatment; if appropriate, also Voiceover Script or Dialog. With your partner or crew, complete a pre-production checklist (scroll down for more info)

You know how to use the storyboard and have the form. More forms can be downloaded here:  http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xeu0l4gdMqw/TdHNWP8XcnI/AAAAAAAAAAQ/-uJG3W-M4bw/s1600/Storyboard_Template.jpg

The Treatment is simply a paragraph (or two) describing your short film from start to end. Your first paragraph, about the CONTENT / THEME, should tell us this:

  1. Title
  2. Synopsis (summary)–what is it about? Mention genre, characters, and locationFor example: “________ is a fast-paced action film with two characters that takes place in an empty field.”
  3. Walk us through what happens in the beginning, middle and end. How does it start? What happens next? How does it end?
  4. Possibly a concluding sentence about theme: What is this film about under the surface? A relationship? Trust? Deception? Memory? Hope?

Your second paragraph should tell us this:

  1. What is the visual style of the film (shots, editing, effects), and how does that enhance (add to) the story?
  2. What is the sountrack of the film (ambiance, music, etc), and how does that effect of the film?

The-Grandmaster-US-Trailer-2  Directions: For your first assignment, we will build on the movie storytelling ideas and techniques (camera, soundtrack, editing) that we have been thinking about while watching and analyzing short movies and movie clips.

  1. Choose a partner or crew (3 students max)
  2. Decide who will play what role on the shoot (camera, sound, director). Do not act in your production!
  3. Pick from one of three options for your first assignment.
  4. Write a script AND a storyboard
  5. Pre-produce: Scout out locations (can be in or near the school, to be shot during class time) or outside of school (to be shot after school or on the weekend).
  6. Make a 2-3 minute short film.
  7. All students in the crew, regardless of your role on set (while shooting), will do their own edit. Edits can and should be very different!
  8. Each film should have music–but music needs to have a clear start and end point (it should help structure the film–but this is NOT a music video!)
  9. Each film should have titles and credits.
  10. We will screen all edits and compare.

Rules:

  • Non violent. No guns or fight scenes.
  • No drugs or other criminal activity.
  • No nudity.

IDEA 1: Voiceover Write a voiceover narration. Write the voiceover first. Then storyboard. Should express your character’s (and perhaps your) point of view on the world. OR: Write from a dog’s or cat’s point of view. Action should be happening as the voiceover is read. Couple with images the person sees of the world (can be shot, stolen; can be POV or shot of the character doing something, or both; can be writing while they talk) IDEA 2: Action Scene Shots: All about the close ups – 1/2 shots need to be close ups or extreme close ups. Also about movement and style: the other half of your shots should move or be framed dramatically (if static), to keep us on the edge of our seats. This is a good camera test for DSLR’s. Simple story structure: One or two characters. An event occurs to start the chase. Non-violent. A mistake (like a switch up), a realization (ie “I’m late,” a theft occurs, character forgot something). There should be a clear resolution to end the action sequence. A twist? Location (where the chase starts and ends) is important. IDEA 3: Dialog Scene with Few Words (IE “The Staring Contest”) Two characters. One reacts to the other while they speak or do something else. They can just stare at each other! When to cut? Think about whether you focus on the character speaking or on the reactions of the other character. Within this basic cinematic structure there are A LOT of possibilities. Could be a stand-off–like a card game, chess game. Or, it could be a “who goes first”–ie the phone rings. Who will pick it up? Or, interpersonal–girl asking a guy out for the prom. Super awkward. Who speaks first? gustave

Pre-Production Checklist

Make a list of things you need to start making your short film. This will be both your “shopping list” of items/locations/equipment needed and your “plan” for when and how to shoot your film.

  1. What props and costumes do you need for your film?
  2. How many actors? (list the roles, and who will play them)
  3. What are the locations? (type of location and where specifically you might film)
  4. What equipment do you need / will you shoot and record on?
  5. When will you shoot your film? (Create a simple schedule—list the days, times, and which parts of your film you will be shooting….you can refer to parts of your storyboard by page number or shot number, by location)
  6. List your crew: who will do what while pre-producing and producing (shooting) your short film?
  7. Are there additional sounds you need to record for your short film (ambiance, voiceover)

Film Clip Presentation (VPII)

Week 2 Assignment: Film Clip Presentation

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 Essential Question: What makes a movie “good?” What are the pieces of a “good” movie? Directions:

  1. Choose a 3-5 minute clip (movie, TV show, short film, etc) –something you feel the class needs to see.
  2. Write a short paragraph (3-5 sentences) about each of the elements of cinema, below
  3. Present the film clip to class. Plan, rehearse and deliver your thoughts on the clip. Put your clip in context of the longer movie (etc) that it comes from–where does it fit? Overall, tell us why you chose this piece of media and why WE should see it too.

Analyze the following in your presentation:

  • Storytelling (The Script / Writing: Plot, Beginning / middle/end – structure; Dialog; Characters; the IDEA)
  • Acting & Directing
  • Mise En Scene (‘What you see’ – Locations; props, costumes; makeup)
  • Cinematography (Shots: Composition, Lighting, Viewpoint / Perspective / Angle; Movement)
  • Soundtrack (Music score; Mix; Compliments visuals and story;
  • Editing (Tells the story; special effects; continuity; pacing)

Download the rubric here:  Film Clip Presentation rubric