Action Sequence

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Your assignment: Write, Direct and Edit an action sequence in class. This builds off of the documentary we just watched, “The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing” and is preparation for the next assignment, a narrative short film you will shoot outside of class.

Steps

  1. Form a crew of 3
  2. Come up with an idea for your action sequence; type up a treatment
  3. Draw up a storyboard for each shot in the sequence. (The storyboard form is at the bottom of this post, and is handed out in class)
  4. Scout locations, find props as needed, and cast actors from class (pre production)
  5. Shoot your film during class time, somewhere on campus
  6. Edit

Guidelines

  • No weapons, sexual references, drug references or profanity. No fight scenes. No blood.
  • Characters: Two characters. You may get students in the class to act in your film.
  • Plot: The film should start with an “instigating event”–some situation that starts the action. The chase ensues. The chase must resolve or end in some way with a final short scene
  • Dialog: You must have at least one line at the start and one at the end of the sequence.
  • Shots: 30 shots minimum (see list of shot types below)
  • Length: 2-4 minutes total
  • Music: Edit the chase to music
  • Finishing: Titles and credits

Shot list

You need at least 30 shots total. You may not use them all in your final piece. You should cover each moment of the action with at least two angles. You must storyboard and shoot the following at some point in your sequence:

  • At least 5 close ups of faces
  • At least 3 close ups (details) of things (other parts of the body, props, cutaways)
  • 1 swish (fast) pan
  • 1 follow (over the shoulder, or push back)
  • 1 extreme low angle
  • 1 extreme high angle
  • 1 point of view shots
  • 1 extreme wide angle (zoomed all the way out)
  • 1 telephoto (zoomed all the way in)

Choose your shots for the right moments in your film. 

The storyboard form is here:

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