Video Production I Final Reflection

Video Production 1 – Final Reflection


Name: ____________________________________________ Date: ______________


Think about your work this semester. Answer the questions below with at least three full sentences for each.

  1. What was your favorite project, and why?
  2. Describe your best or most interesting experience pre-producing or producing (shooting), and what you learned from it.
  3. Describe your best or most interesting experience editing or showing a film in this class, and what you learned from it.
  4. Describe one or more ways in which you’ve improved your work technically since the beginning of the semester. Give examples from your work.
  5. What are the best and most challenging things about working with a crew?
  6. What crew position (job) do you like the best on a film production? Why? What makes you good at it?
  7. What was the most memorable moment in this class for you?
  8. Any advice for a future introductory filmmaking student?

Download the reflection questions here: VP1 reflection

How to Critique a Film

Film: Apocalypse Now Year: 1979 Country: USA Directed by Francis Ford Coppola Featuring Marlon Brando / Robert Duvall / Martin Sheen
Film: Apocalypse Now
Year: 1979 Country: USA Directed by Francis Ford Coppola Featuring Marlon Brando / Robert Duvall / Martin Sheen

How to Critique a Film

Watch! Don’t write while watching. Think while watching.


Where are we? Location. 

Who is this? Character. Do you like this character? (“Sympathize”)

What’s happening? Plot. Individual events are “plot points.” The even that starts everything is the “instigating event.” 

Visual. Shots. Light. Color. Movement. 

Sound. Music. Ambience. Dialog. Effects. 

Editing. Shot order. Pacing. Transitions. 

Theme. What are the main ideas? How are you left feeling when the film ends? What questions do you have? 

Take a few minutes to write down your thoughts immediately after the film is over.

Discuss!  Refer to your notes to contribute comments to the discussion. The class critique can be richer because we all interpret films from a different point of view. The audience adds meaning to the film—and it can mean different things to different people! 

Short Films online!

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Check out this fabulous website, featuring short films–narratives, documentaries, animation, etcetera. Films range from experimental to traditional, serious to funny. Explore the site by going to “Films” to find a list of genres (“Documentary” for example), by going to “Playlists,” or by searching for a key word.

Link: Short of the Week

Action Sequence


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.


  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


  • 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: