See the best student films online here:
This is due by our Final A Block class.
Director Katheryn Bigelow on set
Attached is a list of the crew positions for our first three shoots, which will happen during the two weeks of production, between January 5th and January 15th. Positions for our live broadcast (during our finals block on the morning of January 20th) will be chosen later.
Assignments were based mainly on the requests of the students.These positions are set. Email Mr. Gooder with any questions.
Produce, Direct, Shoot and Edit a 4 – 7 minute fiction (narrative) short film with at least one character and location. Your film should combine at least two of these elements of cinematic storytelling:
- Action – The movement of the character (s) flows from one shot into the next. Fast editing and a variety of angles and camera movements establish the pace of the sequence. A mix of close up shots keep the audience close to the action, while wide shots establish location.
- Dialog – Cut from one character to the next as they talk and react. This “shot – reaction shot” editing can be used to show one person looking intently at an object as well (i.e. staring at a donut they desire)
- Cross-Cutting – Two stories are occurring at the same time in different places. Cut between them.
- Flashback – A character in the present flashes back to something in the past. It can be just a few shots or glimpses, or a full scene. Another version of this is a “flash forward,” which could be a character daydreaming about what could be.
- Voiceover Narration – We see the world from a characters point of view and hear their “inner monologue” as they comment on the world or tell their story. They can be commenting on what is happening right then, or their past. They are speaking directly to the audience. Or, the Narrator can be omniscient and anonymous – a commentator taking us through the story.
Locations: You can shoot this assignment on campus, or take a camera for the weekend and shoot it off campus.
Actors: Your actors can be students in our class or students from outside the class.
To produce your film, do the following:
- Get together with one or two other students in the class to form a crew.
- Brainstorm ideas.
- Type a one paragraph “summary” or “synopsis.”
- Type a “step outline.” This is just a numbered list of what happens in your film. Be as detailed as possible–don’t leave out any plot points.
- Draw a storyboard. It should contain every shot you can think of. (Scroll down to the “Action Sequence” assignment below for the storyboard form. You can print and use this form.)
- Give your film a title.
- Type a “Pre-Production Packet” that contains:
- The pieces you’ve already completed–your summary, step outline, and storyboard.
- A crew list. You are strongly advised to share contact information with your fellow crew members so you can communicate about this project outside of class.
- A list of main characters, with a one-sentance description of each. (it may be just one character). Who will you cast in these roles?
- A list of locations. Where are you shooting?
- A list of props (items) and costumes you will need for your film.
- A list of equipment you will need to shoot your movie.
- A production schedule. Do you plan to shoot in class? What days? Outside of class? How long will it take? Look at a calendar with your crew to come up with a shooting schedule. Refer to my Calendar for Video Production I on this website to see the Short Film deadlines.
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
Objective: Create a 5-10 minute non-fiction film that explores a subject interesting to the student through interviews and visuals.
Possible topics: A biography of a subject; an exploration of a hobby, sport, or passion and the people who do it; an investigation of a controversial topic, exploring both sides of the issue; documenting an event; a historical documentary, using still images.
- Subject is student’s choice, but must be approved by the teacher
- 5-10 minutes in length
- 1 to 3 interviews (whatever’s needed)
- 30 shots (“b-roll”)
- Music can be used for montage sequence(s), intro and ending
- May use text or a voiceover to convey information beyond the interviews
- Find a partner, or choose to work alone
- Identify and research subjects.
- Discuss them with your teacher.
- Identify and arrange interviews (subjects, locations) or an event to document
- Type up a pre-production packet:
- In a treatment (4 or 5 sentence paragraph) describe your film (story, characters, theme)
- A list of interview subjects (with a one sentence description of each)
- Interview questions (at least 5) for each interview subject
- A list of locations
- A list of shots (“B-Roll”)
- A voiceover script or on screen text (as needed)
- Make a list of possible video clips and sounds to go with the interviews (b-roll)
- Practice technology needed for shooting (lavaliere microphones, camcorders, location lights with umbrellas)
- Shoot the video
- Rough Edit (Shooting may continue while you begin editing). This means putting the pieces in place to tell the story. Resist using effects or doing extensive audio editing until the story is complete
- Screen for fellow students and teacher
- Fine cut (trim, effects, color correction, transitions, titles, credits, audio effects and mixing)
- Share and screen with the class
Video Production II students are asked to reflect on what they have learned while working with a crew to produce an original 3 minute narrative film.
Download the reflection here:
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:
- Synopsis (summary)–what is it about? Mention genre, characters, and location. For example: “________ is a fast-paced action film with two characters that takes place in an empty field.”
- Walk us through what happens in the beginning, middle and end. How does it start? What happens next? How does it end?
- 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:
- What is the visual style of the film (shots, editing, effects), and how does that enhance (add to) the story?
- What is the sountrack of the film (ambiance, music, etc), and how does that effect of the film?
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.
- Choose a partner or crew (3 students max)
- Decide who will play what role on the shoot (camera, sound, director). Do not act in your production!
- Pick from one of three options for your first assignment.
- Write a script AND a storyboard
- 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).
- Make a 2-3 minute short film.
- 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!
- 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!)
- Each film should have titles and credits.
- We will screen all edits and compare.
- 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?
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.
- What props and costumes do you need for your film?
- How many actors? (list the roles, and who will play them)
- What are the locations? (type of location and where specifically you might film)
- What equipment do you need / will you shoot and record on?
- 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)
- List your crew: who will do what while pre-producing and producing (shooting) your short film?
- Are there additional sounds you need to record for your short film (ambiance, voiceover)
Week 2 Assignment: Film Clip Presentation
Essential Question: What makes a movie “good?” What are the pieces of a “good” movie? Directions:
- Choose a 3-5 minute clip (movie, TV show, short film, etc) –something you feel the class needs to see.
- Write a short paragraph (3-5 sentences) about each of the elements of cinema, below
- 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