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: