Media Arts

10-12 | 1/2 Fine Arts Credit

Media Arts

Course Description

Students in this course produce several video productions and broadcasts using the Digital Video Format. Class activities include planning each broadcast, gathering information for productions, interviewing, writing scripts, filmmaking, producing effective character generation, designing layouts and shots for television and producing the final product by broadcast deadlines. The skills learned in Film Study and Literature to Film will help students achieve success in this class.

Students progress through this course completing numerous assignments, the assignments can be completed in any order and the level of difficulty can be expanded by the instructor.

Course Downloads

Film History Written Report

Lesson Objective:

The student will discover the rich history of the film industry.

Level:
Beginner
Assignment Type:
Individual
Media:
Individual
21st Century Skills Addressed:
Critical Thinking and Reasoning, Information Literacy, Self Direction

Directions

Students will use the internet during and after class time to discover the history of film. Students are encouraged to take numerous approaches to this written assignment. For example, a student might opt to research the origins of film and moving pictures, the silent era, the beginning of talking pictures, the studio system, independent film making, animation, golden age of Hollywood, and the history of numerous motion picture studios both past and present.

Film History Written Report

Film History PowerPoint

Lesson Objective:

The student will illustrate their film history paper through the use of a PowerPoint presentation.

Level:
Beginner
Assignment Type:
Individual
Media:
Individual
21st Century Skills Addressed:
Critical Thinking and Reasoning, Information Literacy, Self Direction

Directions

Students will use the internet during and after class to locate images that will support the telling of their film history paper. Students are encouraged to think out-of-the-box in developing their PowerPoint presentation. Presentations must be complete with illustrations of significant points that their papers emphasized, and the notes section for each slide should give complete details for their presentation.

Citing of pictures should take place on the slide that the image is presented on, using a small font. Special note on the use of images within a PowerPoint, students should find large jpg’s, the use of thumbnails or blurry images in the final PowerPoint presentation will not be acceptable.

All references should be cited in a final bibliography.

Film History PowerPoint

Film Careers PowerPoint

Lesson Objective:

The student will research and illustrate at least ten careers in the film industry through the use of a PowerPoint presentation.

Level:
Beginner
Assignment Type:
Individual
Media:
PowerPoint presentation
21st Century Skills Addressed:
Critical Thinking and Reasoning, Information Literacy, Self Direction

Directions

Students will use the internet during and after class to locate research and images that will support careers in the film industry. Students are encouraged to think out-of-the-box in developing their PowerPoint presentation. For example, a student might opt to research biographies of great directors, producers, and/or cameramen, providing quality images to support their careers. Students should illustrate at least ten careers in ten different slides, and work toward a quality presentation. Students should make use of the notes section within PowerPoint to support each slide. With each of the ten careers students illustrate, they will need to make a connection to a real person who has mastered this field.

For example, if a student selects to define the career of a film director, they could then illustrate Steven Spielberg’s career in the following slide. Below is a list of film careers and their definitions. Students are encouraged to also research imdb.com and look up their favorite film or director. Students must include a reference section and cite ALL sources used. Citing of pictures should take place on the slide that the image is presented on, using size 10 or 8 font. Special note on the use of images within a PowerPoint: students should find large jpg’s, the use of thumbnails or blurry images in the final presentation will not be acceptable.

Some examples of Careers in Film

  • Agent Assistant Director (A.D.)
  • Assistant Locations Manager (A.L.M.)
  • Buyer
  • Boom Op
  • Best Boy
  • Cable Puller
  • Craft Service
  • Carps
  • Cast
  • Costumer
  • Costume Designer
  • Costume Supervisor
  • Cutter
  • Day Mo
  • Director
  • Double
  • D.O.P. Director of photography
  • Extra
  • Fire Watch
  • First Assistant Director (1st A.D.)
  • First Team
  • Focus Puller
  • Foley Artist
  • Genny Op
  • Grip
  • Inker
  • Juicer
  • Key Grip
  • Location Manager (L.M.)
  • Location Scout
  • Op
  • Producer
  • Production Coordinator (P.C.)
  • Production Designer
  • Production Manager (P.M.)
  • Prop BuyerProperty Master
  • Script Supervisor
  • Second Assistant Director (2nd A.D.)
  • Second Unit
  • Set Dresser
  • Shot Steward
  • Special Effects Coordinator
  • Standby Painter
  • Still Photographer
  • Stunt Coordinator
  • Stunt Double
  • Stand-in
  • Sound Mixer
  • Switcher
  • Talent
  • Transport Captain
  • Teamster
  • Third Assistant Director (3rd A.D.).
  • Transport Coordinator
  • Trainee Assistant Director (TAD)
  • Unit Manager (U.M.)
  • Wrangler

Format

Requirements:

  1. Upload to a URL to share with your instructor or email your PowerPoint
  2. Additional credit given for originality and creativity
  3. Three transitions or more
  4. Title card
  5. Credits with citations if needed
  6. Must demonstrate at least ten careers/ten slides, with images and examples of those performing the work
  7. Group size, individual, no more than one person will receive credit

Film Careers PowerPoint

Storyboard

Lesson Objective:

Students learn about the storyboard process and create their own storyboards from the script provided. Storyboards are graphic organizers such as a series of illustrations or images displayed in sequence for the purpose of pre-visualizing a motion graphi

Level:
Beginner
Assignment Type:
Individual
Media:
Paper or Electronic from
21st Century Skills Addressed:
Critical Thinking and Reasoning, Information Literacy, Collaboration, Self Direction, Invention

Directions

Students should utilize the internet to locate actual storyboard examples from movies, and then using the following movie script from You’ve Got Mail create a storyboard. Making an accurate storyboard reflecting the locations, characters, and dialog with camera angles. Students should visit the following site to get their storyboard template for use with Word. One requirement of this process is for students to expand on the script, add a new scene, special effect or dialogue to make it their own.

Source: http://projectorfilms.blogspot.com/2009/09/free-storyboard-template-to-download.html

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

FADE IN ON:

EXT. NEW YORK BROWNSTONE – DAY

Early morning in New York. A couple of runners pass on their way to Riverside Drive Park. We go through the brownstone window into:

INT. KATHLEEN KELLY’S APARTMENT – DAY

KATHLEEN KELLY is asleep. Kathleen, 30, is as pretty and fresh as a spring day. Her bedroom cozy has a queen-sized bed and a desk with a computer on it. Bookshelves line every inch of wall space and overflow with books. Framed on the children’s classic. Madeleine. As Kathleen wakes up, her boyfriend FRANK NAVASKY walks into the room. He wears blue jeans and a work shirt. He’s carrying the New York Times.

KATHLEEN Good morning.

FRANK (as he reads) Listen to this — the entire work force of the state of Virginia had to have solitaire removed from their computers –

Kathleen gets out of bed and goes to brush her teeth in the bathroom, and we stay with Frank.

FRANK (continuing) …because they hadn’t done any work in six weeks.

Kathleen comes out of the bathroom in her robe.

KATHLEEN Aren’t you late?

FRANK (Continuing) You know what this is; you know what we’re seeing here? We’re seeing the end of Western civilization, as we know it.

Format

Print your storyboard with only six frames per page. Make sure you depict the entire dialogue and add something new to it. Feel free to search the internet for examples of storyboards from your favorite films.

Storyboard

Jaywalking

Lesson Objective:

This assignment will be the student’s first opportunity to work with a camera and editing software. Students are encouraged to take their time; this is a learning experience and can be a bit frustrating. Almost weekly on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,

Level:
Beginner
Assignment Type:
Individual
Media:
Group of 2
21st Century Skills Addressed:
Critical Thinking and Reasoning, Collaboration, Self Direction, Invention

Directions

Students should film five or more individuals answering the same general knowledge questions. Make sure that each interview is framed identical in composition making use of the medium shot. Students should attempt to get as much information about the answers individuals provide by talking with them in the interview, it should be a casual give and take situation. For example, if they identify the Statue of Liberty as Mona Lisa, ask them “Why do you think she was named the Mona Lisa?” Film the interview using only medium close-up shots, twofers and individual shots. If students are unfamiliar with these basic shots they should ask their instructor or research them on the internet.

Look for examples on YouTube of Jay Leno’s “Jaywalking” series. You may also find examples of fifth grade questions on the internet.

Example #1: At the University of California LA graduation ceremony, as students exited the stage from picking up their diploma’s, Jay Leno stopped them to ask two questions.

How many moons circle the earth? (One)

What is the closest planet to the earth? (Mars)

What were Neil Armstrong’s famous words when he walked on the moon? (“One small step for man, and one giant leap for mankind.”)

Example #2: On the streets of Los Angeles Jay Leno approached several people with three photos of famous locations, and asked them to identify the locations. The photos included: The Parthenon (Athens, Greece), Mount Rushmore (Black Hills, South Dakota), and Golden Gate Bridge (San Francisco, California).

Example #3: On the streets of Los Angeles Jay Leno approached several people with three words and asked them to tell him the meaning of the words. The three words were: Parchment (Paper), Amateur (non professional), and Desponded (depressed or loss of hope).

Sample questions:

Do they have a fourth of July in England? (No)

How man birthdays do the average man have? (One)

Why can’t a man living in Washington, D.C., be buried in a spot west of the Mississippi River? (he is still alive)

If you had only one match and entered a room in which there was a kerosene lamp, and oil heater, and a wood burning stove, which would you light first? (the match)

Some months have 30 days, some months have 31 days, and how many months have 28 days? (one) What four words appear on every denomination of the U.S. coins? (In God we trust)

How many outs are in an inning of baseball?

Is it possible in Colorado for a man to marry his widow’s sister? (no)

How many animals of each species did Moses take aboard the ark with him?

If “y-e-s” spells yes, what does “e-y-e-s” spell?

How long was the hundred year war?

Who was the first president of the United States?

Who was president before Obama?

What is the mascot for the Denver Football team?

Jaywalking

Public Service Announcement

Lesson Objective:

Students will create a short public service announcement.

Level:
Intermediate
Assignment Type:
Group of 3-4
Media:
30 second Video Presentation
21st Century Skills Addressed:
Critical Thinking and Reasoning, Information Literacy, Collaboration, Self Direction, Invention

Directions

Following the format established by NBC’s The More You Know Public Service Announcements, students should make a PSA that addresses the concerns, thoughts and/or policies of their school or the society at large. Below is the focus and goal of NBC’s public service announcements and some examples. For further information Google Public Service Announcements and look at the numerous examples on YouTube.

For more than a decade, NBC’s The More You Know public service campaign has educated and raised awareness about important societal issues. The More You Know focuses primarily on education and issues that affect today’s school-age youth. NBC’s The More You Know public service announcements reach millions of viewers during NBC’s line-up during prime time, daytime, late night and Saturday teen programming. More than 200 stars have appeared in The More You Know spots. NBC’s The More You Know is the longest running, most comprehensive and powerful public service campaign in the media landscape.

Above the Influence is a teenage educational effort against drugs and alcohol. Their spots have been clever and educational, and prevalent in the 21st century on television and even at movie theaters.

Make sure you included credits and a title card for your video, and that you credit all members of your group.

————————————————————————————————————-

Example Topic: Hate and Prejudice

Hate in Our Own Backyard. Many people tend to avoid the topics of prejudice and hate crimes, because they are topics that are confusing, complicated and painful to us, both as individuals and as Americans. Indeed, many times intolerance and bigotry are often talked about as though they happen somewhere else, to someone else, but never in our own community. But prejudice and hate-based violence are an unfortunate reality in almost all neighborhoods and at all levels of society. And, even in this decade, thousands of Americans continue to be victimized each year because of their race or color, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

Learning at a Young Age. Unfortunately, young people are frequently perpetrators, victims, or bystanders of prejudice and hate crime violence. In fact, the FBI reported that, in one recent year, teen’s committed 3,500 hate crimes – one half of all such crimes reported. The good news, however, is that, for our nation’s teens, neither prejudice and/or hate crime violence are neither uncontrollable nor inevitable. Rather, they are acquired and learned attitudes and behaviors. And it is possible to create and maintain the kinds of conditions in our homes, schools, workplaces, and other social structures in which violence and prejudice are not learned by youth in the first place or, if learned, can be unlearned. Indeed, parents and educators play a vital role in preventing the development of the prejudice and stereotyping that leads to hate crime. They can create a climate of respect at home and in the classroom. They can discuss the causes, effects, and implications of intolerance and encourage the development of critical thinking skills. They can also sensitize young people to various forms of prejudice, both subtle and extreme, and help young people actively take a stand against bigotry.

Example #1: Sean Hayes from NBC’s Will & Grace

“So those comments you made the other day about that person with the different skin color, or religion, or language. You didn’t really mean anything by it, right? But somebody could get hurt; maybe even your own kid. When kids repeat your racist remarks and your prejudice jokes it can hurt them as much as the people it is aimed at. Don’t teach your kids to hate. Because hate destroys.”

Example #2: Kristen Johnston & Joseph Gordon Levitt from NBC’s Third Rock from the Sun

J: Hey, do you remember that joke that you told the other day?

K: Oh yeh, yeh, yeh it was about the guy with the different, ah, skin color.

J: No, wasn’t it about the guy with the weird religion?

K: No, no, wait it was about those two guys.

J: Whatever, whatever it was, the thing is your kids over heard that joke.

K: Oh, yeh. And the real bummer is chances are pretty good your kids will have a prejudice against people who are different than them.

J: and that wouldn’t be fun

K: at all.

Examples:

Texting and Driving,

Format

Requirements:

  1. Upload to a URL to share with your instructor
  2. Additional credit given for originality and creativity
  3. Three transitions or more
  4. Title card
  5. Credits with citations needed to reference your facts
  6. Relevent PSA of 30 seconds, check with your instructor for prior approval of your topic
  7. Group size 3-4, no more than four will receive credit

Public Service Announcement

Camera Technique

Lesson Objective:

Students will learn several camera techniques.

Level:
Intermediate
Assignment Type:
Group of 3-4
Media:
Video
21st Century Skills Addressed:
Critical Thinking and Reasoning, Information Literacy, Collaboration, Invention

Directions

This assignment includes cinematic techniques that are achieved by dealing with the camera itself, rather than with a device that moves the camera through space, such as a dolly or crane. Many of these techniques could conceivably be achieved by a single camera operator. Some of them might require special equipment to get the full effect. Typically, a film camera has control for exposure, focus, and focal length (zoom lenses). In addition to these controls, the camera can be panned, rotated, or flipped over. By manipulating the camera controls, and by manipulating the camera itself, the fragments of a cinematic language are revealed. Demonstrate all ten of the following camera techniques and label each within your presentation.

Whip Pan, Whip Cut

With a Whip Pan, the camera is moved quickly from one angle to another, causing the image to blur from the motion. If the camera zooms in, the effect of the Whip Pan will increase. This is because more apparent distances is covered by the zoomed camera movement. Whip Pan is often accompanied by a swishing sound that emphasizes the effect. The blur that occurs during a Whip Pan can be used to make a creative Whip Cut. By starting out with a Whip Pan and cutting to another Whip Pan, the audience never notices the difference between the two blurs, making for a transparent transmission. Whip Cuts are used in Some Like It Hot. Whip Pans and Whip Cuts are used frequently in Breaking the Waves. Towards the end of Casino, Whip Pans express the escalating intensity of the story.

Whip Zoom Look

Zooming quickly toward an object creates Whip Zoom Look. Because zooming is an unnatural technique, whip zoom force our attention to a specific object or character in a scene.

Search Up

Search Up is a technique used to gradually “describe” a character or an object. The camera moves slowly over an actor’s body, gradually revealing information about the character. Finally, the camera ends up at the character’s face, revealing her identify. This technique works with inanimate objects as well. In the beginning of Aliens, the camera searches across Ripley’s body: from a cigarette clasped in her hand to her close up. In Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Search Up is used when Lois Einhorn step into the room. In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the camera Searches Up from Terminator’s boots to his face as he steps out of the bar.

Back to Front

With Back To Front, we first see an action occur far in the background. As soon as that short scene is finished, the camera pulls focus and another scene occurs much closer to the camera. Back To Front is used in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. First, Edward Furlong drives his motorcycle far in the background. Then the Terminator drives his motorcycle into frame very close to the camera.

Focus Out, Pass Out

Focus Out, Pass Out is a POV shot. The audience sees the world gradually losing focus as the character loses consciousness. Focus Out, Pass Out is often used when a character has been knocked out cold, is falling asleep, or has been drugged. Focus Out, Pass Out can be seen in Point Break, after Johnny Utah is knocked over the head during an attempted robbery. A modified version of this technique can be seen in The Living Daylights. When James Bond is drugged, we see his out-of-focus POV.

Focus Transition

Focus Transition is a specific type of transition achieved by changing an image’s brightness over time to accomplish a fade to black. This out-of-focus technique sometimes starts a new scene. The image will be very blurry. As the camera focuses in, the scene is revealed. Another version focuses out to prepare for the end of a scene. Or, these two techniques may be combined. First, the current scene is focused out and then the film cuts to a new scene that is out of focus. Finally, the new scene gains focus. Because the images are blurred, this technique can be used to make subtle cuts between scenes. In Batman, the camera focuses in to a gambling scene.

Overexpose Fade, Underexposed Fade

These are two experimental techniques in which the exposure is changed gradually over time. The exposure controls the brightness of the film image. When an image is overexposed, it looks washed out. When an image is underexposed, it’s difficult to make out details because of the dark image. Overexpose Fade gradually overexposes the picture. This technique has been used to give a sense of enlightenment, or that something significant is beginning to change. Underexpose Fade gradually underexposes the image. It can create a sense of foreboding or gloom. You can see both Overexpose Fade and Underexpose Fade in Wall Street.

Ceiling Twist

A Ceiling Twist is achieved by rotating the camera whenever it’s pointed up toward something of interest. The object is often a ceiling of some sort. The camera may also move toward the object or away from it to add yet another dimension of movement. A view of a ceiling by itself can be somewhat static and boring. A Ceiling Twist makes the simple act of looking up at something more interesting. The rotational energy transforms the shot. At the end of Coppola’s version of Dracula, the camera pulls down from a painted ceiling and rotates. At the end of Titanic, the camera looks up at the domed glass ceiling and rotates. In Easy Rider, the camera looks up at a painted ceiling and rotates.

Flip Over

Not only can the camera be tilted, panned, craned, dollied, and spinned, but it can flip over as well. Flip Over starts out looking at the world and ends up looking at the world upside down. Or vice versa.

Shifting Angle

A Shifting Angle is related to the Tilted Horizon technique. For a Tilted Horizon, the camera always stays tilted at the same angle. For a Shifting Angle, the camera continuously changes the viewing angle, inducing a dizzying effect. The camera continues to move and tilt back and forth. The use of Shifting Angles in Natural Born Killers adds an incredible kinetic energy to the film. This technique may make you sick if you are prone to dizziness. Near the end of the original Dangerous Liaisons, the camera shifts from a static angle to a tilted angle when pushing in to a female lover’s close-up. You can also experience this technique several times in Raising Cain.

Sleepover

For a Sleepover, the camera is positioned directly above an actor, looking down from a bird’s eye view. The camera rotates slowly, and may also rise or fall as it rotates to set up for a transition or a fade to black. Sleepover is often employed when a character is asleep, unconscious, or lying down. Watch Four Rooms – when the bellhop is knocked unconscious, Sleepover is used. Notice in Batman, when the camera looks down at the Joker’s dead body from above. Towards the end of Titanic, the camera looks over Rose’s body on a raft and spins slowly above her.

Examples:

Camera Techniques 1, Camera Techniques 2,

Format

Requirements:

  1. Upload to a URL to share with your instructor
  2. Additional credit given for originality and creativity
  3. Three transitions or more
  4. Title card
  5. Credits with citations if needed
  6. Demonstrate and label all ten camera techniques listed above
  7. Time limit one minute or less
  8. Group size 3-4, no more than four will receive credit

Camera Technique

Director's Biography

Lesson Objective:

The student will research and illustrate the life of one of their favorite directors.

Level:
Intermediate
Assignment Type:
Individual
Media:
One Minute Video
21st Century Skills Addressed:
Critical Thinking and Reasoning, Information Literacy, Collaboration

Directions

Students will use the internet to research their favorite director. Students should find information and images that will support a video biography. Students are encouraged to think out-of-the-box in developing their video presentation. For example, a student might opt to include images from the director’s childhood, family life, film accomplishments, and students can select a variety of formats for presenting their information, point-of-view shots, director’s voice, documentary style, etc.

Think about some of the great director’s from the past and present for your presentation, consider a unique angle to tell your story.

Click here to see how to download video from YouTube.

Examples:

John Hughes,

Format

Requirements:

  1. Upload to a URL or email to share with your instructor
  2. Additional credit given for originality and creativity
  3. Three transitions or more
  4. Title card
  5. Credits with citations if needed
  6. One minute video
  7. Included video from YouTube, stock footage, or external source edited in your presentation
  8. Group size, individual, no more than one person will receive credit

Director's Biography

Historical Event

Lesson Objective:

The students will film a short historical narrative.

Level:
Intermediate
Assignment Type:
Individual
Media:
One Minute Video
21st Century Skills Addressed:
Critical Thinking and Reasoning, Information Literacy, Collaboration, Self Direction, Invention

Directions

Students will research a given historical event or topic, and create a one minute video explaining that event using a video format. Students are encouraged to think out-of-the-box in developing their video presentation. For example, a student might opt to utilize a documentary format, interviewing people who were directly involved in an event, slide format- using images off the internet, or from texts.

Remember that almost any former event is a part of our history, what event you can bring to life through a video presentation. Click here to download video from YouTube.

Examples:

Apollo Eleven, Harvey Milk’s Assassination, Manhattan Project, Aurora Theatre Shooting 2012, Atomic Bomb, Walking on the Moon

 

Format

Requirements:

  1. Upload to a URL to share with your instructor
  2. Additional Credit given for originality and creativity
  3. Three transitions
  4. Title card
  5. Credits with citations if needed
  6. Download YouTube, stock footage, or external video into your presentation
  7. Edit the downloaded material
  8. Time limit one minute video
  9. Historical event, is an event that hit the national and international scene
  10. Event must be an unbiasis presentation
  11. Group size one, no more than one person will receive credit

Historical Event

Lip Syncing

Lesson Objective:

The students will film a musical number lip synching the number, matching their lips to the lyrics of a song in the editing process.

Level:
Advanced
Assignment Type:
Group of 3-4
Media:
Two Minute Video
21st Century Skills Addressed:
Critical Thinking and Reasoning, Information Literacy, Collaboration, Self Direction, Invention

Directions

Students select a musical number, musical television clip, or musical movie clip to lip sync in a video format. Students are encouraged to pick a classic song, classic movie clip, or television clip, which has lyrics which can be understood. Students must have their teacher’s approval on the selection. It is important to have some type of interpretation in the video portion. What is the message of the song and is it present in the video? Acting out a movie or television clip can take on numerous new meanings by changing the location and actors.

This assignment is more difficult than it appears, time and energy should be spent on; selecting an appropriate number, deciding on the interpretation, and the editing process. Your editing techniques should now involve transitions, establishing shots, coverage shots, title cards and credits – this is a standard for moving forward.

Examples:

Madonna’s Like a Virgin

Format

Requirements:

  1. Upload to a URL to share with your instructor
  2. Additional credit given for originality and creativity
  3. Three transitions or more, multiple shots in multiple locations
  4. Title card
  5. Credits with citations if needed
  6. Use a smaller sound source to assist in syncing your lip dub
  7. Upload your professional audio track
  8. Two minute limit
  9. Multiple camera shots and angles should be used, 5 required
  10. Group size, no more than four will receive credit

Lip Syncing

Great Story Components

Lesson Objective:

Students will use the internet during and after class time to discover what makes a great movie story. Students are encouraged to take numerous approaches to this written assignment. For example, a student might opt to research the origins of great stori

Level:
Intermediate
Assignment Type:
Individual
Media:
Paper
21st Century Skills Addressed:
Critical Thinking and Reasoning, Information Literacy, Self Direction

Directions

Submit a typed paper, double space.  Students must include a reference section and cite ALL sources used. Papers are graded on quality not quantity; please provide as much information that is needed to cover your topic.

Check out:

http://www.screenwriting.info/

http://www.breakingin.net/Script_faq.htm

http://www.wildsound-filmmaking-feedback-events.com/how-to-write-a-screenplay.html

http://www.fabjob.com/Screenwriter.asp

 

Great Story Components

Vine App Video

Lesson Objective:

To create your 6 second video using the Vine mobile app.

Level:
Beginner
Assignment Type:
Individual
Media:
Mobile phone app
21st Century Skills Addressed:
Critical Thinking and Reasoning, Information Literacy, Self Direction, Invention

Directions

Your assignment is to create a Vine mobile video, following the limitations and structure available on Vine. Read on to learn more about what Vine is and how you can use it.

Megan Cignoli is now fully employed as a Vine video developer, making as much as $1,000 to $20,000 per video, check out her examples on Vine. See her article in TIME, Tech section, October 2013

Vine and Instagram: A Quick Guide for Business Users

Posted August 29, 2013

What are Vine and Instagram?

They’re relatively new content creation platforms which are almost entirely visual. Instagram offers both still photograph and short video capability, while Vine is video only.

They’re both arguably social media sites in their own right, in that users create standalone accounts and can interact directly with one another. However, they’re most commonly used in conjunction with one of the bigger sites like Twitter or Facebook; so users who have already built up substantial networks on those sites can share content without having to build up a “new” following. They are also predominately in use as mobile apps rather than desktop websites.

Vine is actually owned by Twitter. Instagram used to be closely integrated with Twitter – for example, a Tweet which included an Instagram image would show the image when viewed through Twitter.com, without the user having to click a link and load a separate page. Earlier this year, Twitter decided to launch their own Instagram-like functionality however, and to change their code so that only “their” images would be embedded in this way. Presumably that may also be linked to Instagram’s recent decision to launch short video clip functionality, putting them in direct competition with Vine.

What’s the attraction?

In the case of Instagram, it basically boils down to: making your life or brand look cooler!

The main feature of the App is an extensive set of “retro style” filters and image editing capabilities, to be used on images you’ve snapped on your smartphone.

When Instagram launched, these capabilities were really revolutionary, allowing users to have the kind of control over how their images looked which had previously only been available to photographers with sophisticated software like Photoshop.

The attraction of Vine is perhaps a little less obvious, but possibly more addictive once sampled. The App allows you to create short video clips of just a few seconds long, but the creation tool allows the user to stop and start recording many times within that period, which means you can make animation or stop motion content. It may not seem that great an idea initially, but there are some amazingly creative users out there making highly engaging content.

Who’s using them?

At a fairly recent count (July 2013), Instagram has 130 million registered users. In August Vine had just 40 million. However Vine came along much more recently and it’s likely that their user base will continue to grow more quickly than Instagram’s – that 40 million figure represents a tripling of their user base from just a few months previously.

In terms of who those users are, there is little detailed demographic data. But, the fact that they are mobile-only Apps is going to immediately exclude those demographics who don’t use Smartphones – predominantly the older age groups. Although Instagram has a desktop site now, there is no such equivalent for Vine; if you come across Vine-generated content on Twitter, actually clicking on a link that takes you to what is effectively a holding page inviting you to “install the app”. If you are viewing from a Smartphone with the Vine app installed, it’ll work. Otherwise, it won’t. This is the biggest and most obvious limitation of creating Vine content at the moment; although it is also possible to embed the content in a website, there will be many active social media users who don’t have Vine and so won’t be able to see it.

Are Vine and Instagram business tools?

Yes, they most certainly can be. Some big consumer brands wanting to take advantage of access to the younger, trend-aware market jumped on Instagram very enthusiastically; Starbucks is a notable example, creating beautiful images themselves but also actively encouraging others to contribute their coffee-themed snaps. US Interiors firm Homegoods is taking a similar approach.

But really, any business can use Instagram to build deeper connections with their customers, for example by providing insights into what staff actually *do* on a daily basis. It’s fun, it’s quick and it’s easy – but you do need to apply slightly better quality control standards to your images than the average user, in order to keep it reasonably professional! Vine’s big strength is in showing off visual content where movement is important – for example, a short video clip might show off a clothing retailer’s dress far better than a simple still.

For examples Google:

Celebrity videos on Vine

Best Vine Stars

Best Vibe Videos

Format

Requirements:

  1. Mobile app creation, made entirely on your phone or a friends phone
  2. Must be clean and decent
  3. No one can be injured in the making of this video
  4. More credit is given to originality and being clever

Vine App Video

Vimeo Filmmaking Lesson

Lesson Objective:

Two person project, but demonstrating diverse size through camera manipulation.

Level:
Intermediate
Assignment Type:
Group of 2
Media:
Video
21st Century Skills Addressed:
Critical Thinking and Reasoning, Information Literacy, Collaboration, Self Direction, Invention

Directions

Making use of Vimeo’s online tutorial in filmmaking, try the following film tricks.

Watch: http://vimeo.com/62365230

Attention Filmmakers! If you are sitting around, twiddling your thumbs, waiting for that perfect budget to fund your movie, look no further! Seriously, stop looking. It’s time to quit procrastinating and use that crafty mind of yours to make your movie. As long as you have a camera, a friend, and an idea, you’re ready to get started.

Check out the full lesson here: vimeo.com/videoschool/lesson/372/3-tricks-for-your-impossibly-small-film-crew

Three shots are demonstrated, attempt to do all three shots with only two people in your group.

1) Swipe Cut, important to keep the camera settings on manual

2) Split Screen, important to use a tripod to keep the camera still.

3) Smart phone audio, need to have a smart phone with an audio setting.

Also, check out some of their behind the scenes footage here: vimeo.com/62035720

Music:

Chris Rehm – “Flounders” (chrisrehm.bandcamp.com)

Walker Lukens – “Duty” (walkerlukens.com)

Muzio Clementi – “Musical Characteristics Op.19”

Justin Marcellus – “Jungle Chase”

Format

Requirements:

  1. Upload to a URL to share with your instructor
  2. Additional credit given for originality and creativity
  3. Three transitions or more
  4. Title card
  5. Credits with citations if needed, in this case you would credit Vimeo
  6. 30 second presentation
  7. Group size two, only two people will receive credit for this video
  8. Demonstrate all three techniques, Swipe Cut, Split Screen, and Smart phone audio

Vimeo Filmmaking Lesson

Demonstrating Film Terminology

Lesson Objective:

Students will demonstrate film terminology by making a sample video of shots in a one minute video.

Level:
Intermediate
Assignment Type:
Group of 2
Media:
Video
21st Century Skills Addressed:
Critical Thinking and Reasoning, Information Literacy, Collaboration, Self Direction, Invention

Directions

Students in a group of two, should use the textbook “Setting Up Your Shots: Great Camera Moves Every Filmmaker Should Know” by Jeremy Vineyard. Students should locate at least ten shots that they would like to demonstrate in a video story. Students should feel free to us as many shots as needed to tell a story. Label each shot, as they appear on screen. Students should be aware that numerous web sites, including Vimeo and YouTube, demonstrate camera shots.

 

Example: Film Shots – missing story element, You are what you eat, What’s Your Problem,

Format

Requirements:

  1. Upload to a URL to share with your instructor
  2. Additional credit given for originality, creativity and professionalism
  3. Three transitions or more
  4. Title card
  5. Credits with citations if needed, this would include the textbook
  6. Demonstrate ten shots from the textbook and tell a story
  7. Time limit one minute
  8. Group size two, no more than two will receive credit

Demonstrating Film Terminology

Writing a Movie Review

Lesson Objective:

To learn how to write a movie review.

Level:
Intermediate
Assignment Type:
Individual
Media:
Paper
21st Century Skills Addressed:
Critical Thinking and Reasoning, Information Literacy, Self Direction, Invention

Directions

How To Write a Movie Review, By B. Danesco

Whether you’re interested in writing movie reviews for profit or just for fun, it’s not too tough. Just follow a few steps to make your feelings on the latest flicks known.

1.After you have selected your movie, get familiar with its context. By this I mean, before you even see the movie, get to know a little about it. What have the actors and director worked on before? Maybe check out some of their past work. Are they Oscar winners? Are they known for a certain style? Is the movie based on a book or an historical event? Is it a remake or a sequel? Look into those kinds of things. All of this information will help you understand the movie better. You’ll pick up on details, allusions, trademarks of the actor or director, and probably have more insight into important story elements. You’ll be able to tell readers how it lived up to the original, or the book. These are the things that help a critic offer a solid opinion that is of interest to the fan.

2.After you see the movie, formulate a specific opinion in one sentence. Your job is to give an opinion of the movie. Ultimately, this may come down to a “thumbs up” or “three stars out of five.” But you want to have a specific thesis to drive your critique. For example, “I didn’t like this comedy” becomes “The story had funny moments but it went on too long.” “This horror movie is good” becomes “This horror movie works because it builds suspense right up until the end.” So, try to find that very specific opinion that will be the foundation of your review.

3.Create a good lead. You want your reader to be interested in what you have to say. Grab them in that first or “lead” paragraph in one of several ways: Start with a great quote from the movie, and explain how it reflects the movie; refer to the reputation of the actor or director and compare it to how he or she did in this movie; compare this movie to another well-known film in a few sentences or two; explain what your expectation was, and then if it was fulfilled or not. Then end that first paragraph with your opinion statement.

4.Recap briefly, but don’t give away anything big. If you’ve read professional reviews, you know they always include a little bit of recap. Some readers like to know what they’re getting into before they lay down their money for a ticket. You can tell people the basic premise of the movie. In fact, you should give them the basic premise, and tell them how the story builds, but don’t give away key moments, especially not the ending! And keep it brief. Then get to reviewing.

5.Back up your main opinion with specifics. The readers now know you think “This comedy had funny moments but went on too long.” It’s time for you to prove it. Talk about how the teen actors had good timing like they did in that other movie. Talk about how the writers did a great parody of that famous film. But then add that there were too many scenes involving the family or the boyfriend. Talk about the fact that there were multiple endings and all of them were long. Use specifics to make your readers see you’re right.

6.Be interesting. Just because this is a review doesn’t mean it’s got to be dull. From lead to ending paragraph, make the review engaging, using metaphors, analogy, specific adjectives and adverbs to create the images you’re looking for. But also be concise. A review isn’t a place for long diatribes or flowery prose. Then again, where is the place for long diatribes and flowery prose?

7.Be honest in your appraisal. Your reader and the work you’re critiquing both deserve an honest opinion, right? So even if you HATE that actor or LOVE that actress, be sure not to hold back your true opinion of the film. Have some standards in mind. A comedy should be funny, a horror movie should be scary, etc.; judge the movie against those standards, not against any pre-existing opinions you may have. It will make the review more valuable to the reader and honest writing is always best, isn’t it?

Good luck and enjoy the show!

Caution:

•Don’t spend too much time summarizing the plot.

•Don’t give away key moments!

Quick Tips:

•Make sure to have a good strong main opinion.

•Comment on specific details to support your opinion.

 

Useful Links: Internet Movie Database, Rotten Tomatoes, etc…

Format

Paper should be Times New Roman font, black ink, and size 14, double spaced. Students must include a reference section and cite ALL sources used. Papers are graded on quality not quantity; please provide as much information that is needed to cover your topic.

Writing a Movie Review

Nature Movie

Lesson Objective:

Combine shots of nature to highlight the beauty of your natural surroundings.

Level:
Beginner
Assignment Type:
Individual
Media:
Video
21st Century Skills Addressed:
Critical Thinking and Reasoning, Information Literacy, Collaboration, Self Direction, Invention

Directions

Students will develop a video collage of elements of nature. Their video should select a theme and carry out that theme as they demonstrate creativity in shots, locations, and style of editing. Students might select water, and then film shots from rain to a waterfall or flood. Sound is an important element in conveying nature, thus students may wish to lay in a musical sound track or use sounds of nature, a great example of this type of movie is demonstrated in “CBS Sunday Morning” sign off videos. Students may also select a season of the year and feature that season or the changing of the seasons. Don’t forget the power of your own footage while walking, snowboarding, or skiing.

Students must include video downloaded from different sites, such as YouTube or stockfootageforfree.com.

Examples:

Water, Underwater, Sharks,

Format

Requirements:

  1. Upload to a URL to share with your instructor
  2. Additional credit given for originality, creativity and professionalism
  3. Three transitions or more
  4. Title card
  5. Credits with citations if needed
  6. Demonstrate a nature video with appropriate sound
  7. Download video and images for this presentation or use your original shot footage
  8. Time limit one minute
  9. Group size one, no more than one person will receive credit

Nature Movie

Point-of-View Video

Lesson Objective:

To create a point-of-view (POV) video from a subjective camera perspective.

Level:
Advanced
Assignment Type:
Group of 3-4
Media:
Video
21st Century Skills Addressed:
Critical Thinking and Reasoning, Information Literacy, Collaboration, Self Direction, Invention

Directions

Students will develop a POV video. Tell a short story from another perspective, you may want to use dialogue or not. The video should be a demonstration of seeing the world from a unique camera POV subjective shot. This could be through the eyes of an animal, object or another person.

Examples:

Cat’s Life,

Format

Requirements:

  1. Upload to a URL to share with your instructor
  2. Additional credit given for originality and creativity
  3. Three transitions or more
  4. Title card
  5. Credits with citations if needed
  6. Demonstrate POV shots and tell a story
  7. Time limit two minutes or less
  8. Group size 3-4, no more than four will receive credit

Point-of-View Video

Commercial Parody

Lesson Objective:

Pulling together all of the elements of the course to create a commercial parody. Parody imitates a work of art, literature, or music for the purpose of making playful fun or a joke of the original work. A parody may take an ironic or cynical approach to

Level:
Advanced
Assignment Type:
Group of 3-4
Media:
Video
21st Century Skills Addressed:
Critical Thinking and Reasoning, Information Literacy, Collaboration, Self Direction, Invention

Directions

Saturday Night Live television show has made numerous parodies of mainstream commercials. It is your job to take a real product, or made-up product and create a commercial parody. Students are encouraged to view numerous examples of parodies online prior to starting their project.

The completed video should be one minute long, capturing the essence of the product and style of advertising.

Format

Requirements:

  1. Upload to a URL to share with your instructor
  2. Additional credit given for originality, creativity and professionalism
  3. Three transitions or more
  4. Title card
  5. Credits with citations if needed
  6. Demonstrate an approved commercial parody
  7. Time limit one minute or 30 seconds
  8. Group size 3-4, no more than four will receive credit

Commercial Parody

Biographical Video Story

Lesson Objective:

Students will demonstrate camera technique, creativity, and biographical information by making a video on another individual. Time length: 1 to 2 minutes in length.

Level:
Advanced
Assignment Type:
Individual
Media:
Video
21st Century Skills Addressed:
Critical Thinking and Reasoning, Information Literacy, Collaboration, Self Direction, Invention

Directions

Students will develop a video collage of facts and images on one person. Their video should feature one individual; this could be a teacher, dean, principal, school nurse, community member, etc. Combine images from numerous sources to present a video presentation on their life and/or career. Students must include some actual footage and then extract audio to show facts.

Students are encouraged to make this assignment cross disciplinary, possibly fulfilling the requirements for another course.

Format

Requirements:

  1. Upload to a URL to share with your instructor
  2. Additional credit given for originality, creativity and professionalism
  3. Three transitions or more
  4. Title card
  5. Credits with citations if needed
  6. Demonstrate biographical information about your subject
  7. Multiple shots and video footage required
  8. Time limit one minute to two minutes
  9. Group size one, no more than one person will receive credit
  10. Select two of the three listed assignments to complete this week.

Biographical Video Story

Making a Documentary

Lesson Objective:

Students will select a topic to discover in a documentary video format.

Level:
Advanced
Assignment Type:
Group of 3-4
Media:
Video
21st Century Skills Addressed:
Critical Thinking and Reasoning, Information Literacy, Collaboration, Self Direction, Invention

Directions

How to Make a Documentary Part 2 – “Fulfillment of the Dream”

by Randal K. West, May 2006

Considered an art form by many, documentary video production has its own special challenges and rewards. In this second of three parts series on how to make a documentary, we’ll explore how to plan your approach, find your subject and begin the process of bringing your vision to fruition.

Once you’ve chosen your topic for your documentary, you still have many choices facing you. How do you want to approach your subject? Will your documentary seem to have a passive feel? Will the story be told by the people who are interviewed as the story comes out in their own way, or will an aggressive interviewer (e.g., Michael Moore) drive the interviews, or will you mix interviews with written narration to be delivered in voice-over? Will your documentary be a balanced view of an issue where both sides are equally and fairly explored? What criteria should help you make these decisions?

Point of View

Whose story is it really? You can choose to not have a “voice” in your documentary and make it “news” style and as impartial as possible, or you can chose the individual or group that is most affected by your story and let it be their story. This doesn’t mean you can’t explore both sides of an issue; it just means that you are going to put a real face on one side of the issue and allow them to personalize the story. A compelling documentary should not only be factually correct, but it should be engaging and emotionally compelling. You can also personalize both sides of a story. We have said for years in the advertising business, “don’t just sell the steak, sell the sizzle.” Find the sizzle in your story, because that is what is going to eventually get you distribution, and remember that even a personal story should have some universal appeal.

Sound Issues

Never take sound for granted. Nothing ruins a video that is shot on a budget quicker than bad sound. I always fight to get a sound person who is solely responsible for sound, because it is that important to me. If we truly can’t have the extra body, I will listen for sound as I direct, as I don’t feel a camera operator can split his attention well enough to both shoot and listen effectively at the same time. That said, there have been times when I have both shot and monitored sound; you just increase your percentage chance of having a problem. Use a lapel mic on the person you are interviewing and if possible put a pole mic on the other channel right out of your shot. Blending these two microphones together in post will give you a rounder and fuller sound. If you only have access to one mic, make sure the sound is as pristine as possible. Listen to the room before you shoot and turn off air changers if you can. Also take the time to record room tone (everyone sitting in the room making no noise for 30 seconds) or outside ambient sound, as this will help your editor remove background noise in post.

Shooting

If you don’t know the camera well, you can probably survive mostly on factory settings. You do want to be aware of the iris setting and watch for backlight that becomes overwhelming. Always white balance every time you change locations. When in doubt, keep your shots simple and clean. As you gain confidence you can shoot “walk and talks,” but when you’re just starting out, find a safe pretty environment to shoot.

Conducting Interviews

I rarely have a subject speak directly to the camera. Unless they are doing a direct appeal to the people watching the video, they should not speak directly to the lens. Sit directly next to the lens, either to the left or right with your eyes at the same height as the lens, and have them speak directly to you. Don’t feel like you have to just jump right into the subject of the interview. If you don’t know them, spend some time getting acquainted. Ask about what they like to do. Find out who they are and then lead them into the subject you want. The cheapest component of your project is the videotape, so let it roll. This is a technique to make them feel more at home in front of the camera, but sometimes you also discover gems you didn’t think you’d find. Also, listen! Don’t be so wrapped up in the questions that you have planned to ask that you don’t listen to what is actually being said. Ask unscripted follow up questions and closely explore their reactions. Let them control some of the content of your interview. Be very open to finding a surprise and letting it blossom into something wonderful.

B-roll

Keep track of everything your interviewer says and keep in mind possible B-roll shots that could highlight this dialog. A-roll is when the camera is on the subject and the words are coming out of their mouths. B-roll is footage without sound that is shot to break up the talking head portions of an interview and is inserted in place of the talking head during the post production process.

Documentaries many times rely on old pictures or licensed stock footage, but those elements can be expensive even for smaller projects and the licensing can limit how and where you can show the finished piece. Reenactments are a way to create footage that can help fill the needs of the project. If you are doing a piece about the 60s, you can find old civic buildings that still look as if they are in the sixties. Go to someone’s attic or to a thrift store, locate appropriate wardrobe, and create your own footage. You can pull this footage into sepia tones or make it black and white in post. You can blend this created footage with the old photos you can find and it will give the piece a sense of movement.

Discovery in the Moment

If your documentary is taking a person back to an event or a moment that changed his/her life, if you can afford it, don’t just talk about it but go there. Shoot the first time they see this place after so many years and let them just describe what and how they feel. If there is a significant person who helped them at one time, don’t just talk about it, shoot them meeting again, and get the energy of that exact moment.

Finding your Vision

Every documentary should begin as a blank sheet of paper or a canvas to paint upon. What colors you use and what format should come from a combination of you as an artist and the content of your story. Content should always dictate form, but you are in this equation as well and it will be your passion that drives this project. Five filmmakers could attempt the same topic for a documentary and each would most likely create a piece that only resembles the others by subject matter and that is as it should be. Find what excites you, then find your own means to express it.

Randal K. West is the Vice President/Creative Director for a DRTV full service advertising agency.

Sidebar: Why Doc?

Documentary filmmaking is the art of telling real stories in imaginative, entertaining, and insightful ways. A documentary can retell an old story with a new twist, or present a never before heard of issue, person, place, or event that has universal appeal. It can be fair and impartial, presenting both sides of a split issue, or pure propaganda. A documentary provides its audience with an intimate look into the lives and worlds of the people and places captured therein. There are documentaries that explore major historical events and ancient civilizations, documentaries that take us from the bottom of the ocean to the top of Mt. Everest, works that can show us the lives of a local quilting group, or teach us to ride the most powerful and impressive ocean waves. Documentary filmmaking is about finding a subject that you are passionate about and using the medium of video/film to share that passion with a larger audience. The key to finding a good subject for your documentary is starting with a personal experience or opinion that you know is shared or opposed by others, and finding a way to educate your audience about that subject in an entertaining and thought provoking way.

Next Month

Share the Dream. Distribution: How do you get that video seen? First you should determine Who is your audience and Where they will most likely go to view your Masterpiece.

Retrieved from: http://www.videomaker.com/article/12547/

Example 1,

Format

Requirements:

  1. Upload to a URL to share with your instructor
  2. Additional credit given for originality, creativity and professionalism
  3. Three transitions or more
  4. Title card
  5. Credits with citations if needed
  6. Demonstrate all of the above points with your final presentation, i.e. Point of view, sound issues, shooting, conducting interviews, b-roll, discovery in the moment, finding your vision, and sidebar. This will require several conversations with your instructor during the process and after the process.
  7. Time limit less than five minutes
  8. Group size 3-4, no more than four will receive credit

Making a Documentary

Autobiographical Video

Lesson Objective:

Students will demonstrate camera technique, creativity, and autobiographical information by making a 1-2 minute video on themselves.

Level:
Beginner
Assignment Type:
Individual
Media:
Video
21st Century Skills Addressed:
Critical Thinking and Reasoning, Information Literacy, Collaboration, Self Direction, Invention

Directions

Students will develop a video collage of facts and images on themselves. This is their video diary. Students should think of unique ways of showing their life, friends, family and pets, anything and everything that is important to them and makes them unique.

Examples: Madi Lyn, Austin, Tyler,

Format

Requirements:

  1. Upload to a URL to share with your instructor
  2. Additional credit given for originality, creativity and professionalism
  3. Three transitions or more
  4. Title card
  5. Credits with citations if needed
  6. Demonstrate autobiographical information on yourself
  7. Time limit one minute or two minute video
  8. Group size one, no more than one person will receive credit
  9. Select two of the three listed assignments to complete this week.

Autobiographical Video

Interviewing your Parents

Lesson Objective:

Students will read the enclosed article about how to interview their parents, and then conduct an interview of their parents. Students should first come up with a list of questions that they desire to ask of their parents and submit it for approval.

Level:
Beginner
Assignment Type:
Group of 2
Media:
Video
21st Century Skills Addressed:
Critical Thinking and Reasoning, Information Literacy, Collaboration, Self Direction, Invention

Directions

Capturing mom’s life story, By The Denver Post Article 05/11/2008

“You have to learn to interview through tears,” says videographer Bob Brandon. (Cyrus McCrimmon, The Denver Post)

Emmy Award-winning Denver videographer Bob Brandon

established the immediacy of Animal Planet’s “Emergency Vet” and shares credit for pioneering the wide-angle-lens look of “48 Hours.” But among his most affecting works is his homage to his mother, Lillie Seal Brandon, right.

In his book, “The Complete Digital Video Guide,” he devotes a chapter to explain how he shot the footage, conducted the interview and wrote the script for a documentary that is as much about the historic events his mother witnessed as it is about her challenging life. It’s a blueprint for anyone interested in recording a moving legacy. Claire Martin

Q: What’s the most difficult aspect when you’re interviewing a parent?

A: It’s the hardest part of interviewing anyone — asking a question that doesn’t lead to a “yes” or “no” answer.

Q: Then, what’s the best way to phrase a question?

A: Ask: “What was the weather like during the Great Depression?” Or, “Describe the trip that you made in your family’s old car on the roads you used before the interstates were built.”

Q: So, ask questions that evoke stories?

A: Right. Lead them on, when they tell you about something interesting, by asking more questions about that event: “Oh, what was it like, riding in a car with no air conditioning, when you went through Death Valley?” Use what you know to frame the question — but don’t lead her too much.

Q: What do you mean by that?

A: Don’t say something like, “Mom, remember the trips we used to take on those winding roads?” Most people are not attuned to being descriptive in conversation. They talk in shorthand. They assume that you’ll remember the details because you were there, too. Ask about events that happened before you were born. Then remind her, “Remember, I wasn’t there.”

Q: Is there a difference in how people remember events from their recent past, as opposed to their youth?

A: Yes. I noticed that Mom’s descriptions got less concise as she progressed to the years after I was born. But her description of life on the farm during the Dust Bowl was priceless. Doctors tell me that your recent memories are not as ingrained as events that happened earlier in your life, especially in the first 20 years or so. Mom’s memories of her childhood were vivid and descriptive.

Q: For example?

A: She remembered a mother hen and her chicks that got stuck in a dust storm that suddenly came up. It was a bad storm. When it ended, the hen looked exactly like a lump of dirt. They literally had to shake her to get the dust off. They found that this mother hen had spread her wings to protect her chicks. She was just solid with dust, but her chicks all lived. I can’t tell that story without tearing up. My mom said, “That hen must’ve been some kind of mother.” It was kind of comical at first, but not when I put it into perspective.

Q: Do you have a favorite interview technique?

A: Yes. I like a two-part question. First, I just say, “So . . . ?” and see where that goes, what’s on her mind, what they want to talk about. That helps get them started. And second, silence; I just look at them. A lot of times, their answer to the first part of the question is what they think you want to hear. If you stay quiet, they’ll tell you what they want to say. And that’s where the good stories are.

Q: In your Lillie Seal Brandon ( | ) videotape of your mother, your sister does the interviewing. What was that like?

A: It was great. She asked questions I’d never have thought to ask.

Q: What was the hardest part of making this video about your mother?

A: You have to learn to interview through tears, write through tears and edit through tears. There is nothing in my life that I regret more than not doing this same project for my father.

Q: Why?

A: I’d have put him on the line. I’d ask why he never told me he loved me. Why he never told me he was proud of me. I’d ask, “What could I have done to be a better son?” I’d have asked, “What were the transformative moments in your life?” “What was it like when the first bill came due, after your first child was born?”

________________________________________

Interviewing Mom: Techniques for doing it yourself

Interviewing Mom (or Dad) isn’t as easy as it first seems.

Do a little homework. What historic events did she witness in her life? What was she doing when she learned that the United States declared war on Japan? Where was she when she found out that Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated? When Richard Nixon resigned?

Is there an object she’s had throughout her life that’s sentimentally significant to her? Find it so you can ask her to hold the object and talk about it on-camera.

Look into family history workshops, which often are offered at community centers, libraries and other venues. One example: The Aurora Central Library is hosting the Family Legacy Writing Workshop from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on May 21 at the library, 14949 E. Alameda Parkway.

Do some reading. Bob Brandon’s “Complete Digital Video Guide” (Readers Digest) includes examples of interview questions and a script. Here’s some advice from Brandon:

Start with simple, chronological questions.

• What’s your first memory? Where were you? Was it warm? Cold? Quiet? Noisy? Calming? Scary? Why?

• Did you have a childhood pet? What was its name? Did you get along with your pet? Did your pet ever get in trouble?

• What’s your first memory of Christmas (or Hanukkah or Ramadan)? Do you remember the way your home looked? What song did you like then? What was your favorite food? What did you like least about the holiday?

• What did you do as a child that surprised yourself?

Listen for a theme that begins to emerge in the answers. Was life easy? A struggle? Was she a tomboy? A bookworm? Did she begin planning her wedding before she learned to read?

 

Format

Requirements:

  1. Upload to a URL to share with your instructor
  2. Additional credit given for originality, creativity and professionalism
  3. Three transitions or more
  4. Title card
  5. Credits with citations if needed
  6. Receive approval of interview questions prior to conducting your interview
  7. Interview one or more of your parents, individual shot, medium to close-up
  8. Additional footage required to show their life story, family pictures and/or video
  9. Time limit one minute
  10. Group size one or two, no more than two will receive credit

Interviewing your Parents

Writing a Movie Pitch

Lesson Objective:

Write a convincing movie pitch for your imaginative movie.

Level:
Advanced
Assignment Type:
Individual
Media:
Paper
21st Century Skills Addressed:
Critical Thinking and Reasoning, Information Literacy, Collaboration, Self Direction, Invention

Directions

Students will write a 500 word essay that is their movie pitch. The pitch should be an exciting plot summary of the movie they desire to get made in Hollywood.

Welcome to MoviePitch

You don’t have to be a writer.

Have you ever left a movie theater muttering, “I could think up a better story than that!”? Or have you been nurturing a great idea for a film, but lacked the connections necessary to sell it to Hollywood?

We are using the global reach of the Internet to give average folks — non-writers as well as writers — a Hollywood connection. That connection is Robert Kosberg, a creative producer who has made a name for himself selling story ideas to studios and production companies for the past 15 years.

Unlike most established producers, Kosberg accepts ideas from Hollywood outsiders. For example, a grandmother from Arkansas named Emily Lloyd sent him an idea about a man who lived inside the Statue of Liberty. She thought it would make a good movie, something along the lines of Phantom of the Opera set in a national landmark. Kosberg liked her idea, called her and agreed to try to sell it. Today her idea is in development with the company that produced “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and may become a motion picture. Already she has earned a substantial sum for her idea.

Is her story typical? No. Finding good ideas is like mining for diamonds. You sift through tons of rubble before discovering a gem. But there are gems to be found. And you might have one.

How can you submit an idea?

The first step is to purchase the CD-ROM that we have created to teach you how to find, develop and polish movie and television ideas. Once you have gone through the lessons, you can register your membership and begin to submit ideas to Robert Kosberg via email.

For legal and practical reasons (see Questions & Answers), we will only accept ideas from registered members. If we think your idea has commercial potential, we will contact you to discuss how we might sell it.

Remember, this is not about selling screenplays. It is about selling ideas. If you can dream up something good and describe it in a few sentences, you might get lucky.

Retrieved from: http://www.moviepitch.com/pitching_ideas.htm

Pitchable vs. Unpitchable

Not every good idea is a pitchable idea. And to be fair, not every pitchable idea makes for a good movie. But pitchable ideas are what can be sold in a meeting in a matter of minutes.

And pitchable ideas are what (what else?) MoviePitch is all about. To be pitchable, the idea must be simple enough to convey in two or three sentences.

For example, the log lines in a TV guide that describe a movie are pitches. Watch TV advertisements for movies and study how the essence of the film is distilled into a few words — words that make you want to see the movie.

Pitchable ideas are usually “high concept.” For example: a shallow man with terrible relationships with women gets hypnotized so that he can only see a person’s inner beauty. He soon falls in love with the obese daughter of his boss, and must face the derision of his friends and co-workers. That describes Shallow Hal.

Once you hear the idea, you can picture how it could be funny. The script that comes from the idea may not be good, but the idea itself works. That’s pitchable. Now consider this: college chums from the 1960s reunite at the funeral of a common friend and spend a weekend examining their lives and their lost idealism.

That describes The Big Chill. That was a successful film because of the writing and acting, not the concept. In fact, John Sayles had already made a similar film. The Big Chill was dependent on the execution of the idea. This is an example of a story that is unpitchable (except if you’re Lawrence Kasdan and you have someone eager to back your next film).

In short, pitchable ideas are high concept and do not rely on perfect execution. Even if the movie is so-so, audiences will turn out because when the hear the pitch — now part of the ad campaign — they will be intrigued

Meet Hollywood’s Mr. Pitch

By Anna Muoio

It’s a hard idea to accept, but it’s true: In an economy driven by ideas, the best idea doesn’t always win. Often, it’s the idea with the best pitch that wins. So, before you go to bat for your next great idea, you should master the art of the pitch. And where better to learn that art than in Hollywood?

Robert Kosberg has invented a thriving career out of pitching ideas. Or, as he puts it, “I make a living by telling bedtime stories to adults.” Based in Beverly Hills, Kosberg is affiliated with Merv Griffin Entertainment. He was also the executive producer of “12 Monkeys,” the 1996 hit starring Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis. But he is perhaps best known as Hollywood’s “king of the pitch.” Each year, he entertains roughly 5,000 movie ideas. He pitches between 20 and 50 of those ideas to the major studios, and he sells about 8 ideas a year. He’s always searching for the next great story line: Two years ago, Kosberg partnered with writer Jim Bass to create Movie Pitch (www.moviepitch.com), a Web-based clearinghouse for film ideas.

Kosberg specializes in the “high-concept pitch” — Hollywood jargon for a pitch that is so blatantly in-your-face that its premise can be boiled down to a few sentences, or even a few words. He once sold New Line Cinema an idea for a horror film (“Man’s Best Friend”) about a rampaging dog. He needed just three words: “‘Jaws’ on paws.” One recent pitch was for a film based on an unexplored scenario from “The Wizard of Oz”: Sure, the Wicked Witch of the West melted at the end. But what if she didn’t die, and what if she now wants those slippers back? The idea — working title: “Surrender Dorothy: The Witch’s Revenge” — was bought by Warner Bros.

Kosberg is adamant that the skills required to sell ideas like “Surrender Dorothy” match the skills needed to sell any idea. “When an idea is really good, it is deceptively simple,” he argues. “When you have that type of an idea, you’ve got a gold mine.”

How can you tell if one of your ideas is solid gold? First, Kosberg suggests, ask yourself whether it can pass the “TV Guide” test. Can you boil your idea down to two power-packed sentences that generate excitement and compel your audience to “tune in”?

Next, ask yourself if the idea has “traveling power.” “If you’ve got a truly compelling idea,” he says, “then it almost doesn’t matter how good you are at pitching it. When you leave the room, your idea should travel down the halls of power. Other people will start pitching the idea for you.”

Here’s another test for your idea: How well does it address the fear factor? “If an idea is too far ahead of the curve,” Kosberg warns, “it will leave your audience without a compass. And without a compass, the people you’re pitching to will develop fear.” Kosberg is quick to add that these days fear cuts both ways. In an era of relentless change and hard-to-predict success (Did anyone expect “The Blair Witch Project” to be a box-office smash, or Yahoo! to create billions of dollars of stock-market value?), smart executives are just as afraid of rejecting a good idea as they are of green-lighting a bad one. “No one really knows where the next great idea is going to come from,” says Kosberg, “and the best executives know that they don’t know. That 25-year-old kid with the weird hair might have an idea that’s worth millions.”

There’s one last factor that contributes to a winning pitch — your own sense of confidence. “When I’m pitching an idea, I walk into the room with incredible confidence,” says Kosberg. “But I’m not cocky. I operate in two realities: In the back of my mind, I want these people to like me. I want them to love my story. And I want them to give me money. But I project the attitude that these people have no idea how lucky they are to be meeting with me.

“If things go well, these people won’t let me leave their office until we’ve closed the deal — because I have the greatest idea that they’ve ever heard, and I’ve presented it in one simple sentence.”

For more information on Robert Kosberg, visit the Web (www.moviepitch.com).

 

Writing a Movie Pitch

Silent Movie

Lesson Objective:

Students will make their own silent movie.

Level:
Advanced
Assignment Type:
Group of 3-4
Media:
Video
21st Century Skills Addressed:
Critical Thinking and Reasoning, Information Literacy, Collaboration, Self Direction, Invention

Directions

Students should follow silent movie genre and complete a silent movie.

Your silent movie should begin with an approved script. Make use of the hero and villain storytelling that is present in most silent movies. Dialogue should be revealed on title cards, and the overall presentation should be accompanied by a sound track without words. Movie scores and soundtracks are a great source for the musical accompaniment. The image should be tinted with sepia color, as all silent movies prior to 1927 appeared. Sepia tint is an option on cameras and on the digital editing bench. It is expected that students demonstrate many of the camera techniques acquired in this class for their final presentation.

Format

Requirements:

  1. Upload to a URL to share with your instructor
  2. Additional credit given for originality, creativity and professionalism
  3. Three transitions or more, lighting considerations and tripod
  4. Opening title card, and title cards for all dialogue
  5. Credits with citations if needed
  6. Sepia tint throughout
  7. Musical soundtrack void of words
  8. Demonstrate silent movie style of storytelling, receive script approval
  9. Time limit two to three minutes
  10. Group size 3-4, no more than four will receive credit

Silent Movie

School Spirit Video

Lesson Objective:

Film and edit any school sponsored event. Examples: School plays, choir concerts, band and orchestra concerts, sporting events, pep assembly, school parade or dances. Almost any school event can be documented on video.

Level:
Intermediate
Assignment Type:
Group of 2-3
Media:
Video
21st Century Skills Addressed:
Critical Thinking and Reasoning, Information Literacy, Collaboration, Self Direction, Invention

Directions

Students should film an event, capturing the participant’s activities and actions, and then assemble a comprehensive edit of that activity. Students should keep in mind the importance of audience members or spectators responses to the event. Edit your footage down to a one to two minute video.

(Select two assignments to complete this week.)

 

Examples: School Spirit,

Format

Requirements:

  1. Upload to a URL to share with your instructor
  2. Additional credit given for originality, creativity and professionalism
  3. Three transitions or more
  4. Title card
  5. Credits with citations if needed
  6. Demonstrate an approved school spirit function or multiple functions
  7. Time limit two minutes or less
  8. Group size 1-3, no more than three will receive credit
  9. Select two of the three listed assignments to complete this week.

School Spirit Video

Stop Motion Animation

Lesson Objective:

Make use of the digital cameras capability to produce a stop motion animation, giving life to an inanimate object.

Level:
Advanced
Assignment Type:
Group of 2-3
Media:
Video
21st Century Skills Addressed:
Critical Thinking and Reasoning, Information Literacy, Collaboration, Self Direction, Invention

Directions

Students should make use of the digital camera to create a stop motion animation video by giving life to an inanimate object.

Students can access this process simply by pressing record and then pause of any stationary digital camera. Students should use a tripod or some type of mounting bracket in order to record without any additional movement. The camera must not move between shots, pressing record and pause repeatedly, then move an object between these actions. The finished product tells a story with an inanimate object. For example: a tennis ball moving toward some sort of goal, or a pencil trying to escape from being sharpened.

Stop motion animation is time consuming and requires patience. There are numerous movies that have been made using this process: The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer (1964), Corpse Bride (2005), and King Kong (1933).

Format

Requirements:

  1. Upload to a URL to share with your instructor
  2. Additional credit given for originality, creativity and professionalism
  3. Three transitions or more
  4. Title card
  5. Credits with citations if needed, this would include the textbook
  6. Demonstrate stop motion animation and tell a story
  7. Add music or dialogue to your story
  8. Use a tripod to stablize your camera
  9. Time limit one to two minutes
  10. Group size three, no more than three people will receive credit

Stop Motion Animation

Filming a Fight and Chase Scene

Lesson Objective:

Students will understand the complexity of filming a fight and chase scene, and the techniques used to deceive an audience.

Level:
Advanced
Assignment Type:
Group of 3-4
Media:
Video
21st Century Skills Addressed:
Critical Thinking and Reasoning, Information Literacy, Collaboration, Self Direction, Invention

Directions

Students should refer to Christopher Kenworthy’s text, “Master Shots,” Chapter 1 and 2. Use at least three techniques under each chapter for a total of six, to film a fight and chase scene. This would involve incorporating at least six of the following techniques: Fight Set-Ups (long lens stunt, speed punch, matching motion, knock down, cutting for impact, down on the floor, off-screen violence, and moment of defeat) and Chase set-ups (travel with subject, long lens pan, passing through tight spaces, through open spaces, surprises along the way, unseen attacker, closing attacker, unfair speed again, almost there, and footwork).

Develop a story line to your fight and chase scene, give a reason for the chase and an end to the struggle. Identify the technique being used at the bottom of each technique visible on screen.

Format

Requirements:

  1. Upload to a URL to share with your instructor
  2. Additional credit given for originality, creativity and professionalism
  3. Three transitions or more
  4. Title card
  5. Credits with citations if needed, this would include the textbook
  6. Demonstrate six techniques for filming a fight and chase scene, 3 for each
  7. Tell a story
  8. Add music or dialogue to your story
  9. Use a tripod to stabilize your camera when approriate
  10. Time limit one to two minutes
  11. Group size 3-4, no more than four will receive credit

Filming a Fight and Chase Scene

Filming Dialogue and Conflict

Lesson Objective:

Students will learn how to film realistic dialogue scenes, the basic structure of storytelling, without dialogue a story lacks substance. In every discussion there is eventually conflict; in this assignment you will learn the difference in filming both.

Level:
Beginner
Assignment Type:
Group of 3-4
Media:
Video
21st Century Skills Addressed:
Critical Thinking and Reasoning, Information Literacy, Collaboration, Self Direction, Invention

Directions

Students should refer to Christopher Kenworthy’s text, Master Shots, Chapter 10 and 11. Use at least three techniques under each chapter to film a dialogue scene. This would involve incorporating at least six of the following techniques: dialogue scenes (conversation dolly, offset background, share screen, side by side, height changes, stage changes, mirror talk, and move with the beats) and Arguments and Conflict (circling, attacking the camera, defensive camera, lunging at camera, motion in anger, body conflict, back over shoulder, and criss-crossing). Students should develop a story line. Identify the film techniques being used at the bottom of the frame.

Format

Requirements:

  1. Upload to a URL to share with your instructor
  2. Additional credit given for originality, creativity and professionalism
  3. Three transitions or more
  4. Title card
  5. Credits with citations if needed, this would include the textbook
  6. Demonstrate six techniques for filming a dialogue and conflict scene, minimum of 3 for each
  7. Tell a story
  8. Add music and dialogue to your story
  9. Use a tripod to stablize your camera when approriate
  10. Time limit one to two minutes
  11. Group size 3-4, no more than four will receive credit

Filming Dialogue and Conflict

Newscast

Lesson Objective:

Students will create a professional newscast.

Level:
Advanced
Assignment Type:
Group of 2-3
Media:
Video
21st Century Skills Addressed:
Critical Thinking and Reasoning, Information Literacy, Collaboration, Self Direction, Invention

Directions

You will create a newscast for a made-up town or for your own town. The news cast must contain all of the components of an actual news cast including but not limited to: Breaking News, Special Report, Local News, National News, International News, Sports, Arts, Investigative report, Lifestyle, Consumer report, and Weather. In a normal news broadcast you would have several news items under each of these topics.

Students must make use of a teleprompter or cue cards, electronic versions of this product can be downloaded as an app for their laptop and/or iPad. Students should not be reading from a transcript held in their hands during the broadcast, unless it is on the scenes report.

Check with your instructor for complete comprehension and understanding of this assignment.

Example 1, Example 2,

 

Format

Requirements:

  1. Upload to a URL to share with your instructor
  2. Additional credit given for originality, creativity and professionalism
  3. Eight transitions or more
  4. Title card
  5. Credits with citations if needed, this would include the textbook
  6. Demonstrate the elements of a newscast, include at least 7 of the 11 categories listed above
  7. Add music and dialogue to your newscast
  8. Use a tripod to stabilize your camera
  9. Use a teleprompter
  10. Time limit five minutes
  11. Group size three, no more than three people will receive credit

Newscast

Product Advertisement

Lesson Objective:

Create an advertisement for a product

Level:
Intermediate
Assignment Type:
Group of 2-3
Media:
Film clip
21st Century Skills Addressed:
Critical Thinking and Reasoning, Information Literacy, Collaboration, Invention

Directions

Students will create an advertisement for a product that could be seen on TV. Advertisements can be for any product both real or made up (Coca-Cola, Nike, Spirit Wear, Unicorn Tears, etc.) The more creative and inventive your idea, the more points you will receive.

Advertisements need to be from 30 seconds-1 minute and feature a product. Think about how Coca-Cola commercials look, info-mercials as well. Remember, you are trying to convince people to buy your product.

Food for thought:

  • Commercials display the logo, or say the name of the product at least 7 times in a commercial. People need to see/hear things 7 times to remember them.
  • Logos are always facing the camera
  • Subtly is key: Many commercials use the brand’s colors in the background so people associate even the background with the product.

 

Format

Requirements:

  1. Upload to a URL to share with your instructor (You WILL lose points if there is no link)
  2. Additional credit given for originality and creativity
  3. Three transitions or more
  4. Title card
  5. Credits with citations if needed
  6. Demonstrate marketing through filming
  7. Time limit: 30 Seconds- 1 Minute (Title Card Time NOT included)
  8. Group size 2-3, no more than three will receive credit

Product Advertisement