*Fall Semester Lessons:
UNIT - INTRO TO FILM ART, FILM EDITING, AND CINEMATOGRAPHY
Make a film based on either of these themes: “First Week of School” or “My first movie”
1. Must be at least 1 minute in length
2. You must be in a production team
3. You may use any editing program
4. You may not ask for assistance, but you can consult YouTube (or help pages) for
assistance with editing
5. Goal = teamwork, self-instruction, starting point for your film portfolio Must
contain plot and dialogue
Lesson - Website Creation
Assignment - Using Weebly, Wix, or Squarespace, create a website with an original website adddress and Film Company Name (must be original). You must include a Launch Page (Homepage), Videos Page, and Photography Page.
Lesson - Into to Basic Editing in Final Cut Pro X
Assignment - Watch this video. Then be able to complete each of the following tasks:
1) Open Final Cut Pro
2) Create New Library
3) Create New Event
4) Import Footage
5) Create New Project
6) Place Footage into the Timeline
7) Adjust Audio of your clip
8) Import Music and place in the timeline
9) Make a cut to your footage, apply effects to that clip, and add fast or slow motion
10) Add Transitions
11) Add Text/Titles
12) Share/Export your movie
Lesson - Cinema Shorts (30 Second Films)
Assignment - Create a film that is exactly 30 seconds in length. Your film should try to incorporate some kind of characterization, use quick cuts, and every person must direct and edit their own (you can have other people help you film).
Lesson - "A Thousand Words": Cinematography Storytelling
Assignment - Create a Pages/Word document with a single picture on each page.
▸ The pictures should be creative, and use different angles
▸ The pictures should be framed and shot in an artistic fashion
▸ Each picture must have a 1-2 paragraph narrative description of the story behind the picture
▸ Each narrative description should do one or more of the following:
▸ Create a setting for action
▸ Describe a subject (thoughts, feelings, character, etc)
▸ Tell a story that develops from a single frame
Lesson - Camera Work/Cinematography (watch the playlist)
Assignment - Create a 1-3 minute Silent Film (click here to watch some examples) that uses creative cinematography and music to tell the story. Your Film must include each of the following shot types at least once in your film:
1) Establishing Shot
2) Panning Shot
3) Stable Motion Cam (moving shot)
4) Long Shot (30 seconds or more)
5) Bokeh (Shallow Depth of Field Shot)
Your film must also include at least ONE of the following (or more):
1) Dutch Angle
2) Low Angle
3) Fast/Slow Motion
4) Lens Flare (either natural sunlight or unnatural lighting)
5) Point of View
UNIT - ACTING, DIRECTING, & SCREENPLAY WRITING
Lesson -- Acting Seminar
Semester Benchmark #1 - Character Design Film
• You will write a character on an index card for other students to draw out of a hat
• Your character must have a NAME, PERSONALITY TRAITS (provide specific details about this character and how they act), and their METHOD OF ACTING (are they crazy, fun-loving, rambunctious, eccentric, young, old, mean, kind, etc?). A brief BACKGROUND should also be provided about your character to help your actor understand them better.
• Each student will draw a character card out of a hat
• Students will form film groups based on the characters that they have picked and find a way to write a story around those characters.
• You will make a film that is at least 5 minutes in length and encorporates all of the characters from your group that you've chosen
Horror/Thriller Film (Optional)
• Make a Film that is at least 7 minutes in length and is either a horror film
(slasher, zombies, etc) or is a post-apocalyptic survival film
• It must use basic horror movie techniques, including:
• Scare Techniques: Smash Cuts, Inception Scares, "Peek-A-Boo" Scares
• Camera Techniques: Disorienting Quick Cuts, Vertigo Zoom, Low Angle, Dutch Angle, Leading (Nose) Room, Dolley Cam, Point of View and Reverse Point of View, Motion Cam, Planimetric (Symmetrical) Angle, Shadows, Hard Lighting
• Production Techniques: Costuming, Blood, Sound, Foley Audio Effects
• Emphasize costuming, make-up, props, lighting, and filming location; you must
de-emphasize special effects unless absolutely necessary
• Characters, dialogue, and action should drive the story line
• Group sizes = your choice (but everyone must be involved)
• Must have a detailed storyboard and pitch
• You must create a 30 second Trailer (due before the main project for anticipatory review)
Lesson - Screenplay Reading Presentation
Before a film is made, you must have a brilliantly composed screenplay! And before the film is shot, the actors and director must do a read through of the screenplay to prepare their roles.
A Director will be appointed to choose a screenplay from the ones provided below (additional screenplays can be chosen if approved by your instructor).
The Director will also serve as the Casting Director and choose their Talent and assign them to character roles. The Director will serve as the Narrator of the screenplay.
The Director will be responsible for choosing a scene that does not contain inappropriate content (many of the screenplays have swearwords that you will need to edit for the presentation).
The Director will choose 1-2 scenes (this scene should be an appropriate length -- not too long, not too short) from the screenplay, and the group will read the screenplay scene and perform it (that means you read it with some dramatic finesse and will be doing all the acting that goes along with it!).
Every person in the class must be involved in ONE group (no more, unless necessary).
You must bring in the CLIP for the scene you’ve chosen from the film for us to watch after your performance, and we will judge how well you did.
You may choose from one of the following screenplays:
Lesson - Mise-En-Scene Remake
Choose ONE scene (2-5 minutes in length) from a film that you would like to remake
Your scene must copy the acting, camera angles, special effects, lighting, music/sound fx and dialogue of the original scene. You are free to get creative (within reason) with your costuming and set design, but everything else must match it as closely as possible
UNIT - ACTION MOVIES
Lesson - Hard Opening Action Sequence
Make a 2-5 minute film that uses a hard opening. It must meet the following requirements:
Is 2-5 minutes in length
Reveals something about plot and character for a larger film project
Contains ONE OR MORE action sequences and some dialogue
Uses multiple camera angles with quick cuts
Uses Foley audio and audio FX (where appropriate)
You MAY NOT use special effects (no CGI blood or explosions)
Lesson - Fast/Slow Motion Short Film (watch the playlist)
Assignment - Create a film that is 1-3 minutes in length and uses both fast and slow motion to create dynamic action.
Lesson - Special FX and Slow Motion Tutorials
Semester Benchmark #2 - Action Sequences
Create a short film (5-10 minutes) that creates epic and glorious action through the use of AS MANY AS POSSIBLE of the following techniques:
• Has some kind of dialogue/story/screenplay
• Fast and slow motion
• Multiple camera angles
• Keyframe zooms and pans
• Special Effects -- muzzle flash, 3D camera angles, smoke screen, explosions, etc. (use
either the Action Pack Essentials on the Macs and/or Motion 5)
• Green screen effects
• Design and print (in color) a PROMOTIONAL POSTER using Pages, Pixelmator or Adobe
• Create a 30 second Trailer (due before the main project for anticipatory review)