Film Editing & Design

*Fall Semester Lessons:

    Writing Assignment - Movie Moment Assignment.pdf

    Film Apprecation Assignments:

          Cinematography (Children of Men, Birdman)

          Thriller (Shaun of the Dead, The Shining, Creep)

          Acting/Directing (Django, Whiplash)


    Lesson - Movie Making Process and First Film Assignment

           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 - Photography 101

        Camera Tutorial:  Full and Basic Modes on Canon EOS Camera

        Camera Tutorial:  Creating Depth of Field

        Camera Tutorial:  Experimenting with Low Light

      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 - 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).

Click here to see some previous examples


    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 - Film Analysis Assignment

      How to analyze film

      How to analyze movies like a boss (Part 1) -- After reading this article, scroll to the bottom that contains Parts 2--7 for additional ideas on how to analyze film

     Lesson - Cinematography Film Analysis

        Emmanuel Lubezki "Chivo" Analysis - Children of Men and Birdman

    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 Urban Elements into your theme.  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

       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



    Semester Benchmark #1 - Thriller Film

      • Make a Thriller/Horror 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)

      • Click here to see some information on how to mimic the horror genre

   Film Appreciation - Thriller Analysis

Film Analysis Worksheet (Thriller).docx


   Film Appreciation - Acting, Directing, & Screenwriting Analysis

Film Analysis Worksheet - Acting, Directing, Screenwriting.docx  

  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:


           Django: Unchained

           Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

           Kill Bill

           No Country For Old Men


           Star Wars: A New Hope

           The Dark Knight

           The Dark Knight Rises

           The Social Network

           Toy Story 3

           Good Will Hunting


           Children of Men


           12 Years a Slave

           The Imitation Game


    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

    Lesson - Pro Project

     • You must complete a project by the end of the 1st semester that demonstrates your talents as

          an aspiring film maker

      • You must present a written Pro Project Proposal to your instructor by the second week of


      • This project can be done in groups of no more than THREE people, or as an individual

      • Project ideas could include:

           • 5-10 minute highlight film for a sports team

           • School play or musical production

           • Music video

           • Filming school events

           • Building things for the FE&D class (look up “Do-It-Yourself film making” on YouTube or

               online for some ideas).  Some possibilities could include:

           • Shoulder mount stabilizers for cameras

           • DIY lighting or audio

           • DIY camera dolly

           • Assisting another teacher with film or YouTube needs (filming a lab and putting it on their

               Moodle page, for instance)

           • Assisting Catholic Radio with podcast productions or filming needs (contact Roy Brown)

           • Marketing projects for the BCS system


    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)

      Click here to see previous examples


    Lesson - Special FX and Slow Motion Tutorials


    Action Film Appreciation

Film Analysis Worksheet (Saving Private Ryan).docx

    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)

    First Semester Extra Credit Opportunity

      Make a film that uses as many of the film tactics that we have learned this semester that you can into a film that is 1-3 minutes in length, and based on the theme of Crazy, Ridiculous, or Even a Little Weird

      Click here to see previous examples