Film Editing & Design

*Spring Semester Lessons:    

Lesson - Independent Website Creation

      Make professional website that advertises your talents as a film editor, videographer, or photographer.

      This site will serve as a method of displaying your work throughout the rest of the class.

      Your Website must include the following:

      Original Film/Photography Company Name

      Unique Domain or Subdomain Name

      A Homepage that displays your LOGO and Information about your company

      A page for your PHOTOGRAPHY

      A page for your FILMS

      Click here to see previous examples

Lesson - Film Appreciation Presentation

      Choose a movie that you think has some amazing qualities (artistically, musically, cinematically, etc.).  Group sizes are limited to 2 people, and no one can do the same movie. Next follow these steps:

      Sign up on the FE&D calendar with your movie choice (first come, first serve)

      Everyone in your group needs to have seen the movie you’ve chosen

      On the assigned due date, bring in a clip to play before the class

     Your clip should not be more than 5-7 minutes in length

      Your clip must be a clip taken from YouTube or ripped from a DVD, then saved to your powerpoint or to a flash drive (DO NOT bring in a DVD or take time to find the clip on YouTube)

      Your clip cannot give away any important plot features or endings

      In a visually-motivated powerpoint (has pictures and nice text with bullet points) describe to the class what about this movie reveals something incredible for the world of cinema

      Research some things about the movie to provide some information about the film, and focus especially on film trivia and fun facts about the film that make it memorable (you should also provide a basic summary of the film, but please don’t give away any endings!)

      Good research link:

Presentation Length = 10-12 minutes (including clip time)

Point Value = 300 points

Lesson - Superbowl Commercials

      Make a 30 second Superbowl Commercial that is over the top in its AWESOMENESS

      Click here to see previous examples

Lesson - Creative Portraiture

          Take at least one creative portrait of a human or animal subject.  Your portrait must do more than simply be a picture of a person or animal, but it should tell a story about your subject and creatively bring that subject to life.

     Click here for an article about it

     Lesson - Cinema Audio Project

      Choose ONE of the following projects to complete this month

      All Original Audio -- Original Music/Sound FX Scene

Presentation Length = 3 or more minutes in length

       Must have a storyboard

      Create an original song using either Garageband or Logix Pro X

      Make a film that fits your original song and uses Foley Audio and ADR for any additional sound effects

      Classic Karate Film

           Presentation Length = 3 or more minutes in length

           Must have a storyboard

           Uses ADR (Automatic Dialogue Replacement) and all Foley Audio to create a classic karate film in the 1970s style

     Lesson - Feature Film Production

      COMARADEN - WWI Original Screenplay

      COMRADEN Prep/Concept Design


     Lesson - Mockumentary News Report

      Create a 2-5 minute Mock-News Anchor program that contains a news anchor introduction and investigative reporting (this should be humorous, but attempts to look serious)... Think Anchorman and Ron Burgundy

      Must use a Green Screen backdrop for creation of a news set or background

      You are also welcome to try self-replication using Greenscreen and garbage mattes

      Click Here for ideas and examples

   Photography Portfolio (Part 1)

        Create a photography portfolio containing at least TWO photos for each of the categories listed below.  You will present these in class, but you will also need to keep these files for a final Photography Portfolio assignment to be turned in at the end of the semester.  These pictures should be edited using Pixelmator, Photoshop, or other photo editing apps or internet resources that are available.

        Tilt Shift Photography (Miniaturize)

           Click here to see the lesson

        Black and White Photography

           Click here to see examples

        Photographer “Selfie”

           Click here to see the lesson

    Lesson - March Madness (Random Film Festival)

      You will create a 2-5 minute film that incorporates 10-15 random elements (objects, locations, catch phrases, etc.) that will be chosen in class.

      Random Elements For this Year Include:

                  •  Meow Mix

          • Crystal Pepsi

          • Guitar

          • Carpet/Rug Burn  

          • Joe Biden

          •  White Privelege

          • Kim Jung Un

          • 4th Wall Break

          • Shaking Freezable Fruit Shapes

          • Hot Wheels

          • Magic Swords

          • Communism

          • Foot Cream

          • Honey Buns

          • Butter Nut Squash

          • "Bottoms up, and the Devil laughs!"

          • Stuff only 90s kids remember

          • Oreos

          • Gene Simmons

      You must have elements of plot/story, dialogue, and characterization along with the random elements.

      Click here to watch the playlist

    Semester Benchmark #1 - Film Noir

        Lesson - Film Noir

                Film Noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those that emphasize cynical attitudes and dangerous and debauched motivations. Hollywood's classical film noir period is generally regarded as extending from the early 1940s to the late 1950s. Film noir of this era is associated with a low-key black-and-white visual style that has roots in German Expressionist cinematography. Many of the prototypical stories and much of the attitude of classic noir derive from the hardboiled school of crime fiction that emerged in the United States during the Great Depression.


          Click here to see a great article on Film Noir with examples of neo-noir films made since 2000

       In Class Movie Analysis Assignments:

      We will watch three neo-noir films to prepare for this project.  The first is Following (2000), the second is Memento (2000), and the third is Nightcrawler (2014).  You will need to fill out a film review sheet for both, and you will need to rent the films and complete the assignment if you miss class.

      Film Noir Analaysis Worksheet


      Independent Film Assignment:

      You will need to choose one of the films listed below and watch them outside of class.  You will then write a response paper that fulfills all of the following requirements:

           Must be TYPED and printed for submission

           Must have a 1 paragraph summary of the plot and main characters

           Must have a 1 paragraph description of the film noir elements and styles used in the film

           Must contain a description in which you choose ONE scene and describe the details of the scene, and how that scene fulfills the elements of the film noir genre

      These are the films you can choose from:

           Sin City (2005)

           Se7en (1995)

           Shutter Island (2010)

           Black Swan (2010)

           The Lookout (2007)

           The Machinist (2004)

           Collateral (2004)

           A History of Violence (2005)

           Drive (2011)

     Original Film Assignment:

      Create a Film Noir style drama that is at least 7 minutes in length

      Is filmed in Black and White with high contrast and dark lighting

      Uses a backing narrative voice

      Uses creative lighting effects and cinematography

      Contains elements of crime and mystery

      At least one character qualifies as a dangerous character (like a “Dangerous Woman”) to the protagonist

      Click here to see examples

      Lesson - Spring Photography Portfolio #2

      Take one picture for all of the following themes (Google them if you need ideas):




      Due the First Weeek of May on your Website

      Lesson - Music Video

           Presentation Length = 1 song length

           Must have a storyboard

           Must use an appropriate song

           Action and content must be reflective of the messages/lyrics of the song

           Editing and Special FX are reflective of advanced music video techniques

    Extra Credit Lesson - Director/Actor/Actress Appreciation Project

In groups of THREE, you and your film team will develop a short presentation that will show the class something about the career of ONE director/actor/actress

       You presentation must meet all of the following requirements:

       Must have a short montage sequence of their films

       Must have film facts about the person you have chosen (do not give us a biography, however)

       Must have a short clip from one movie that is revealing about their career, and you will analyze this clip for techniques used by the director/actor/actress

      Clip must not give away any endings from the film

      Clip must not be longer than 5 minutes in length

You will present the 2nd week of May

  Final Semester Benchmark - Original Screenplay Films

Create an original film based on one of our class screenplays that meets all of the following requirements:


      Your story must have original dialogue and your screenplay should include director cues that will help build the story to a climactic conclusion

      Recommendation -- Use Celtx (click here to see video)

  Music Choice

      Must fit the action/drama/comedy happening on screen (can be either original or copy written)

      Editing/Special FX

       You must show that you have learned new skills this year!  Make it look amazing!

  Cinematography and Lighting

      Must use artistic camera angles and dramatic lighting that build the intensity and artistic quality of the film

      Find ways to create emotion through camera work and dramatic lighting

Presentation length = 10 minutes or more

Your screenplay will be due no later than (but it is recommended you turn it in sooner so that it can be approved before filming begins) the 2nd week of May for your group, but your film will be due the   3rd week of May during Senior finals

Spring Semester Extra Credit Opportunities:

Screenplay Film Analysis -- Watch one or more films from the Oscar Nominated Films for Best Screenplay and Oscar Nominated Films for Best Adapted Screenplay.  After you have watched the film(s), TYPE a detailed response to the following questions:

     1. What film did you watch, and summarize the film and its plot (no major spoilers, please!)

     2. What was one scene that made an impression on you?  Describe it in detail.

     3. What was impactful about this film?  What did you learn about film as an art form from watching it?  What was particularly well-done about the film, and how did the screenplay make this possible?

Model Warfare Battle Scene -- Create a 2-5 minute war movie with toys and props.  Your focus should be on creating a realistic battle scene through the use of creative camera angles, appropriate sound and music, and special effects or impact explosions.   Avoid the following:

Scenery that looks out of place (cars, houses in the background)

Your hands guiding the props

Your shadows over the battlefield

Superhero Project -- Although this project is intended as a group presentation, you could also do this as an individual.  Plan a presentation date with your instructor.

Surreal Photography -- Create a crazy surreal photo using Pixelmator

Original Screenplay -- Write a screenplay that contains both dialogue and director cues (costuming, staging, action, narrators) to fit a 10-20 minute movie.  HINT:  A Screenplay to fit a movie of this length should be at least 10-20 pages in length!