This video corresponds with Film Session Plan 1. Film genres discussed to encourage critical thinking. Group work involves creating a plot synopsis, cross-pollinating ideas, exploration of Storyboarding: role of planning, visualising, camera angles, movement, framing and storyboard production.
This video corresponds with Film Session Plan 2. The skills covered are: following pre-production planning through to production phase, delegation of roles, capturing video and audio and safely. Group activity involves producing a film using these skills.
This video corresponds with Film Session Plan 3. Participants learn to bring captured footage into a video editing package. Advice is given on rough editing and low quality export as useful in the long film making process.
Deep Dive Section
Film Genres: https://www.filmsite.org/genres.html
Free scriptwriting tools:
First, you might want to introduce the visual language of the camera – 5 elements:
- Composition https://www.production.4filmmaking.com/cinematography7.html
- Camera movement; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwEnJRUogYA Zoom Dolly shot; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JubfQs7gpT0 )
- Shot types and acronyms: https://www.mediacollege.com/video/shots/
- Camera angles and what they do: https://youtu.be/3vQNwn3A4_A and https://www.mediacollege.com/video/camera/angles/
- Shot length https://www.nofilmschool.com/watch-how-length-cut-can-change-meaning-scene (NOTE -there are some adult themes in this resource. Not for classroom viewing)
Shot list template
Be realistic about scheduling – on a typical student film, rule of thumb is that it takes approximately one 8-hour shooting day to cover 2-4 minutes of script time (although you may not be going for the same level!).
Plan in advance to make sure you have all the crew members you need for your shoots. Make sure everyone is clear on their roles. A good group to have is a director, a producer, a cameraperson, and a sound person if you’re capturing audio externally, as well as your actors.
Have a few options for each location. Look at light, noise (traffic, fridge hum etc).
Always shoot at as high a resolution as possible. You can always reduce quality – it’s very difficult to enlarge. Goes for sound as well as video.
Always shoot in colour, even if you plan to show in black and white. Grading and colour control should be done in post
Always get more than you need. Better to have 10 takes with two working than one with none (digital video is pretty much free!).
Leave a buffer at the start and end of each take.
Director calls the shots (literally)
Use a clapper board if capturing sound externally, or clap! (to sync sound/ track shots) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clapperboard
If you have a producer, log every shot as it’s happening. See for example: http://www.mediacollege.com/video/production/shot-log/shotlog.png This makes editing easier.
Full list of documents here http://www.filmsourcing.com/blog/production-documents/ (not all of these are necessary!).
DSLR settings (canon): 1080p, 160 iso or multiples thereof, shutter speed of 50. Shoot as flat as possible (gives greater latitude in post). For more info see: http://blog.vincentlaforet.com/2012/03/12/setting-up-your-canon-5d-mkii-and-mkiii/
Sound: 24bit, 48000hz. If using your phone, make sure you can export the audio as a useable file (eg MP3), or shoot video with sound and just dump the video element in post.
Some possible software :
Windows Movie Maker (free with Windows. Simple features)
iMovie – http://www.apple.com/lae/mac/imovie/ (free with iOS. Simple features)
Adobe Premiere Pro – http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere.html (expensive – free trial available. Full features)
Final Cut Pro – http://www.apple.com/final-cut-pro/ (expensive. Full features. Free trial available)
Avid Media Composer – http://www.avid.com/media-composer (expensive. Full features. Free trial available)
KdenLive – https://kdenlive.org/ (Linux, Free. Full features)
WeVideo https://www.wevideo.com/ (browser based, free personal account, free trial of education packages)
YouTube editor – https://youtu.be/editor (free, ads)
Editing is usually done between the director and the editor, using your storyboard, shot list, and shot logs if you have them. Go through all your footage from your logs and decide which takes you’ll use. Take notes (you can make an edit log document here too if you wish).
Editing beats/story arc (USUALLY);
- Exposition: The introduction the story in which characters are introduced, setting is revealed. Slower editing beats/longer cuts
- Rising Action: A series of events that complicate matters for the protagonist, creating a rise in the story’s suspense or tension. Faster cuts.
- Climax: The point of greatest tension in the story and the turning point in the narrative arc from rising action to falling action. Fast cuts, leading to pause/all is lost moment (eg – https://youtu.be/6QOcaW1M3JM?t=2m13s )
- Falling Action: After the climax, the unfolding of events in a story’s plot and the release of tension leading toward the resolution. Can be fast or slower cuts. Usually slower.
- Resolution: The end of the story, typically, in which the problems of the story and of the protagonists are resolved. Slower editing beats/longer cuts
Think about how the length of your cut impacts the scene – see preproduction deep dive section.
Transitions also have their own narrative meaning: https://youtu.be/sgYX1c8rczk
Technical settings differ with each program used. Google is your friend.
Depending on the software you’re using, you may have to set these. They need to match your source footage. For example, the frame rate (24fps, 25fps, 30fps..), the resolution of the video (1080p etc) and the sound settings (eg 48000hz). These are usually set when you first set up your project. You may also be asked to set up where your files are saved, where your source material is etc.
Importing video/sound to project
Usually simply file>import (or similar). Ensure you (and your students) are working with LOCAL files (ie, files that have been transferred to a specific folder on the computer you’re editing on) and not files directly from a USB key, phone etc. The links have to remain intact or the editing will be lost from session to session. Use your shot log here if you have them – don’t import files you know are no good.
Syncing sound to video
If you’ve recorded sound separately to video, use your clapper board (or your clap) that you recorded at the start of each take. Move the audio file so that audio and video clap are synced. Depending on the program, you can see the audio wavelength in the timeline, and also zoom right in to specific frames, to get absolutely perfect placement. Some software such as Premiere Pro will sync your files automatically https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJGWnGFtOQA
Unlinking sound and video (for cutaways etc)
Sometimes you’ll have audio in a video file that you want to remove (for example in cutaway shots – see shot types from preproduction notes). You can ‘unlink’ the audio and video aspects of a file in the timeline, and then delete the audio from the timeline. There may also be times when you want to delete the video and retain the audio (if you’ve used your phone in video mode to record audio for example). Note that the clips usually have to be imported and then placed on the timeline for this to be possible. The imported file in your project remains intact – it’s just the specific instance of it in the timeline that’s unlinked. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oI9b7p7WcFE has more information
Working in layers
Higher end editing suites allow layered editing. Audio can usually be layered for effect (allowing multiple tracks to be audible simultaneously – a backing track and the sound of a car door slamming over it for example). Video can also be layered, but requires transparency adjustment or placement https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJsrbuc7DaY
Cutting and Moving/transitions
The two tools you’ll use in editing. Cut your clips in the timeline (the imported file in your project remains intact, just like unlinking sound and video). Cut your files and move them about to edit your film (it’s really as simple as that). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2ZVVAjcvOM
In many ways, just like using word. You can have moving or static titles, change the font etc. Be careful you stay within safe margins (usually displayed). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0r2Vl60hgY
Exporting the final file (compression, file formats etc)
All video files are compressed. Try to keep your files at a high quality, but be mindful of file size. You can play with settings, but be aware that render times can be long. https://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/how-to/export-sequence-clip-premiere-cc.html
Sharing to the web
Vimeo – https://vimeo.com/ is best for high quality and no ads. It can have issues with certain browsers though. YouTube – www.youtube.com compresses your videos more, and has ads, but is a more ‘social’ platform, and plays well with Google Drive, Tumblr etc.
Deeper Dive: Adobe Premiere Pro Basics (Free)
Full Course ($19) https://www.udemy.com/adobe-premiere-pro/
Video and film production: Windows Movie Maker, iMovie
Methods, projects for digital media literacy: https://www.medienpaedagogik-praxis.de/
Tips for DIY und Making:
Materials for supporting digital media literacy: