PDF study guide for teachers undertaking video production in the

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PDF study guide for teachers undertaking video production in the
Developed by
with contributions from
Supported by
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STUDY GUIDE
Introduction
What is FaceBC?
Welcome to FaceBC, a youth digital video
project! Created by Vancouver’s Pacific
Cinémathèque and presented in
association with Portrait Gallery of
Canada, a programme of Library and
Archives Canada, and the Vancouver Art
Gallery, FaceBC is an exciting project
funded by a Multiculturalism Program of
Citizenship and Immigration Canada and
community partner 2010 Legacies Now.
Over two years, youth from across British
Columbia participated in workshops and
digital filmmaking intensives where they
created short video portraits of themselves,
their communities, their culture and their
province. Fourteen communities from
across the province took part in this
extraordinary project.
Guided by expert facilitators, participants
engaged in critical dialogue about culture,
landscape, identity, and how these ideas
intersect. They visited galleries, discussed
art and film, and developed their own
ideas about creating meaningful digital
art. Conversations led to scripts, scripts
became shot footage, and over the years
thousands of shots were molded into 57
distinct short videos and one behind-thescenes documentary. Each project
explored its participants’ identities, and
each community expressed its unique
culture and perspective in an innovative
and exciting way. Along the way, the face
of BC started to take shape, burgeoning
into a mosaic of places from around the
province, and people and cultures from
around the world. We are thrilled to
welcome you to this digital study guide,
and hope that you will enjoy this resource.
Your DVD contains films from the FaceBC
project, a photo slideshow, and this PDF,
which is paired closely with the Behind-theScenes documentary, The Making of a
Video Self-Portrait. This resource gives you
instructions for activities and learning
exercises, and outlines the logistics of
taking video production into the classroom.
Through these practical resources, we
hope to offer educators, community
leaders and students the necessary tools to
take part in thoughtful conversations, and
to help them find meaningful ways to
express themselves through the medium of
digital video.
Digital filmmaking is an exhilarating,
exasperating, intensely meaningful
experience for students and mentors, and
if the idea of engaging youth in this
educational experience intrigues you,
you’ve come to the right place. The main
rule of thumb is that no one size fits all –
you know best what will work for you and
your students. Whether your project is
similar to FaceBC, or you’re simply looking
for a way to integrate video into your
existing curriculum, this study guide will
provide activities and techniques that have
worked for us, and hopefully will work for
you too.
We’ll give you some realistic ideas of what
to expect if you embark on this creative
adventure: the impact and lasting effects
that can come from exploring self
expression, storytelling, and team building
through video production. We wish you
the best in your projects, and welcome you
to FaceBC.
STUDY GUIDE
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What is Pacific Cinémathèque?
Pacific Cinémathèque is a not-for-profit
institution dedicated to the understanding of
film and moving images in both the
Canadian and international contexts.
Through screenings and the provision of
educational services and resources, Pacific
Cinémathèque fosters critical media literacy
and advances cinema as an art and a vital
means of communication in British Columbia
and Canada. The Education Department at
Pacific Cinémathèque is a national leader in
the production of innovative film and media
resources for the education community. Visit
us at http://education.cinematheque.bc.ca.
A word from our partners at
Vancouver Art Gallery
The Vancouver Art Gallery was founded in
1931 and is today the largest art gallery in
Western Canada. It presents major
exhibitions from groundbreaking
contemporary art to historical masters and
has a permanent collection of 8,430 works
reflecting art making in British Columbia set
within a national and international context.
The Gallery works to preserve its collection
and make it and other visual art accessible
to a wide range of audiences.
The Gallery believes art is a site of
discussion and debate and that one of the
Gallery’s primary functions as a public
institution is to provide a forum for the
exchange of ideas. The Gallery is both a
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presenter and a producer of art knowledge,
creating original scholarship and providing
tools for making sense of art.
The Vancouver Art Gallery teen program
was thrilled to participate in Face BC. The
project provided the opportunity for students
to be engaged with and challenged by
original works of art, which addressed issues
of identity, culture and a sense of place. In
doing so, it offered a foundation for students
to enrich and extend their own ideas, their
own voice, about these subjects and to
further expand the possibilities for the
creation of their own video projects.
Study Guide Credits
The FaceBC Study Guide was written and
designed by Liz Schulze, with contributions
from Maureen Zetler, Vancouver Art
Gallery, and Pacific Cinémathèque’s website
inpoint.org, written by Corin Browne, Stuart
Poyntz, and Analee Weinberger.
Liz Schulze is the Education Manager at
Pacific Cinémathèque, and has been
engaged in media literacy and video
production for over a decade. Her BFA in
Film from Simon Fraser University focused on
documentary cinema, and her work with
both Pacific Cinémathèque and the Royal
Conservatory of Music’s Learning Through
the Arts™ program have given her the
opportunity to work extensively with youth
and educators across the country in digital
video production and media literacy.
STUDY GUIDE
Table of Contents
3
Introduction
6
Planning a Digital Filmmaking Project
11
Part 1: So You Want to Make a Movie…
26
Part 2: Different Learners, Different Styles
35
Part 3: The Funneling Process
39
Part 4: From Script to Screen
52
What People Had to Say About FaceBC
53
Additional Resources
54
FaceBC Film & Study Guide Credits
Curriculum Links
The FaceBC Digital Study Guide can be
used to achieve prescribed learning
outcomes in the following subjects:
English 11 & 12
Drama (Film and Television 11 & 12)
Social Studies 11 & 12
STUDY GUIDE
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Planning a Digital Filmmaking Project
Starting any youth video project requires three main components: a good plan, digital
filmmaking equipment, and an understanding of how youth-produced video will differ from
mainstream media. Let’s get started with the plan.
The Plan
The accessibility of digital filmmaking has made
it possible to begin video projects quickly,
cheaply and easily, which has led to both
incredible successes and great
disappointments. Achieving success is easy
with a realistic, well-planned approach and an
ability to be flexible and creative in the
moment. We’re starting our study guide with a
few considerations to help you create a project
plan to support you throughout the process.
A good digital filmmaking plan is like any other good plan: it has factored in a multitude of
dynamics that will impact the process and the outcome, and contains backups and solutions
ready for the inevitable problems which can, and do, occur.
Your plan is going to be specific to you and your students, and should include the following
components:
o Project goals (for curriculum, technical, and artistic
skill development)
o Schedule (including research/instructional time,
writing, production planning, filming, editing,
exporting, and final exhibition)
o Required Resources (technical, human, and other)
o Budget (video tapes, DVDs, props, costumes,
hardware, equipment purchase/rental, and final
exhibition costs)
Despite the best intentions, our experience with digital filmmaking has taught us that there are
plenty of “unexpected” factors that affect a project, for which (with time and experience) we
have learned to add time and consideration in our plan. The following page provides you
with a chart exploring some of the most important elements to consider. This will help to set
you up for a successful digital filmmaking project.
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STUDY GUIDE
Factor
What Project Elements are Impacted?
What are the overall thematic and
educational goals of your project?
- Length of allotted research/instructional time.
- Length of allotted writing/pre-production time.
- Length of videos – what and how much content
needs to be covered?
- Integration of activities/requirements into production
(ex. video content needs to answer questions).
- Content of technical workshops.
- Project criteria and possible rubric.
- Length of videos.
(1 day project time = approx. 30 sec. fiction screen
time or 20 sec. documentary screen time).
- Production quality.
- Editing software employed (use simple software for
one-day to three-day projects, and ideally more
professional programs for longer projects,
depending on participant age).
- Length of the videos.
- Production quality.
- Length of video workshops/activities.
- Group size and dynamics.
- Camera, sound, and computer equipment used.
- Editing software employed (use simple software for
youth 6-13, and ideally more professional programs
for youth 14 and older).
- Production quality.
- Need for guest experts or technical support.
- Production quality and youth/educator expectations.
- Technical workshops required.
- Need for guest experts or technical support.
- Project duration (not surprisingly, technical issues
can use up extensive amounts of time – planning
ahead can significantly improve this issue).
- Production quality (Lighting and sound equipment
significantly affect the final product, and should be
considered in project planning).
- Project duration (if video or editing equipment need
to be rented).
- Length of videos (if video or editing equipment need
to be rented and project duration is affected).
- Production quality.
- Project duration.
- Need for guest experts or technical support.
- Need for parent volunteers.
What specific skills (critical thinking, technical,
artistic) do you intend to develop?
How many hours or days you have to devote
to the project?
NB. A good rule of thumb here is to assume
that your project will take 1 1/2 - 2 times as
long as you initially imagine, unless you
and/or your group have engaged in video
production before.
What are the ages and capabilities of your
participants?
What is your experience level in video
production?
What is your access to technical resources video equipment, sound equipment, computer
editing stations and software – and where
can you get help with this during technical
troubleshooting?
What is your budget?
NB: Digital filmmaking can be done very
cheaply, but there are some costs (tapes,
DVDs, guest experts, or even
purchased/rented equipment) that you
should plan for.
What are some problems you can expect to
encounter, and how can you overcome them?
STUDY GUIDE
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Digital Filmmaking Equipment
With every passing year, high quality video equipment becomes more affordable and
accessible to the average consumer, youth, and educator. This creates an exciting, if
sometimes confusing, situation. Youth seem to be the experts as an endless stream of new
technologies, equipment, and jargon are incorporated into our media-saturated lives. The
key to remember is that while new gadgets and gear are exciting, they only add on to the
fundamentals that have existed since the advent of photography in the early 19th Century.
Technology also doesn’t change the structure of a successful youth-produced film. We’ll be
exploring these fundamentals in detail in the Technical Skills and Visual Language section of
this guide, and here will simply present a few broad categories to consider when choosing
which equipment you’ll use:
Digital Video Camera
There are many different types of affordable digital video cameras available, and in this everexpanding market it’s key to consider only a few factors:
o Compatibility with your computer & editing system: the most important factor to consider
is whether or not the camera you use is fully compatible with your editing system. The
best way to find out? Test it in advance. For this reason, if youth bring their own
cameras, insist that they connect their camera to the computer and import test footage
before filming their project. This will help to ensure a smooth post-production process.
o Recording medium: miniDV tape, internal hard drive, miniDVD, or DVD. If you’re
choosing between cameras, we recommend either
of the first two options, which don’t automatically
compress (and reduce the quality of) the footage
you take;
o Image Quality: 3-Chip, HD, HDV, standard
definition… so many options and so many
technologies! Just remember that the best cameras
for youth productions don’t offer extensive
gimmicks, but instead offer good image quality and
a nice optical zoom function. Ask an expert on this
one, online or in a store, and definitely be sure to
look for a good quality lens. And if you’re hoping
to broadcast the videos on television, ensure that
you do choose HD, the new basic standard;
o Ease of use: Look for cameras where the White
Balance, Manual Focus and Iris/Exposure buttons
or menus are easy to access.
Plan to have one camera for every group of three to six youth (this number is needed to
adequately crew a video shoot), and ensure that everyone in the group knows how to use it.
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Sound
Sound equipment is, sadly, most often
overlooked. External microphones and boom
poles make a big difference to the sound of a
project, while on-board camera microphones
can only - unfortunately - offer the worst option
in sound quality. Work with the best you have,
secure a quiet set, and make sure that
filmmakers use headphones to monitor the
sound. The key is to listen intently and record
another take when the sounds they are
intending to record (dialogue and natural
sounds within the scene) are too quiet, too
loud, or too muffled in the midst of other sounds in the environment.
Lighting
Great lighting can transform a boring scene into a visually stunning sequence. At this phase,
simply provide groups with bounce-boards (large white surfaces for reflecting soft light onto a
dark area), practicals (lamps or other lights to use within the scene), and ideally a small
video lighting kit for indoor shoots (if possible). Lighting can be as simple as choosing a
frame with some dark areas, highlights, and in-between shades. This invites the eye to
examine various areas of the screen, while not being overly distracting.
Editing System and Computer Hardware/Software
Most of the time you use what you have access to, but no matter what your editing system,
here are a few things to consider about editing software and hardware:
o Editing Hardware: Mac or PC computers are equally capable of creating incredible
projects. Just make sure that you are using computers with plenty of RAM and hard drive
memory to ensure smooth editing (at least 50 Gigabytes per project, or more if
necessary). If you’re using an external hard drive, another tip is to only edit using a
Firewire 400/800 connection. Anything less stable (like a USB connection) can cause
problems and can also crash or freeze your computer while you’re working.
o Editing Software: We use simple software (such as iMovie or Moviemaker) for projects
that span the equivalent length of one to three full days, and ideally more professional
software (such as Final Cut Pro or Premiere) for longer projects, depending on participant
age and skill levels. Other software exists, however the online support for these tools is
extensive and they are easy to learn and use. If you haven’t got editing software, check
out Open Source Cinema, in our Additional Resources section;
o Back-ups for Work: Be sure that you create duplicate back-ups of work during or at the
end of each project, using an external hard drive or by creating a Data DVD of the
project files or final, exported QuickTime file. Prepare in advance by obtaining DVDs or
an external hard drive with lots of room.
STUDY GUIDE
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Youth-Produced Film and Video
While not a genre in the traditional sense of the word, youth-produced film and video has a
distinctive set of characteristics when the production process does not follow traditional
Hollywood structure and content. The following provides a set of guidelines for understanding
and teaching youth-produced work from a youth-focused perspective:
What defines youth-produced film and video?
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
Self-conscious and reflective about the lives and experiences of young people.
Presents a distinctively non-Hollywood, non-adult point of view.
Provides a medium for youth to express their thoughts, feelings and views in a creative
and expressive way.
Produced collaboratively, with a focus on democratic production process.
Mentored by experienced,
trained peer video makers,
and engaging, actionoriented instructors.
Produced through
principles of “situated
practice” and youth
focused pedagogy.
Built around story - with an
emphasis on exploring or
challenging traditional
narrative structure.
Video is usually the
medium rather than film.
Short! Most youth-produced videos are under 10 minutes, largely due to the context in
which most of them are produced (in-class or after-school programs with limited
budget) which means the video makers must grapple with issues of character
development, story arc, and verisimilitude in under 1/10th of the time of a feature
length film. Youth can discover the freedom of this short format, and rather than feel
limited by it, take the opportunity to explore single important events, or one or two
central characters.
The main goal, for your purposes, is to help youth develop their own voice, independent of
the mainstream media they often consume. Well-written satires and parodies are certainly
engaging, but are simply one form of expression. Youth projects can also encourage truly
personal stories that allow youth to explore unconventional means of visual storytelling on
their own terms.
Adapted from Characteristics of Youth-Produced Film and Video, inpoint.org
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STUDY GUIDE
Part 1: So You Want to Make a Movie
Technical Skills and Visual Language
The beginning of any video project is an exciting time! Filmmakers are energetic and usually
are filled with the indefinable essence of potential. There are always the basics to cover:
introductions, icebreakers for new groups, group dynamics, project outlines, and the
expectations and standards that you are setting.
One of the things we always work towards – starting with our first moments with the group –
is developing high standards for the project. Exceeding youth video standards can be tough;
easy-to-use technology and online video sharing have generally decreased the production
values that youth find acceptable. At this point, emphasizing quality over speed and quantity
is key; it’s better to create a well-produced two-minute video than to produce four minutes
that no one (not even you) is truly excited to watch.
All of this notwithstanding, the creative process is always worthwhile. Expectations should
guide the process, but the energy, effort and creativity put in with first-time video production
is definitely the most important factor. This begins with the first hands-on component:
technical training.
Camera Training
Every camera system is different, but the fundamentals remain the same: camera anatomy,
accessories, displays, and tripod use all need to be covered in guided educator workshops.
Knowing the camera and how to use it is
key to getting useable footage that new
filmmakers can be proud of.
One key point to remember is that all
members of the group should learn every
skill. This is not only a practical technique
for ensuring everyone’s engagement and
skill development, but it also builds a sense
of inclusion and ownership over the project
which will be invaluable as the video
progresses.
STUDY GUIDE
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Understanding the Equipment
The beginning of camera training is learning all the components of the camera body,
including the following:
o The On/Off button – This powers the camera, and in some cameras also switches the
camera between digital still and digital video record settings;
o The Record button(s) – Often found in more than
one place, and almost universally colored red;
o Zoom In/Out Button(s) or Ring – Adjusts the
zoom, or focal length, of the camera’s lens;
o Auto/Manual setting switches, including the
Auto/Manual Focus and Auto/Manual Iris
buttons. The Iris button adjusts the aperture, and
affects how much light enters the camera. It is
measured in units called f-stops (f/1.4,
f/2…f/16) where the somewhat confusing rule of
thumb is that the greater the number, the smaller
the aperture and the less light entering the camera;
o Shutter Speed – Controls how long the shutter remains open to capture each frame. This
can be used to allow more light into the camera (in low-light settings by setting the speed
at 1/30 or 1/15 second) but which can also create a “flicker” effect in low shutter speeds
(as with early films filmed at shutter speeds of 1/15 second and played back at 1/24
second). This is sometimes preferable to increasing the Gain, described below;
o Gain Setting – Digitally boosts the amount of light in
the resulting image. This creates a pixilated look in the
image and its use is strongly discouraged;
o ND (Neutral Density) Filter – Manually and neutrally
(without color adjustment) reduces the amount of light
in the resulting image. In bright, outdoor settings, the
addition of the ND filter can be a lifesaver;
o White balance – Adjusts the camera’s internal setting
for color temperature to compensate for different light
colors. For example, sunlight appears blue on-camera
compared to indoor light, which appears orange. The
white balance can be adjusted to preset
indoor/outdoor settings or to a custom-setting (which
we always do) to ensure that all the footage you take
has the same hue;
o Menu screen – This is where other universal record settings are adjusted (for example,
standard or widescreen settings), and where further changes can be made. It’s best to
consult the manual and experiment with these before your project begins.
o Viewfinder & LCD screen – These are the visible verification of all the settings you adjust.
Treat them as a double check for filmmakers, before pressing the Record button.
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STUDY GUIDE
Ensure that all filmmakers learn and
practice the following:
o Safely inserting and ejecting the
tape (if applicable);
o Inserting and ejecting the battery;
o Becoming familiar with all LCD
Display Elements (no tape/tape
length remaining icon, battery level
icon, Auto/Manual Focus Indicator,
Auto/Manual Iris Indicators, and
the Audio Monitors & Frequency
(N.B. This setting should be at 48K,
and the levels should generally be
between 2/3 to 3/4 of the meter,
with just moments in the red. If the
levels stay there, the audio levels
need to be turned down.)
In
o
o
o
o
o
addition, learning how to use the Tripod is an important step. Need to know skills include:
Raising and lowering the legs and any other areas of the tripod;
How to attach the base plate to the camera and mount it on the tripod securely;
How to level the tripod;
How to secure the levels without moving the tripod’s location;
Tripod safety when the camera is on the tripod – being 100% sure that the camera is
properly secured, that tripod legs are stable and locked, and that there is no chance that
the camera will fall off.
Once students have experimented with the camera and tripod, it’s time to move onto the
basics of digital videography.
STUDY GUIDE
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Keeping Your Eye on the Frame: Basic Cinematography Skills
First we’ll start with the actual viewers that allow us to set the frame: the traditional viewfinder
and the LCD display, which many young filmmakers prefer. It’s true, the creation of the LCD
(liquid crystal display) viewfinder was an exciting moment in digital filmmaking. But as it can
have hidden consequences for the process and the final product, virtually all digital video
cameras still have traditional viewfinders; each tool comes with its own pluses and minuses
that are useful to know.
LCD
Viewfinder
Benefits
Challenges
Collaborative filmmaking with your
group;
Larger screen for focusing;
Information on display screen.
More accurate framing;
Ability to adjust the diopter
(viewfinder’s small lens) for people
with glasses to see clearly without
glasses;
Information on display monitor.
Rapid battery drain;
Potential for issues with framing (not
100% accurate representation of the
captured frame).
Hard to share the shot, so often
groups fight over control;
Adjusted diopter can lead to out-offocus shots.
The next step in creating a fantastic image is to focus on building four key skills: focus,
framing, white balance and exposure. Focus, framing, white balance and exposure: it’s a
kind of a mantra to learn, which serves as a checklist to take into filming. Every one of these
should be adjusted and verified before the Record button is ever pressed.
1. Focus – they key here is to adjust the
camera to a manual setting and have
the camera operator adjust the focus as
necessary for each shot. While the
tendency for first-time filmmakers is to
assume that the camera’s auto-focus
setting will do a better job (and make
life easier), in almost all cases the
opposite is true. One way to explain
this is to remind the students that the
camera has neither a brain nor psychic
abilities – only the filmmakers
themselves know where (and on what
subject/object) they want their focus,
and they should be the ones to set it.
After the frame is set, simply zoom into
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the subject, set the focus, and zoom
back out to the original frame.
2. Framing – We will go over the framing
in detail in the section on Cinematic
Language, on the following page. The
key in considering framing is to keep it
simple: choose a type of shot, ensure
that you follow the Rule of Thirds, and
go with your gut. Most of us have a
great sense of what looks good and
what doesn’t; taking the time to really
look at the frame as a group will give
students a chance to create a
beautifully composed image.
STUDY GUIDE
3. Exposure (Light & Darkness and the
Iris) – As was mentioned earlier, the
Iris adjusts the aperture, and affects
how much light enters the camera. As
with the focus, the same tendency for
first-time filmmakers to assume that
auto-iris best applies here, and is
equally dangerous. There is a drastic
difference between the camera’s iris
and human eye. The best way to
demonstrate this is to present a
situation where the camera’s autolevels could work (two people sitting at
a table indoors), and another where
you must manually set levels (a window
plus an indoor object near to it – you
can’t expose for both, so the filmmaker
must choose). Always encourage the
Manual settings, but at the very least
help new filmmakers to see when the
auto-setting can destroy a shot.
4. Color (White Balance) – The easy trick
here is simply to get youth to reset the
White Balance every time they move
the camera to a different lighting setup, no matter how subtle or
insignificant it may seem. The phrase,
“We’ll fix it in post [or editing],” is
never more dangerous than here,
where color-timing in post-production
can take extended amounts of time…
and still not match!
To demonstrate all of these skills and why
they’re each important, hook up the
camera to a television’s RCA inputs
(yellow, red, and white) and play with
each setting to experientially show students
how changes in settings look. It’s fun,
engaging, and definitely the most efficient
and effective way to teach these skills.
Cinematic Language
The first step in learning cinematic
language is to give names to the
metaphorical letters of the filmmaker’s
alphabet: the types of Shots. We’re going
to start here with a list of the types of shots,
and an explanation of why we use them.
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
Wide Shot (WS) – Wide shots show
the full scene, allow the viewer to
determine the landscape of the
exterior/interior, and establish all the
people in the scene. This is why a
Wide shot at the beginning of a scene
is called the Establishing Shot.
Medium Shot (MS) – Medium shots
generally frame the head and torso, to
clearly identify the subject the audience
should focus on. They also provide
more detail to cue the viewer to what
in the scene requires our attention.
Close-Up (CU) – Close-ups show
emotion or detail, and add significant
emphasis to the subject of the close-up.
Extreme Close-Up (ECU/XCU) –
Extreme close-ups give extreme detail
and are a rare, exaggerated shot to
draw attention to something specific.
Two-Shot – Two shots feature two
subjects in the frame – generally in
either a Wide or Medium Shot.
Three-Shot – Three shots feature three
subjects in the frame – generally a WS.
The Western/Cowboy Shot – The
Western is framed at the knees, slightly
from below, and shot from far away so
that mainly only the subject is in focus.
This shot mimics the point of view of the
showdown partner.
Birds Eye View – This shot looks down
on the subject, indicating the power
dynamics of the scene.
STUDY GUIDE
15
o
o
Camera Movement
Adding another layer to the cinematic
language is the information conveyed
through camera movement. Acting as our
guide for where to look on-screen, the
movement of the camera can enhance the
viewing experience and allow filmmakers
to give a specific focus to our audience.
Here are the specifics of camera movement
and why we use them:
o Pan – Camera movement along a
horizontal axis (left to right, right to
left, or both). Pans are often used to
show the audience new information
contained in the direction the camera is
moving, or to follow a moving subject.
o Tilt – Camera movement along a
vertical axis (up and down). Like the
pan, this is often used to reveal
information contained in the direction
the camera is moving, or to follow a
moving subject.
o Zoom – Camera movement that zooms
in or out on a subject or object. The
zoom can be used to draw us into or
out of a moment subtly (using a slow
zoom), or to add dramatic emphasis or
even comic value (zooming quickly).
o Tracking Shot – Any shot which follows
a subject using either a handheld or a
wheeled device for the camera (make
sure that there are at least four wheels
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Worms Eye View – This shot looks up at the
subject, also indicating the power dynamics of
the scene.
Over the Shoulder (OTS) – Over-the-Shoulder
shots are symmetrical shots from the left and
right, over the shoulder of one person, looking at
another person in conversation or interaction.
They are often used to indicate a relationship
between the two subjects.
on the dolly or wagon as two to three
wheels definitely won’t work safely). In
both cases, a spotter is required in
addition to the camera and sound
operators and actors. Tracking shots
are usually chosen when the filmmaker
wants to follow a subject (or object) to
keep the story moving.
The key rule of thumb is that while it
always seems easy, properly filming a
moving shot can take up to five times
longer than the average still shot on set.
It’s best to use camera movement
sparingly, for practical reasons, and also
to keep it fresh for the audience.
Rules of Composition
The next factor to consider when planning
a shot is to learn the basic rules of
composition. The film frame is like a
canvas, and as viewers we are accustomed
to seeing that canvas organized in a
specific way. Here are the rules that
filmmakers usually follow in frame
composition:
o Rule of Thirds – Imagine Tic Tac Toe
lines across the camera’s frame. Using
this design, the subject’s eyes (and
often their whole body in-frame) should
fit along these lines. The human eye
naturally gravitates towards the top
STUDY GUIDE
o
o
o
third of the frame, and framing using
the rule of thirds allows us to easily
make eye contact with the subject’s
eyes along the upper horizontal line of
the Tic Tac Toe grid.
Lead Room – 2/3 of the frame ahead
of a moving or looking subject should
be empty space, allowing us to see
what is coming up (in a moving frame)
or what they are looking at.
Negative space – Empty spaces within
the frame will draw the eye and can
create visual tension – we wonder if
something is coming or someone is
about to fill that space. As a result, this
tension should be used well – either the
space should be filled later in the shot,
or the tension should be used
intentionally.
Eyeline – The direction the character is
looking should match the reality
created by the film, so if one character
looks left in the frame, the person that
they’re looking at should look right.
This rule can be tricky in its application,
so the best way to imagine it is if you
were to pan back and forth between
two people in conversation in front of
you. Check out the example below:
o
o
o
o
Depth of Frame – Using the corners of
the frame and using content in the
foreground, middle ground, and
background allows us to put the action
on all planes. This allows us to
efficiently use our frame to tell the
story. It also better mimics the way that
we see the world, in three rather than
two dimensions.
Leading lines – Lines within the frame
can draw the eye toward the subject,
clearly indicating the focus point in the
frame.
Planes of Focus – Manually shifting the
focus in a frame can emphasize various
elements in the foreground, middle
ground, and background.
Forced Perspective – This technique is
achieved by shooting someone/
something far in the background and
then placing an object or person
extremely close up in the foreground.
This forces the perspective, making the
person/object in the background
appear small and the object in the
foreground appear much larger than
anything else in the frame.
Shot 1: Subject #1 is framed in a
Medium Shot, looking frame right.
Shot 2: Subject #2 is also framed in a
Medium Shot, looking frame left.
Together, similar framing, and ensuring that Subject #1 and Subject #2 are looking
“towards” each other in the two different frames, creates a matching eyeline.
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Scavenger Hunt Activity
This activity gets filmmakers to apply all the skills learned about the basics
of camera equipment and cinematography, and puts them to the test.
Here are the Rules:
1. Your time limit is 30 minutes!
2. Each shot must be at least five seconds long, with five seconds of black
recorded between each shot.
3. Compose each shot meaningfully, framing the shot carefully and remembering
the Rule of Thirds.
4. Do not use camera movements unless indicated.
5. Use manual focus only – no auto focus allowed.
6. Remember that before you record, you must check all of the following: focus,
framing, white balance and exposure.
Here are your Required Shots:
! CU of your group members’ names printed
! CU of water running
! CU of a bouncing ball (follow the ball)
! CU of a working clock
! XCU mouth smiling
! MS of a reflection
! MS “color bars” - something red, blue, and yellow
! WS of someone entering frame right, exit frame left
! WS of playground or swing set
! OTS of Person A - Person B approaches and tells a joke
! PAN of someone running like their pants are on fire!
! TRACK a student down the hall
! TILT from name of a building to someone walking towards camera
! WORM’S EYE VIEW of something interesting
! BIRD’S EYE VIEW of something interesting
As
•
•
•
a class, review the scavenger hunt footage and critique it based on:
Focus
Framing (Composition, the Rule of Thirds, and the successful use of tripods)
Exposure (Light & Darkness and the Iris)
• Color (White Balance)
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Cultural Identity Workshop & Brainstorming Activities
There are an endless variety of activities one can do to
jump-start critical thinking in youth participants. Our
project focus was on cultural and personal identity, and
so our introductory activity on this topic worked to get
youth thinking about personal and cultural identity in
new ways. We have provided you here with a variety
of activities we used, and while your project content
may not be the same as ours, the basic principles can
be applied to a variety of topics.
Cultural Identity – Introductory Activity
o
o
o
o
Participants will first think, then turn to a partner and
share their answer to the following question: What
do you think cultural identity means? Ideas will be
shared with the group and charted to track the
general ideas. Key points to make sure to cover
include:
o What defines you, what’s around you, and what contributes to who you are;
o Nationality, regionalism, and the integration of those concepts into the concept of
cultural identity. interpretation of that;
o Interaction of cultures and the fusion of many cultures to form a mosaic of cultural
identity;
o Various interpretations of multiculturalism, including the melting pot and mosaic
concepts.
Brainstorm of all the cultures (national, racial, regional, or otherwise) that participants
would use to self-identify. (eg: Newfie, Canadian, Micmac, German, British Columbian,
South Asian, Asian, etc.) Choose one randomly selected color to stand for each.
Explain the difference between the melting pot and the idea of a cultural mosaic.
Invite participants to create a drawing that symbolizes their own individual cultural
heritage in a mosaic, using only those colors from the
charted list that connect to their own unique cultural
identity. Have students use no more than 30 minutes
to do this, acting spontaneously and intuitively to
create an artistic image.
o Once these creations are complete, each student will
explain their work and their choices (colors, symbols,
and drawings) to the rest of the group. Discussions of
equality, representation, visibility, and selfidentification are encouraged.
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Art Gallery Activities
Part of the FaceBC experience was a visit to an art gallery or cultural institution, to allow
participants the opportunity to see other artists’ work on identity, culture, and (most
importantly for new filmmakers) how to translate abstract and theoretical ideas into concrete
artistic practice. An exciting, inspiring, and creative visit, gallery trips significantly informed
the videos produced in FaceBC. For students in the Lower Mainland, these visits occurred at
the Vancouver Art Gallery, where facilitators guided tours and engaged youth in activities to
feed concepts of identity into the creation of their videos. The activities below were provided
by the Vancouver Art Gallery, examining visual art, and aimed at enhancing participants’
comprehension of artistic techniques and approaches.
Activity: Multiple Perspectives
Objective: Students look at ways of constructing a non-realistic or imaginary landscape as a
way to think about multiple perspectives and fictional landscapes.
Discussion: The Group to Seven were artists who early on started to break down the picture
plane, flattening and rearranging space through use of shape, color and brushstroke. We
might find space compressed and flattened, or see multiple viewpoints simultaneously. Many
artists working in photography today use digital technology to construct artificial landscapes.
We read the resulting images as if they are real spaces, but on closer inspection we find that
they cannot truly exist in space or time.
Materials:
• old magazines
• paper, markers, crayons, pencil crayons, scissors, glue
• the Internet:
http://www.monteclarkgallery.com/artists/ScottMcFarland/Main.html
http://www.scottcmcfarland.com/
Process:
1. Have the class look at some images by Scott McFarland. His photographs include
numerous separate shots that he has “stitched together” digitally.
2. Ask students what tells them that this is not a single image (clues: shadows falling in
multiple directions, the same figure recurring within one image, fruits and flowers
signifying different seasons appearing on trees in the same image).
3. Ask students to think of ways to construct an outdoor scene containing conflicting
elements. Examples could include kids dressed in snow gear in a beach scene, a car
driving down a ski run, a baby in a bird’s nest...
4. Have students work in small groups to create an imaginary collaged landscape containing
impossible elements, as seen from multiple perspectives. The aim is to make it look
seamless and as real as possible.
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5. Have students cut out images from magazines and construct their landscape. They can use
markers or pencil crayons to shade and hide abrupt edges, and add extra details like
shadows.
6. Display the work.
Conclusion: Discuss the work using the
following questions as guidelines.
• Which parts of the landscapes look like
real spaces? Which parts look fake?
Which parts of the landscape look as if
they could be inhabited? Why or why
not?
• What choices did you make about space
when you were creating your work?
Follow-up: Invite a proficient student or guest
to demonstrate how to combine two or more
digital images to make a new, seamless image.
Activity: Oh! Canada
Objective: Students look at the construction of a Canadian national identity through artworks
as well as commercial advertising, and create their own version of what it means to be
Canadian.
Discussion: One of the Group of Seven’s primary concerns was to present a Canadian
national identity through their paintings. Students will think about more contemporary (and
perhaps more relevant) notions, perceptions and stereotypes of what it is to be Canadian.
For many people the northern wilderness is viewed as an integral part of the Canadian
identity. How the wilderness appears in our culture reveals a great deal about the ways we
see and understand ourselves, as well as the places in which we live. Is it possible for images
— from paintings to television advertising — to shape a sense of national identity? To what
extent are cultures and nations identified by their artistic achievements?
Materials:
• Copies of the “I am Canadian” advertisement (see next page)
• Access to the Internet and the following video:
http://www.coolcanuckaward.ca/joe_canadian.htm
• Images by Scott McFarland and the Group of Seven from books or the Internet
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Process:
1. Discuss with students, asking them:
• What/who is a Canadian?
• What does it mean to be Canadian?
• What ideas/symbols/representations do you think are typically Canadian?
• What stereotypes of Canadians do you think are true? Untrue?
• Vancouver schools have the highest ratio of children of immigrants in the country.
How are various ethnicities and cultural identities included—or in conflict with—this
idea of a Canadian identity?
2. As a group, watch the Molson Canadian beer ad. Discuss with students, asking them:
• What ideas in the previous discussion are in the ad? What is missing?
• What would you add? Change? Leave out?
3. This has been one of the most popular advertisements of all time in Canada. Discuss with
students, asking them:
• Why do you think this ad has been so successful?
• What are the components of this commercial? Break down words, visuals, sounds,
music...
• Can you think of other ways Canadian Identity is presented through contemporary
advertising, music or other art form?
4. Have students look at some artworks by the Group of Seven and Scott McFarland. Ask
them to discuss:
• What notions of identity are represented in their art?
• Are there any connections between this work and the Molson’s ad? What? How?
• What symbols/representations/stereotypes might or might not have existed in
these artists’ times? How are these shown in the artists’ work?
• What ideas of Canada do you think come across successfully in their works?
• Which ones do not come across at all?
5. In small groups, have students rethink what
it means—for them as individuals—to be
Canadian, and create their own piece of
work. It could be in the form of a poem, a
poster, a performance, a song, or
whatever they choose.
6. Have them present their work to the class.
Conclusion: Have students discuss what they
discovered about the various interpretations
and meanings of national identity as revealed
by their classmates.
Follow-up: There are some pretty funny—and sometimes raunchy—spoofs on the Molson’s ad
on YouTube. Older students might want to check these out, or you might want to find some
that you consider appropriate to share with the students.
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STUDY GUIDE
I AM CANADIAN
Hey, I’m not a lumberjack, or a fur trader...
I don’t live in an igloo or eat blubber, or own a dogsled...
and I don’t know Jimmy, Sally or Suzy from Canada,
although I'm certain they’re really really nice.
I have a Prime Minister, not a president.
I speak English and French, not American.
And I pronounce it “about,” not “a boot.”
I can proudly sew my country’s flag on my backpack.
I believe in peacekeeping, not policing,
diversity, not assimilation,
and that the beaver is a truly proud and noble animal.
A toque is a hat, a chesterfield is a couch,
and it is pronounced “zed.” Not “zee,” “zed”!
Canada is the second largest landmass!
The first nation of hockey!
And the best part of North America.
My name is Joe!
And I am Canadian!
(This Molson Canadian ad first ran in 2000 and became an instant pop culture hit.
Today the text appears on T-shirts, posters and hundreds of Internet sites.)
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Screenings of Cultural Identity-Focused Short Videos & Films
This section is crucial to youths’ understanding of the means of expressing cultural identity in a
visual format. The key to a successful screening is the showing of videos that differ not only in
content, but also in style and genre. Documentary, experimental, and narrative fiction can be
shown, hopefully with different topics and visual styles to provide variety. This will help the
youth to develop a broader palate than most of them have started with.
The FaceBC Digital Study Guide offers
some of our youth produced videos to
get things started, and of course
YouTube and TeacherTube are other
fantastic resources. While there were a
total of 58 FaceBC films, those included
in the Digital Study Guide were selected
to provide a broad variety of styles,
genres, and subject matter to best
support classroom screenings and
discussions. Those included on the DVD
include the following:
Breathe – A video poem about making time in life for more than just To Do lists.
Muse – The painter’s brush expresses the beauty of nature and the complexity of the city.
Trick – Exploring the intense, rhythmic, and stylistic world of tricking.
We Are Who We Ain't – Three young women find confidence in their own identities.
Mo's Day – An intense day of bullying takes its toll.
The Streets – A re-enactment of one immigrant youth’s real-life tragedy.
Shadow Dance – Four diverse youth dance to their own drum.
Seventh Generation – A fictional story of hope from one of Canada’s residential schools.
When Love is Lost – One young woman copes
with pain and solitude.
Encounters – Music and culture connect a
community.
Communication – One youth aims to open the
door to inter-generational communication.
A Culture of Culture – A tongue-in-cheek analysis
of culture at a microscopic level.
Where Did Everything Go? – Nature and the
city combine to create communities that inspire.
Imperfect Fit – So many life choices… walk a
mile in a few different shoes.
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In their filmmaking groups, youth should watch short videos like those included on the FaceBC
Digital Study Guide, and then engage in discussion to start thinking critically and analytically
about video as a medium. Possible questions include:
o Identify the main themes present in the video. Basically, what was this video about, in
your opinion?
o Explain how you feel this film/video addresses (or does not address) cultural or personal
identity. What techniques are used to address these themes?
o What do you think was the filmmaker’s intended message? Try to summarize the message
in one sentence.
o Do you think that the message of this video was best communicated by the style used?
Why or why not?
o If you were the Writer of this film, what would you keep the same and what would you
change? Why?
o If you were the Director of this film, what would you keep the same and what would you
change? Why?
o How did the use of landscape, colour, set decoration, sound, image, and dialogue
support the expression of cultural identity in this short video?
o Is the “voice” of the filmmaker present in this video? What devices are used to allow us
to see and hear that voice?
o Is the “voice” an honest and authentic voice? Why or why not?
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Part 2: Different Learners, Different Styles
Anybody’s who’s ever stood at the front of a class knows: no one method engages every
student. But the exciting thing about video production is that there is room for everyone!
Different styles of learners all have something they can focus on, becoming an expert and a
valuable member of their filmmaking group.
From our experience, the key strategy in keeping
all your participants engaged in the process is to
find out the strengths of each filmmaker and be
prepared to create groups very strategically.
Due to the relatively short timeline of most
filmmaking projects, we often match the activities
we’re assigning to the individual who can shine
the most in that role. Of course, you may choose
to do the opposite if you have an expanded
process, or if you’re excited to work on skill
development and you think that your participants
are up for the challenge. All bets are off when a new group forms and undertakes a major
creative project, but since you know your students, this section will help you to develop a
plan that will work best for you.
Each phase of production is crucial: Pre-Production, where the planning happens; Production,
when groups record footage and sound, and; Post-Production, when editing and final project
exporting occurs. At every phase, individual learners have a chance to shine, and groups of
filmmakers are challenged to collaborate, communicate, and make decisions as a team.
The documentary accompanying this guide gives
you an overview of the entire filmmaking process
so that you can best look ahead, strategically
create your groups, and assign your activities as
you see fit. This section aims to help you achieve
that goal by providing details about the
filmmaking process. We match the main steps
(and their accompanying individual tasks) to the
basic learning styles most often employed in
filmmaking. Of course, there are various
theories about learning styles that educators
subscribe to – or don’t. No matter what your
pedagogy, this section will hopefully help you in differentiating your instruction.
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Pre-Production – Conceptualizing, Planning, and Preparing The Big Idea
As you likely already know, the planning phase is
perhaps the most important part of the filmmaking
process. The planning is where the concept and its
execution can come together and (if done right)
become a practical and feasible plan to guide
filmmakers in translating their vision into reality. It’s an
exciting and sometimes stressful process, with incredible
amounts of collaboration and communication – often in
a very compressed timeframe. Our suggestion is to
schedule a significant portion of the process to this
phase - approximately 40% - 50%. While this may
seem like a huge amount of time to sit in the classroom
without filming, in our experience this leads to the
greatest success. If the project’s foundations are well
constructed, the creation that follows will be stable and
will be far more likely to lead to a successful final
product.
This phase is when new filmmaking groups come together, discover their natural gifts, and
develop new skills. From our experience, this phase requires the most hands-on facilitation,
with very regular check-ins to ensure that groups are working well and on-track in developing
their concept.
This phase has a significant emphasis on interpersonal communication skills, which can
definitely be tough for some participants. There’s no way out of it – if they’re going to make
a movie together, they’ll have to collaborate, compromise, and come to a consensus. The
key here is to keep all group members engaged and committed to the concept – if at least
some part of it was their creation (or something that they can be excited by) it will help them
to remain a contributing member throughout the process.
Often intrapersonal learners and less-vocal
participants need some space in this intense
process. The exciting part is that they can
be invaluable group members in
researching, storyboarding, mastering
technical skills, and production planning
once the concept is decided upon. Helping
them to see this upcoming role is a great
way to invite them to listen, share, and start
thinking ahead when groups are still in the
heat of debating and finalizing the concept.
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27
Steps
Tasks
Thinking of an
Original Concept
Brainstorming
Group
collaboration in
The Funneling
Process
Making the Final
Story Decision
Mastering
Technical Skills
Camera &
Cinematography
Training
Sound Training
Developing the
Concept Overview
28
Initial Scripting
Participant
Skill Sets
Communicating ideas verbally and
visually;
Translating abstract ideas into
concrete words, images, and
themes/concepts.
Communicating and presenting
ideas verbally;
Discussing others’ ideas;
Debating ideas with group
members.
Communicating verbally;
Assessing the feasibility of various
ideas;
Assessing the strengths and
weaknesses of various ideas;
Compromising with group
members.
Interpersonal
Verbal/Linguistic
Visual
Learning and exploring camera,
tripod, and cinematography basics;
Practicing technical skills;
Communicating technical specifics
to other members of the filmmaking
team.
Learning and exploring sound,
microphone, and recording basics;
Practicing technical skills;
Communicating technical specifics
to other members of the filmmaking
team.
Intrapersonal
Interpersonal
Visual
Spatial
Technical/Logical
Communicating verbally and/or
visually;
Writing preliminary ideas;
Compromising to form a mutually
agreed-upon script;
Identifying story or experimental
structure: often with beginning,
middle, and end;
Developing story elements:
characters, visuals, sounds, action,
text/narration.
Interpersonal
Verbal/Linguistic
Visual
STUDY GUIDE
Interpersonal
Verbal/Linguistic
Visual
Interpersonal
Intrapersonal
Verbal/Linguistic
Visual
Interpersonal
Verbal/Linguistic
Technical/Logical
Developing the
Concept Overview
continued…
Preparing the
Pitch
Considering
Audience
Perspectives
The Pitch
Script
Development
Research
Script Revisions
Visualizing the
Concept
Shot List
Thinking about and imagining the
audience:
Why are you telling this story?
What does the audience need
to know?
What do you want the
audience to feel at each point?
How can this be achieved
visually or through on-screen
dialogue?
Communicating visually;
Listening to, acknowledging and
respecting the opinions of others;
Incorporating feedback &
suggestions.
Visiting the library;
Reading books and magazines
Interviewing people;
Viewing videos and films;
Conducting surveys.
Communicating verbally & visually;
Writing concrete script ideas;
Compromising to form a mutually
agreed-upon script;
Solidifying story or experimental
structure (beginning, middle &
end);
Finalizing story elements:
characters, visuals, sounds, action,
text/narration, and other story
elements for Post-Production.
Visualizing and writing the shot-byshot production plan in order.
Storyboarding
Drawing the shot-by-shot production
plan in order.
Production
Design
Deciding on the overall “look” of
the video:
Color Spectrum/Design
Elements
Costumes/clothing & Props
Locations & sets
STUDY GUIDE
Interpersonal
Intuitive
Verbal/Linguistic
Visual
Spatial
Interpersonal
Verbal/Linguistic
Visual
Intrapersonal
Interpersonal
Verbal/Linguistic
Visual
Interpersonal
Verbal/Linguistic
Visual
Visual/Spatial
Intrapersonal
Linguistic
Visual
Spatial
Intrapersonal
Kinesthetic
Visual
Verbal
Intrapersonal
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Conceptualizing
the Soundscape
Sound Design
Production
Planning
Shooting
Logistics
Deciding on the overall sound of
the video:
Sound Effects & “Foley”
(sounds which naturally occur
within the scene but which often
have to be specially recorded)
Music
Soundscape – more abstract
elements
Agreeing upon and gathering the
following detailed logistics:
Locations/Sets
Schedule
Transportation
Cast (Actors or Interview
Subjects)
Props
Costumes
Musical
Aural
Intrapersonal
Interpersonal
Verbal/Linguistic
Kinesthetic
Technical/Logical
Production
The next phase is Production. Students are usually very eager to get out the door, but it’s
very important to take time to decide on group roles and to think about dynamics before
filming begins. Your role here, with regards to different learning styles, will be to help groups
to find a system that will work for them.
The first task is to check in with each group and run
through their completed production plan,
storyboard, and shot list. This will allow you to find
out who is aware of the details, which can be useful
in suggesting (or even assigning) the Assistant
Director and Director roles for the first part of the
shoot. The next task, also of great importance, will
be to figure out if group members are going to have
set roles (that they’re all excited to try) or if they’ll be rotating to allow everyone a chance to
learn each position. This seemingly small decision completely impacts the dynamics of the
production phase, so in our experience it’s something to encourage groups to carefully
consider. After this decision is made, create a check-in system; if there are personal issues
that can’t be sorted out within the group, you can be there to offer guidance and suggestions.
In this section, we’ll outline the key roles for Production, to better prepare you and your
filmmakers to make these decisions. Through self-assessment and promoting self-awareness,
you can also help participants to be aware of their own skills and help them to consciously
develop new skill sets in working with their groups.
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Roles
Tasks
Director
Guiding all crew and
cast members to the
project’s vision
Assistant
Director
Running the set,
keeping schedules,
and organizing
details
Camera
Operator
Operating the digital
video camera
Sound
Recordist
Sound Recording
Boom/
External
Microphone
Operator
Sound Recording
Actor(s)/
Subject(s)
On-Camera
Performance
Participant
Skill Sets
Communicating and negotiating ideas
on-set;
Making quick decisions in
collaboration with the group;
Guiding actors to specific
performances and motivations;
Guiding crew to their technical best;
Deciding (with the crew) when it’s
possible to move on to the next shot.
Running the set – balancing the
technical and personal needs of cast
and crew;
Keeping track of timelines and
schedules;
Helping the crew to make decisions
and solve problems efficiently.
Working with the director to set frames
and capture shots;
Assessing when goals are met and
when it’s possible to move on to the
next shot;
Technical operations on the camera
and tripod.
Working with the camera operator to
connect/work with sound equipment;
Monitoring/listening to sound levels;
Assessing when goals are met and
when it’s possible to move on to the
next shot;
Collecting ambient sounds, sound
effects, and any other on-location
sounds.
Working with the Sound Recordist to
collect sounds using the Boom Pole or
Microphone;
Collecting ambient sounds, sound
effects, and any other on-location
sounds.
Working with the Director and crew to
deliver performances/dialogue.
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Interpersonal
Verbal/Linguistic
Visual
Aural
Interpersonal
Verbal/Linguistic
Visual
Kinesthetic
Technical
Multi-tasking
Interpersonal
Verbal/Linguistic
Aural
Technical
Interpersonal
Aural
Kinesthetic
Interpersonal
Intuitive
Verbal/Linguistic
Kinesthetic
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Post-Production
Post-Production is the phase when the vision of the film can really come together, especially
when everyone works well and comes together as a team. No matter what your schedule in
Post-Production, the key is to ensure that everyone has a role throughout the process.
Editing systems, with one mouse and one keyboard, are intended for a single user, which can
be challenging for collaboration. In an ideal situation, each group has two computers – one
for image, and one for sound – so that work can be completed much more quickly, and to
actively engage more group members at a time.
Of course, most of us don’t always make
videos under “ideal” circumstances, and there
are many ways to achieve full group
engagement no matter what your technical
situation. For starters, we give filmmakers
regular reminders (at times orders) to regularly
switch editors - and to switch roles in general.
There is always something to do – write
narration, develop graphics, compile titles and
credits – so that everyone can remain part of
the process as the project nears completion,
even if they’re not the one on the computer.
In this section, we’ll go over all the required tasks of Post-Production to give you a good idea
of what’s required from the participants. Our goal here is to guide you in helping your
filmmakers find their role in the final stages of their digital filmmaking experience.
Steps
Tasks
Rough
Assembly
Importing all
footage,
sounds,
photographs,
and raw
materials
Working with computer and camera;
Technical troubleshooting;
Watching, critiquing, and selecting footage
collaboratively with group members.
Visual
Interpersonal
Verbal/Linguistic
Aural
Kinesthetic
Technical/Logical
Building the
Rough
Assembly
Learning and using editing software;
Preliminary ordering of shots without
significant changes to original script;
Incorporating group feedback into
technical process and footage selection.
Visual
Interpersonal
Verbal/Linguistic
Aural
Kinesthetic
Technical/Logical
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Participant
Skill Sets
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Rough Cut
Editing
Rough
Assembly
Preparing for
the Rough
Cut
Screening
Rough Cut
Screening(s)
Screening
Rough Cut
Sound Design
Sound Effects
Music
Building of story based on script and any
revisions created through filming process;
Incorporating group feedback into
technical process and footage
selection/editing;
Creating a coherent story with beginning,
middle, and end, ready for audience
feedback;
Deciding on and adding preliminary
narration points and possible text.
Thinking about and imagining the audience
reaction (as in Preparing the Pitch):
What does the audience know at each
point in the story?
What should the audience feel at each
point in the film?
If any goals are not currently achieved,
how can visual, narration, text, sound,
or graphic elements create the desired
effect?
Making technical changes based on group
feedback and anticipated audience
reaction.
Communicating visually;
Listening to, acknowledging and respecting
the opinions of others;
Incorporating feedback & suggestions.
Creating the video’s overall sound:
Sound Effects & “Foley” (sounds which
naturally occur within the scene but
which often have to be specially
recorded)
Soundscape – more abstract elements
of sound design
Preparing for placement of music (if
applicable)
Recording missing elements of sound
design.
Collaborating with group members to
select music and determine its placement in
the video;
Creating and recording music (if
applicable).
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Visual
Interpersonal
Verbal/Linguistic
Aural
Kinesthetic
Technical/Logical
Visual
Interpersonal
Intuitive
Kinesthetic
Technical/Logical
Interpersonal
Verbal/Linguistic
Aural
Intrapersonal
Technical/Logical
Kinesthetic
Musical
Aural
Intrapersonal
Interpersonal
Technical/Logical
Kinesthetic
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Fine Cut
Uniting
Picture &
Sound
Exporting sound and importing it into the
Visual timeline;
Making technical changes as required to
bring together picture and sound.
Visual
Aural
Kinesthetic
Technical
Preparing for
Fine Cut
Screening
Watching repeated, full-group screenings;
Collaborating with group on final creative
and technical choices for video;
Making technical adjustments in
preparation for project completion;
Adding graphical and text elements;
Making technical changes based on
previous audience feedback, group
feedback and anticipated future audience
reaction.
Interpersonal
Verbal/Linguistic
Aural
Kinesthetic
Technical/Logical
Fine Cut
Screening(s)
Screening of
Fine Cut
Communicating visually;
Listening;
Acknowledging and respecting the
opinions of others;
Incorporating feedback, ideas, and
suggestions.
Interpersonal
Verbal/Linguistic
Picture Lock
Completing
Picture
Incorporating Fine Cut Screening feedback
from audience;
Adding final graphical, text, and title
elements;
Deciding on a final “lock” point as a
group, after which picture is not changed.
Visual
Interpersonal
Technical/Logical
Sound Mix &
Lock
Completing
Sound
Incorporating Fine Cut Screening feedback
from audience;
Adding final sound design elements;
Completing a final sound mix;
Deciding on a final “lock” point as a
group, after which sound is not changed.
Aural
Interpersonal
Technical/Logical
Project
Completion &
Export
Locking the
Project
Making final review of video as a group;
Deciding on a final “lock” point as a
group, after which no element of the video
is changed.
Interpersonal
Visual
Aural
Technical/Logical
Final Project
Export
Exporting project to required formats.
(QuickTime, miniDV, Flash, etc.)
Technical/Logical
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Part 3: The Funneling Process
A Funneling Toolkit
The writing process is exciting! And it’s difficult – whether you’re a new filmmaker or a
veteran video producer. Sometimes there are too many ideas, sometimes too few.
Sometimes there are just images, jumbles of thoughts, or totally abstract themes with no
apparent connection to a structured video. Other times, there are clear story points, strong
opinions, and excited youth with competing ideas, but as a group, they struggle to
organically connect their ideas to create a linear outline.
The next steps – transforming abstract concepts
into one concrete, linear, visual plan – are what
we call the funneling process. There’s no one
method that works for everyone, but we have
some strategies to help you mentor youth
through this process. In our experience, youth
filmmakers often start with many (often unclear)
ideas that are tough to narrow down. This can
be a very difficult situation with just one writer,
let alone finding the path to go from idea to
script in a group setting.
As mentors, we’ve found that our most successful role at this point in the process is simply to
ask questions. We try to leave most of our own ideas and suggestions out, and instead ask
questions to help youth find common themes that unite their disparate ideas, and to get them
thinking in a linear, visual, script-focused way. Questions can focus on clarifying the
message, the order of events, or even audience perception. As an educator, your own tools
and experience will surely guide you through this process, with the documentary in the digital
study guide hopefully providing further insight.
In addition, there are a variety of other tools and
strategies that can be used to jump-start the funneling
process, which can be helpful, especially in situations
with tight-timelines. In this short section, we’ll present
you with a sort of funneling toolkit, providing structure
and techniques you can incorporate into your digital
filmmaking project.
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Structuring the Funneling Process
Carefully structuring the writing process can be immensely helpful, especially for first-time
filmmakers. While there are many effective methods and activities to guide writers and
filmmakers to a completed script, here is an example of one way to structure the funneling
process:
o Initial Brainstorm: Begin with an initial brainstorm – emphasize collaboration and
teamwork, with everyone contributing at least one idea and banning analysis or
judgment at this point. Also encourage writers to document images, sounds, themes,
real-life moments or events, real or fictional characters, or any other cinematic
elements that come to mind;
o Deciding on an Idea: Next, collaboratively decide (or even vote if absolutely
necessary) on an idea that everyone is excited to produce. The key here is
collaboration and compromise – the goal is to achieve commitment to and collective
ownership of the concept by each group member. This can also be achieved by
having groups form around ideas from the initial brainstorm;
o Clarifying the Message: Groups should find the core of their video, deciding on the
message, or point, of their project. Films, especially short ones, work best when they
focus their attention on one subject or perspective and explore it richly. Too many
concepts in one small film makes muddy confusion. The message should be crystallized
into a concise statement which will be helpful in their decision-making process;
o Brainstorming Specifics: Groups will continue by brainstorming specific stories, scenes,
or visuals that could express that concept, theme, or message;
o Creating a Visual Story: Following the theme-specific brainstorm is the development of
a beginning, middle and end that express that message and theme visually and
clearly;
o Developing an Outline: Writers will need to completely build the events that occur at
the beginning, middle, and end. Ask them to ensure that there is an introduction,
conclusion, and enough story in-between to entertain an audience and express the
topic and story;
o Pitch and Feedback: Following this will come the pitch – we’ll go into detail in the
following section, From Script to Screen, but the key here is to tell the story visually,
rather than to start by explaining the message. If the people listening to the pitch
don’t know the point of the story from the events you describe, your audience won’t
either, and it’s time to re-write.
o Re-Writes: Filmmakers are often hesitant (especially under tight timelines) to undertake
script re-writes, although in the real world of filmmaking re-writes are a frequent and
inevitable part of the process. If you schedule it into the process as a required step,
the resulting films will better express the message.
o Production Planning: The next steps in the funneling process take us into production
planning, creating a Shot List, Storyboard, Production Design, Sound Design, and a
concrete Production Plan which covers shooting logistics. With a clear script, all of
these steps will further help filmmakers to decide upon the specific images and sounds
which will bring their vision into reality.
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Art and Filmmaking
In the documentary video that accompanies this study guide, we provide two case studies
where our video production mentors were able to solve two of the most common problems
that occur in the funneling process: needing to sharpen themes, and breaking group inertia.
The first problem, which we’ll tackle in this section, is often simply a matter of finding a way to
connect abstract ideas to concrete ones. One way to do this is to connect a new filmmaker’s
current creative pursuits to video genres and creative styles. Not everyone thinks that they
are creative, but most people connect to at least one creative practice, and may not realize
that every creative practice connects to a filmmaking genre or style.
Film and video, despite being relative newcomers on the art scene, have seen incredible
innovation and diversity in content, style, and approach. Filmmakers can reflect on their
preferred creative practice, tie into its creative connection to filmmaking, look at the work of
other people, and get inspired. We’ve compiled FaceBC examples in the chart below as a
start, and highly recommend that you check out the Additional Resources section at the end
of this study guide for websites and online video sites to supplement your viewing.
Creative Practice
Filmmaking Genre
FaceBC Examples to View
Journalism
Documentary Film/Video
Classical Fiction Film
Video Poem
Trick, A Culture of Culture
Journaling/Diary
Writing
Short Story/
Novella Writing
Poetry
Theatre
Performance Art
Dance
Kinesthetics and/or
Sports*
Music
Visual Art
Classical Fiction Film/Video
Video Poem
Experimental Film/Video
Classical Fiction Film/Video
Classical Fiction Film/Video
Experimental Film/Video
Documentary Film/Video
Classical Fiction Film
Dance Film/Video
Sports Videography
Sport-based/Subject-based
Documentary
Classical Fiction Film
Music Video
Experimental Film/Video
Experimental Film/Video
Stop-Motion Film/Video
Communication, Encounters, We Are Who
We Ain’t, Breathe, Where Did Everything
Go?
Mo’s Day, The Streets, Seventh Generation
When Love is Lost, Breathe, Where Did
Everything Go?
When Love is Lost, Mo’s Day, The Streets,
Seventh Generation
When Love is Lost, Shadow Dance
Trick, Shadow Dance, Imperfect Fit
Trick, Shadow Dance
*Some may not consider sport a creative practice, but for
the purposes of filmmaking, the kinesthetic and
improvisational movement involved in sport can serve as
an excellent avenue into videography.
Shadow Dance, Imperfect Fit, Encounters
Muse, Where Did Everything Go?
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Breaking Group Inertia
So many times in group work, the energy stalls. Ideas dry up, people clam up, and the
funneling process slows to a crawl. As an educator, you have techniques to deal with this
situation, and we’re sure your students are grateful for them. We too have found and
developed specific strategies to keep the funneling process moving forward, which we’re
sharing here. The key is to get the creative juices flowing, and to open up new ideas that
may otherwise be discarded before they’re spoken aloud. Those same ideas can lead to a
fantastic video!
Index Cards
Write story points on
index cards and
reorder them (or
remove them as
necessary) to create
a linear narrative or
outline.
What If?
Come up with completely
absurd and surreal whatifs and throw them into a
stalling storyline. Get the
creative juices flowing!
(Even if nothing works,
you’ll have opened the
door to new ideas.)
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Physical Activity
Brainstorm while
moving, walking,
playing catch, or
kicking a soccer ball.
Hearts pump, minds
become less stressed,
and ideas flow!
Everyday
Soundscape
Go for a walk, and
find sounds in the
everyday world that
you can incorporate
into your video.
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Tell a Story
Start telling your film as a
fairy tale. Begin with, “Once
upon a time,” and take turns
sharing story points out loud.
Continue through the story,
creating content where it’s
missing.
Artistic Inspiration
Discuss ideas while
looking at other
people’s work, or while
creating abstract,
expressionist art of
your own.
Part 4: From Script to Screen
This section of the study guide will provide you and your students with practical, printable
tools and templates to use in your production and post-production process. Moving all the
way from the Pitch to the Screening, you’ll find tips, tricks, and techniques to help you and
your students in in taking your digital filmmaking from script all the way to the screen.
Moving From Outline to Pitch
The Pitch. This really is the process that puts the filmmakers on the hot seat. What’s their film
going to be about? Can they explain the film in cinematic language? Pitches describe
scenes, images, sounds and key dialogue — not themes or explanations. For this reason they
are the best way to gauge if the audience (in this case, you, and the other filmmakers) are
going to understand the story independent of its creators and context: the true test of any
mass media.
The process of creating an outline is
covered in detail in The Funneling
Process. In this section we’re simply
going to go over the guidelines and
ground rules of a pitch session to keep
it productive, exciting, and encouraging
for everyone involved. It’s hard to
share creative ideas amongst peers, but
there can be a professional intensity to
a pitch session that’s a great learning
experience. The stakes are real.
Honest, concrete and respectful
feedback will help focus ideas and
keep the creative energy flowing.
Preparing for the Pitch: Filmmaker Guidelines
So what is a pitch? A pitch is a clear and succinct verbal presentation of your concept. It
should be short, visual and specific, because a filmmaker is using it to get specific feedback to
create the best possible video. In a traditional and more formal pitch, filmmakers discuss
genre, themes, reference other films (“It’s When Harry Met Sally meets The Godfather!”),
and are always looking to get funding for a project. Pitches are very different in an informal
group or classroom context. For our purposes, pitches are used to explain the project to the
group and get suggestions. It’s a great idea to have filmmakers practice pitching within their
creative team before speaking to the whole group. Pitching really is an art form in itself.
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39
There are a few key points that filmmakers should focus on when preparing to deliver a basic,
classroom-setting pitch: narrow it down to characters, images, and sounds. What happens?
What do we see and hear that tells us a story or makes a point?. This is certainly trickier to
describe with experimental and documentary video, but having a clear pitch is crucial! It
demonstrates that filmmakers have thought through the topic and are ready to move on to
script revisions and production planning.
Filmmakers can start by getting a few sentences down on paper to get the ball rolling. Tell
the visual story – first scene, second scene, third scene, and so on – with a beginning, middle,
and end. The pitch should describe what the audience will see first, second, and onwards
throughout the video, at no point explaining what something means or why it’s important.
•
•
•
•
Writing the pitch helps to clarify the
answers to key questions that are often
taken for granted when groups are
writing together, but which can divisively
split a group during filming:
• What genre is the video? Comedy,
horror, issue-based documentary,
experimental, narrative-driven,
character-driven, image-driven?
• What is the story about? The story,
action, images and sounds should
reveal the big themes.
Who are the main characters/protagonists? This isn’t always a person, but sometimes a
landscape, a cityscape, a piece of music, or an object.
What does the audience need to know? What do you want the audience to feel at each
point? How can this be achieved visually or through on-screen?
Where is the audience for your film? Who will want to watch the film, and does your
project going to appeal to/work with this audience?
What is unique or interesting about your project? Basically, why are you telling this
story?
As groups practice their 30-60 second pitch, it will
become easier and better, and the concept will flesh
out along with each retelling. This can be an
exciting, immensely helpful process that will
inevitably make script revisions go much faster.
Then, when every group is ready to pitch and gather
feedback and suggestions, it’s time for an official
pitch session.
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Pitch Session
Every pitch session is going to be different, but there are several rules that should be followed
to keep filmmakers open to their peers’ constructive criticism (which can be difficult to hear).
Start the pitch session by reminding everyone that the reason for pitching to the group is so
that everyone can contribute to making each project as good as it can be. The rules are as
follows:
• Be kind and supportive! Taking a creative risk is challenging, and it will be each group’s
turn soon enough.
• Pitch sessions should be kept positive, constructive, and encouraging! Negative comments
must be followed by suggestions or ideas to better communicate the main message of the
video.
• Questions, rather than just comments, are strongly encouraged. If something is unclear,
ask what was intended. If the explanation is still unclear, go back to the message and
suggest a way to make the scene better reflect that message.
• Someone in the group must write down all the comments. The groups may not use any of
the suggestions in the final work, but the opposite could also be true. One little comment
could be the key to a whole new level for the project.
Pitches should be followed by script re-writes, and ultimately by the creation of shot lists,
storyboards, and production schedules. This phase gets you ready to head into Production!
Heading into Production
Once the script is locked, camera and
sound training are complete, and filming
is in sight, it’s usually a sprint to the finish
line. Some groups will know exactly
what to do and quietly go about doing it,
while others need lots of support to keep
on track. To simplify your digital
filmmaking project, we’ve included a
variety of printable templates that will
jump-start and streamline the production
planning process. You’ll find Shot List, Storyboard, Production Schedule, and Production
Checklist templates on the next few pages, ready to print and use.
Before they embark on their production adventures, insist that each group must complete all
four, and you should be sure to look them over. Be sure to keep the production plan modest,
realistic, and achievable. Insisting on this will ensure that your filmmakers don’t get so
focused on one exciting shot that they have no time to film anything else. No matter what the
creative limitations, always keep the available shooting locations close to home base—you
can keep track of everyone, check in on groups and stop any major disasters in the making.
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41
Production Planning Essentials: Developing the Shot List & Storyboard
Writing the shot list is an essential part of the production planning process, and there are
some tips to keep in mind to help filmmakers with this all-important step.
To craft effective scenes, classical
narrative films order their shots in
roughly the same way sentences are
ordered in a paragraph. So, for
instance, in a paragraph we begin
with an introductory statement, which
is often called the topic sentence. In a
movie, the establishing shot has the
same function as the topic sentence of
a paragraph. After the topic sentence
in a paragraph, we move to
explanatory sentences that fill in the
ideas that are being conveyed.
Likewise, in a film, the establishing shot leads to a series of medium shots, close-ups, and
extreme close-ups that reveal the scene’s actions or events. At the conclusion of a scene, a
final long shot or extreme long shot is used again to act as a kind of punctuation mark, telling
viewers that the scene is now complete.
It’s an hourglass structure – scenes start and end wide, narrowing for emotional intensity and
focus in the middle of the scene.
Sample Basic Hourglass Scene Structure
Wide Shot
Medium Shot
Close Up
Medium Shot
Wide Shot
Needless to say, filmmakers (and writers) play with this sequence all the time. But this
provides a rough guide for starting to think about how shots are edited together into movie
scenes, and thus what students will need to consider when planning what to shoot.
Two other key rules apply when planning shot lists and drawing storyboards for scenes:
• 180 Degree Rule – When filming an interaction, draw an imaginary line between the
noses of the two facing characters. The camera operator must always stay on one side of
the line and aim the camera from behind the line at the actors/subject on the other side.
• 30 Degree Rule – When changing the angle of a shot within the same scene, ensure that
you change it by at least 30 degrees from one shot to another.
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SHOT LIST
Type of Shot
Description
(Framing, Angle,
Movement)
(Visual Content,
Action)
Dialogue/Sound
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STORYBOARD
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PRODUCTION SCHEDULE
Shot
#
Shot/Scene
Location
Start/End
Date & Time
Equipment
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Characters
Costumes/Props
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PRODUCTION CHECKLIST
Production Team Name:
Project Name:
Crew/Actors
Name
Role
Locations
Date/Time
1.
2.
3.
4.
Props and Costumes
Description
Equipment
Description
Don’t Forget:
46
Scene
Date/Time
! Script
! Storyboard
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Who Brings It?
! Production Schedule
Post-Production
The next stop on the whirlwind adventure is Post-Production. Part 2 of this study guide goes
over the Post-Production steps in detail, so here we’ll discuss visual and sound editing theories
to help you guide your filmmakers through this challenging and rewarding process.
At this point, filmmakers will learn first hand how shortcuts taken earlier will now cost them in
post-production. Continuity or sound issues can ruin a scene, and depending on your timeline
and your group’s capabilities, re-shoots (employing non-editing team members) are likely.
This is another way to keep group members engaged and committed to the quality of the
project, and a hard-earned lesson about taking the time to do things right the first time.
Post-Production is also a great time to learn the importance of planning and teamwork.
Excitement and pressure always mount as groups become deeply invested in their films, and
work hard to make their collective vision a reality.
Editing Software & Hardware
While we use Final Cut Pro, a professional editing program, you can use the best software
you have on hand. As is often the case with new filmmakers, the question here is how much
technology to teach, and when? We’ve learnt that young filmmakers pick up editing skills
very quickly. They don’t need to know all the buttons to start editing; they just want enough
information to jump in and start cutting.
We recommend that you show them the basics: how to open and save their project, how to
use the basic editing tools, and – very important -- where to save their files, and how to undo.
Focus on importing all the raw materials and having filmmakers create a rough assembly edit
first. Save things like fine-tuning, color correction, effects, and audio mixing for later. As
questions come up, they’ll be sure to ask.
When it comes to editing software (and
computer hardware, for that matter), it’s
best to know the basics of how to
troubleshoot the technology. When
problems come up – which they will – it will
unfortunately be your job to fix them, or
have someone on the team (often a youth)
who can. Never fear: try Googling your
question, or asking a group to experiment,
and nine times out of ten you’ll find an easy
answer in a few minutes.
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The Art of Editing: Transforming Raw Footage Into a Masterpiece
The word edit is derived from the French word, montage, which means to cut. In editing, a cut
is the point when one image stops and another begins, with shots compiled in a sequence to
make a montage. When you edit, you select images and sounds and compile and manipulate
them into a chosen order, creating a system
that is ordered by its own logic and rhythms.
As with all other aspects of film production,
there are rules and conventions in the
language of editing. The common thread
among many of these is the creation of a
sense of continuity — linking shots together to
portray an event without literally showing the
entire event. Two of the most common types
of editing are Continuity Editing and
Montage Editing:
Continuity Editing orders shots so that actions move seamlessly from one point to the next,
keeping a logical and continuous sequence of events in scenes and between scenes. The
primary idea behind this kind of editing strategy is to maintain a continuous flow of
psychologically motivated connections between each shot and scene. By maintaining these
connections it appears as though the film is a contained world all on its own. Even in movies
that clearly take place beyond our own lives, the effect of this style of editing is to create a
world we might wish to inhabit, even if they may be practically impossible. Continuity editing
works by maintaining a clear cause-and-effect relationship between each of the shots of a
scene. It is the most familiar style of editing, found in most movies and television programs.
Montage Editing shots are put together so that audiences have to make their own connections
between the images. The filmmaker doesn’t show the viewer a clear cause-and-effect
connection, instead assembling shots to create an idea for the audience. The audience has to
determine what the idea is. For example, let’s say a filmmaker wants to suggest the feeling of
thirst. Because thirst is a feeling rather than an object, the filmmaker could do the following:
• Show a picture of a basketball player bent over in exhaustion, sweat on his brow.
• The next shot shows an iceberg floating in Baffin Bay on a bright sunny morning.
• In the final shot, the filmmaker shows a bottle of pop dripping with small bits of ice, as
though it has just been pulled out of a cooler.
Individually, none of these shots clearly suggest a feeling of thirst, but together they tell a
story, a story that we see all the time today in televisions advertisements. Most fiction films
today use a combination of both continuity and montage edits. Usually continuity editing
dominates mainstream Hollywood films, while montage editing is used to portray the passage
of time or action sequences.
Parts excerpted and adapted from Visual Storytelling and the Grammar of Filmmaking, Part I Study Guide
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Editing Techniques
When individual shots are edited together, filmmakers have a number of editing techniques at
their disposal. The importance of these techniques is that they often happen so quickly that we
don’t notice them at all. Becoming aware of where these techniques are used in movies is
important in order to understand the constructed nature of all moving images.
Some of the most common editing techniques include:
• Simple cuts — which are breaks from one shot to the next. Cuts carry the continuity of
action forward in a straightforward manner, from action to action or place to place.
• Jump cuts — which are confusing cuts from one shot to the next that do not follow the
obvious rules of cause and effect. These cuts are usually used to disrupt the audience’s
attention in order to create shock. In Steven Soderbergh’s film The Limey (1999), jump
cuts are used intentionally to suggest the main character’s unbalanced state of mind.
• Fade-downs — which show the screen fade from an image to a black screen.
• Fade-ups — which show the screen fade from black
to an image. Both fade-ups and fade-downs are
used to suggest the passage of time and generally
work to give the audience a chance to take a breath
in preparation for the next scene.
• Dissolves — which show one image slowly disappear
as a new image is introduced. Dissolves are used to
indicate the end of one event and the beginning of a
new event or scene.
• Wipes — which show one part of the screen literally
wipe over the rest of the screen. One image
disappears as it is replaced by a new image. This
kind of edit is not often seen in movies, largely
because it looks comic-bookish. For this very reason,
wipes were used throughout Star Wars to suggest
the comic-book origins of the movie.
Parts excerpted and adapted from Visual Storytelling and the Grammar of Filmmaking, Part I Study Guide,
Pacific Cinémathèque
Adding Titles and Visual Effects
This is one area of video production that we’re going to suggest you leave to the very end of
the process, and also leave to the filmmakers themselves, while following one guiding
principle: less is more. Adding a title and end credits are obviously required, but often
adding much more can be distracting at best. The strategy to employ is to remind filmmakers
that while it may look fun, the goal is to create a high-quality project that they can be proud
of. The best way to do this is to use any effects subtly, sparingly, and only when necessary.
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49
Sound Editing
Sound is by far the most underrated and forgotten element of youth film production and postproduction, with dire consequences. While there are many theories and approaches to
sound editing, really it’s a wide-open playing field. There is room to create a whole world
through what is called “soundscape,” and drastically enhance the realism (or the surrealism)
of the world inside the film. The key is to take time adding, mixing, listening, and re-mixing
the sound in your video (ideally on good-quality headphones) until the sounds of the video
feel as finished as the images.
There are two categories of sound in film: Diegetic and Non-Diegetic. Diegetic Sound refers
to all those audio elements that come from sources inside the world we see on the screen,
including sounds like dialogue, doors slamming, or footsteps. Non-Diegetic Sound refers to all
those audio elements that come from outside of the fictional world we see on screen,
including the narration, musical score, and sound effects.
There are five elements of sound which
contribute to a video’s soundscape:
• Dialogue – Character dialogue is often key
to understanding the story. Ensure that the
sound level for all dialogue is generally
even throughout the entire video;
• Narration – Many films, especially
documentaries, employ narration to help
tell the story or guide the viewer to
conclusions about what is being shown onscreen. The key is to keep it simple and to
record it in an extremely quiet space;
• Foley – Foley includes sounds which naturally occur within the scene, but which often
have to be specially recorded and added to the video because they don’t sound quite
loud enough;
• Ambience – This term is used in sound to refer to the subtle, quiet, and complex sounds
that fill a space. For example, outdoor ambience and indoor ambience are drastically
different, even without any specifically audible sounds. Adding ambience is one way to
help shape a soundscape;
• Music – The key with music is to remember that it shapes the emotional response of the
audience, whether by informing us of the mood of a scene, creating suspense or
foreshadowing, or even playing against our emotions (like in scenes were cheery music
plays in a horror film). We strongly recommend that filmmakers either create their own
music (using available instruments, voices, or software) or that they find a local or student
musician willing to donate their music for free. Using copyright music eliminates the
possibility of submitting the project to youth video festivals, and after all the work to
create a great project, it’s great to have this as a possibility.
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STUDY GUIDE
After the soundscape is complete, filmmakers have the task of fine-tuning their sound mix by
making sure that the levels of each sound are neither too quiet nor too loud. It’s crucial to do
this with wrap-around headphones (bud-style headphones let in too much external sound),
and to get feedback from other people during this part of the process. This is also the time to
add fades, dissolves, and any other sound effects that help to polish the film into the
masterpiece it can be.
Exporting
The final step in the digital filmmaking process is the exporting of the final project into
whichever medium works best for you. It might be a QuickTime file or a miniDV tape, but
remember that files stored only on a computer get deleted easily. It’s important to have a
few back-up copies in full quality that can be kept on DVDs, hard drives, or carefully-stored
miniDV tapes. You never know where a video project can end up screening, and it’s best to
keep a few copies in the best quality possible.
Community Screenings
Last, but certainly not least is the opportunity for youth to share their work: the community
screening. YouTube and DVDs are great ways to quickly reach a wider audience, but nothing
compares to gathering friends, family and community together in one space to watch the films
on the big screen. There’s lots of nervous energy before a screening; watching their own
creation with their community helps filmmakers to see their film through other people’s eyes.
It’s a significant and powerful moment, one that will stay with them and weave its way into
future forms of self-expression.
STUDY GUIDE
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What People Had to Say About FaceBC
I believe that the most
valuable, lasting influence of
the project is the experience
to view the habitual in a
new light – to earn a
perspective that deviates
from the everyday norm.
- Jason Peng, Student
Killarney Secondary,
Vancouver, BC
Students were able to express
themselves creatively through
digital video in a way that writing
would inhibit them.
- Vasso Feretos, Teacher
Stride Avenue Community School,
Burnaby, BC
I feel that this project brought the
topic of “who we are” into
perspective. This project made me
realize how unique I am and how I
am changing every day.
- Tiffany Mo, Student
Crofton House School, Vancouver, BC
Doing this project allowed me to
see other people’s perspectives
and points of view, which made
me think and feel differently
about my world and what
matters to me.
- Selina Beltran, Student
Sherwood Park Elementary,
North Vancouver, BC
52
STUDY GUIDE
Additional Resources
http://education.cinematheque.bc.ca
Pacific Cinémathèque’s Education Department Website
www.inpoint.org
Pacific Cinémathèque’s Online Production Resource
www.lafcp.org
Los Angeles Final Cut Pro User Group – Online help for Final Cut Pro
www.opensourcecinema.org
Open Source Cinema – Online, free video editing shareware
www.youtube.com
YouTube – Online Video Resource
www.teachertube.com
TeacherTube – Online Community for Sharing Instructional Videos
www.nfb.ca
National Film Board of Canada – Access to Hundreds of Online Videos
and Lesson Plans
www.media-awareness.ca
Media Awareness Network – Online media literacy activities
STUDY GUIDE
53
FaceBC Credits
FaceBC – Study Guide Films
Breathe
Creators: Devon Busswood, Ericsson Chu,
Karen Sun
Cast: Devon Busswood
Muse
Creators: Irene Peng, Jason Peng
Music: Kaoru Wada
Cast: Peter Wong
Trick
Creator: Bernie Yao
Cast: George Boutros
We Are Who We Ain’t
Creators: Selina Beltran, Whitney Schooner,
Mahtab Soleimanian
Cast: Selina Beltran, Whitney Schooner,
Mahtab Soleimanian
Mo’s Day
Creators: Mo Chen, Dani Cooper, Nicholas
Kofi
Cast: Mo Chen, Nicholas Kofi, Gabriel
Forsythe
The Streets
Creators: Yuki He, Meynard Marilla, Thavin
Nou, Kao Taniguchi
Cast: Sam Sharhan, John
Shadow Dance
Creators: Gordon Didzena, Danyelle Kotchea,
Samm Tollifson, Zane Wiebe
Cast: Gordon Didzena, Danyelle Kotchea,
Samm Tollifson, Zane Wiebe
54
Seventh Generation
Creators: Ayla Coltman, Nina Sidorczuk,
Sheldon Stenning
Cast: Maggie Birmingham, Haley Hughes,
Alana Caleanu, Taylore Campfell-Viani,
Katjana Johnson, Alex Jensen, Bruce Kennedy,
Ethan Denton, Emma McMillan, Emily Jones,
Marla Selski, Taylor Hill, Steve Griffith, Rebeka
Phillips, Ellen McMillan, Patrick Harrison, Skye
Griffith, Marian Hardy
When Love is Lost
Creator: Jamica Stewart
Cast: Karl Blumhagen, Brittany K
Encounters
Creators: Alice Maundrell, Judith Nguyen,
Christopher Preston
Cast: Alice Maundrell, Judith Nguyen,
Christopher Preston, Dominic Thibault,
Voices of: Mike Glendale, Travis Glendale,
Tara Jordan
Communication
Creator: Jade Diamond Alexcee Doolan
A Culture of Culture
Creators: Brian Baek, Joon Baek, Ivan Leonov
Cast: Robin Shier
Where Did Everything Go?
Creators: Liam Kinders, Polina Shapiro, Yuna
Wang
Cast: Liam Kinders, Polina Shapiro, Yuna Wang
Imperfect Fit
Creators: Chloe Beange, Ashlynn Blackwell,
Scarlett Smith
Cast: Scarlett Sith, Nicole Wade, Claire
Hampson
Music: Samm Todd
STUDY GUIDE
Behind FaceBC Documentary, Website & Study Guide
Documentary Director, Cinematographer,
Screenwriter
Jen Rashleigh
FaceBC Coordinators
Liz Schulze
Sally Stubbs
Editors
Jen Rashleigh
David Henderson-Hean
FaceBC Technical & Administrative
Assistant
Gabriel Forsythe
Intro & Outro Video Design
Kial Natale
FaceBC Lead Instructor
Gabriel Forsythe
Composer
Kial Natale
FaceBC Instructors
Teresa Alfeld
David Brigden
Evan Crowe
Brian Ganter
Patrick Harrison
David Henderson-Hean
Krista Stusiak
Assistant Filmmakers
Teresa Alfeld
Mangla Bansal
Carmine McCutcheon
Kial Natale
Still Photographers
Aaron Campbell
Harris Taylor
Jen Rashleigh
DVD Study Guide Writer & Script
Consultant
Liz Schulze
DVD Design & Mastering
Gabriel Forsythe
Kial Natale
FaceBC.ca Website
Dennis Smith, Creative Director
Noni Maté, Co-Director
Greg Burnham, Lead Technologist
7th Floor Media, Simon Fraser University
Pacific Cinémathèque Education Directors
Liz Schulze
Sally Stubbs
Annalee Weinberger
Stuart Poyntz
Pacific Cinémathèque Staff
Steve Chow
Sue Cormier
Hazel Currie
Gabe Forsythe
Mauree Matsusaka
Amber Orchard
Jessica Parsons
Jim Sinclair
Sonya William
STUDY GUIDE
55
Supporting Partners
Julie Papaioannou
Multiculturalism Program, Citizenship &
Immigration Canada
Merilyn Read
Martin Lajoie
Alea Cardarelli
Elizabeth Todd-Doyle
Dominique Hébert
Library and Archives Canada
Barb McLean
Legacies 2010 Now
Province of British Columbia
Dan Blake
BC Association for Media Education
Rina Fraticelli
National Film Board of Canada, Pacific &
Yukon Studio
Dr. David Vogt
Mobile MUSE Network
Lisa Parsonson
Burnaby School District
Vancouver School Board
Community Partners
FaceBC Site Partners & Organizers
Vancouver Art Gallery Partners &
Facilitators
Susan Rome
Natalie Doonan
Terra Long
M. Simon Levin
Fiona Mowat
Jaimie Robson
Nettie Wild
Mike Shumiatcher
Burnaby Mountain Secondary School
Simon Fraser University Partners
Stuart Poyntz, Associate Professor
School of Communication
Greg Burnham, Lead Technologist
Noni Maté, Co-Director
Dennis Smith, Creative Director
7th Floor Media, Continuing Studies
Dr. Sharon Wahl
SFU Professional Programs, Faculty of
Education
56
Allison Kerr
King George Secondary School
Massimo Rocchette
Killarney Secondary School
Trina Moulin
Byrne Creek Secondary
Jean Woo
Burnaby School District
Sandy Pond
Farley Stewart
Kaien Island Alternate School
Vasso Feretos
Mark Harding
Stride Elementary School
STUDY GUIDE
Chantal Drolet
Crofton House School
Tara Jordan
Campbell River and Area Multicultural &
Immigrant Services Association
Amir Ali Alibhai
John Rice
North Vancouver Office of Cultural Affairs
Melanie Clark
District of West Vancouver
Linda Hogarth
Campbell River Museum
Nuu Chah Nulth Artists
BC Ferries
Linda Feil
North Vancouver Community Arts Council
David Prytula
Thompson Rivers University
Annie Mauboules
Alice To
District of North Vancouver
Dan Saul
Secwepemc Museum
Andrew Van Eden
Tsleil-Waututh Nation
Colin Preston
CBC Vancouver Visual Resource Centre
Iris Yong
North Shore Multicultural Society
Chantelle Hedin
Connie Larochelle
Christine Harwood
Kim Brake
Debbie LaBonte
Fort Nelson Aboriginal Friendship Society
Fort Nelson Youth Center
Fort Nelson Hotel
John Tech
Phoenix Theatre
Tasha Bassingthwaighte
Mosaic
Beeta Jafarzadeh
Tuoi Nguyen
Judith Robson
Kim Ton
Ian Weniger
Gladstone Secondary School
Vancouver School Board
Patrik Parkes
Moscrop Secondary School
Jim Crescenzo
Nick Akrap
Corin Browne
Summer Visions Film Institute for Youth
Templeton Secondary School
STUDY GUIDE
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