Your first film will be a submission for Brandon Li’s Boring Room Challenge:
Your goal is to practice the following elements that we identified last week as important elements of a great video. Let’s call these
The Elements of Awesomeness
- A Story, which might include:
- dramatic tension,
- a core conflict
- a challenge for the hero to overcome
- a gap between what is and could be
- or some other element that engages the viewer
- an arc – intensity rises and falls
- character development
- a theme that might be returned to again and again
- “codas” – little pieces that recur but change meaning as they recur
- Technical Excellence in capturing footage, including
- appropriate lighting to match the mood and intensity of the story
- appropriate camera movements (smooth, handheld, pans, zooms, tilts, etc.)
- interesting and beautiful backgrounds, set design, and costume design
- aesthetic and appropriate composition and framing
- appropriate color schemes to match the mood
- clean audio
- subtle audio cues that add realism
- Outstanding Editing, including
- appropriate rhythm and pacing
- good timing
- appropriate sequencing
- aesthetic and appropriate transitions
I really wanted to practice all of the elements we identified, so I did the following:
- Engagement: I worked really hard on creating tension, conflict, a challenge, and other elements to engage the viewer. This took me several days of work – mostly just coming up with unsatisfying ideas. Lesson Learned: The Inner Critic is an important element of creativity. It pushes you to keep finding something a little bit better. It can also be stifling if you don’t have a deadline that forces you to get to work.
- The Arc: I created a multi-act story to get a sense of an arc. This also allowed me to experiment with several different styles of storytelling (uplifting comedy, love story, thriller, dark comedy)
- Character Development: I tried to make my character fun and lovable with the opening scene so that you care about him as the plot twists later on.
- Returning Theme and Coda: I used the single line “open the pod bay doors” multiple times so that it had a different meaning during setup, build-up, and climax.
- Lighting: I really pushed myself to work in multiple lighting conditions and learned a lot. I have never been good shooting in low light. I made some mistakes over and over again, but I worked quickly to overcome them and learned a ton as I went.
- Camera movements. I worked alone so I wasn’t able to do as much camera movement as I wanted to, but it did force me to get creative and think of new ways to move the camera (vlog style, using the drone). Lesson Learned: Don’t fly a drone in a big building that throws the compass and gps out of whack. 🙁
- Composition, framing, angles. I used the dance scene to practice multiple angles and types of shots. This was super-fun to work on and I am proud of my progress. Still not pro, but getting better.
- Audio. I need to find a way to better manage my audio files, perhaps by syncing the time with the camera. I had a hard time finding the audio from the recorder to sync with the camera. In all, I was pretty disorganized throughout the shoot and could improve greatly on that.
- Rhythm and Pacing. This was really tricky. I did not realize how hard this is. This provided some very important practice and growth, but I have a long way to go to give that “experiential” feel. Some shots and transitions still feel awkward and mistimed.
- Transitions. I practiced a few zoom effects with sound in the “thriller” part of the piece. It was fun, great practice, and I learned a lot.
It’s all about practice.
Practicing Angles and Composition:
Practicing recording better audio:
Creating a workflow for your project:
- Don’t save stuff on your desktop!
- Create a folder for your project on an external drive
- Create a video folder in that folder. Create folders for each camera and each day.
- Create an audio folder.
- Create a graphics folder.
- Move your files from your card into the proper folder you just created.
- Back stuff up!
- Create your project in Premiere inside the project folder you created.
- Go to media browser in Premiere and import the folders.
The Basics of Video Editing:
Lots more great tutorials in this week’s playlist!
The Boring Room Challenge Due Monday at Midnight
- Work alone (except for actors)
- Final results are not as important as what you learn from the process
- Therefore, you must engage in a process that allows you to practice the key elements outlined above.
- Compose a story that allows you to practice as many of the bullet-points as possible
- Shoot your film, practicing as many of the bullet-points as possible
- Edit your film, practicing as many of the bullet-points as possible
- Post to YouTube (unlisted if you like) or post to Instagram (if under 60 seconds) with the hashtag #anth715 and submit your URL to Canvas along with a bullet-list of what you learned.
- Also submit a list of lessons learned, preferably referencing each of the key elements of awesomeness.
- Due Monday by midnight.