T351 Week 9 - Fall 2013
- Review Quiz
- Art Videos / Story structure / Dramatic scenes
- Review scripts & treatments
- Production tips
- This week:
- Dramatic story pitch session in lab. (about 9:30 AM)
- We'll watch your Interview/Feature stories (at saround 10)
- Your Art Video storyboard or script are due (via Oncourse) today. These shold provide enough detail to serve as a guide for production / postproduction.
- Final Projects - Final Project
proposals and treatments are due today. (Turn in via Oncourse). I'd like to meet with each of you individually sometime in the next few weeks about your individual projects.
- Next Week:
- Your Interview/Feature Story critiques are due (via Oncourse)
- No lab next week. Take the time to work on & finish your Art Videos. We'll watch these the week after next.
Next week you 'll be working on your Art Videos, which we'll look at starting right at 10 AM the week after next.
Analyzing Art & Music Videos
What are they & why are they made? (objective)
Many different examples from time lapse & animation to music and experimental videos.
- Artistic statement
- Supply fans with content
- Often part of a marketing strategy (sell a song/performer)
- Hope are for a viral video (Who hasn't seen Wrecking Ball?)
- Embed a message (E.g. Invisible Children campaign)
- To show off skills/production artistry.
While there are a rare few who make money producing music videos, most producers/directors work on other genres. A few good videos can lead to larger projects. Michel Gondry gained a reputation from his creative, brilliant and elaborate music videos. This led to commercials and films.
Keep in mind an underlying theory which applies to the montage:
whole is greater than the sum of the parts"
One can juxtapose two separate shots together and get a much more intense
Music videos often employ parallel editing (cross cutting). This can be a performer in different locations, a connected storyline, or abstract representation.
To capture repetitive takes in the field with consistent tempo, use audio playback from an MP3 or CD player (E.g. via a boom box). This will ensure perfect timing.
Review Graham Sheldon and Andrew
For multi-take live performance, consider where the "line" is and what camera shots you want to use (E.g. Wide shot, medium shot and close-ups). Have your performer run through the song three times and capture (without stopping) each of the camera perspectives. It's usually easiest if you pull the audio from the close-up camera as this is the trickiest to match.
Once you select a story your group then have to refine it and then create a shooting script (group grade). Please note that now is the time to secure talent, locations and props.
Everyone is expected to turn in their own edit. However, you can make a case for a single edit is you tell me in advance your plan for how you will collaborate. This must be done in advance.
This is a perfect project to try our your cinematic creativity. Think creative lighting and camera.
Keep your storytelling projects
short & sweet! It's
much better to have 4 minutes of gold than 10 minutes of yuck.
A good goal is to always try to make the viewer wonder, "What's going
to happen next?"
[Look at examples]
- Story & character - A story usually involves one or more person and the conflict they face. Characters should transform (have a character arc). If there is just a situation (I feel sad because my boyfriend died), that's not really a story. Similarly just having people fight or make love is not storytelling. You need to make
us care about the characters and the story. We need to
know who basic motivation of our characters and why they are doing what they are doing. It's not what happens to us that defines us or our characters- it's how we deal with it.
- Clearly draw your characters - There's a concept called "first action" that addresses
the very first time the audience sees a character. The idea is that we
find out something about the person that identifies who they are and
that provides insight into their character. Maybe the first time we see
"Joe" (the hero in our short story) he is coming out of a building and
holds the door open for someone coming in. It takes 4 seconds to show
this and establishes the fact that Joe is probably an alright guy. Maybe
the first time we see "Pete" (the bad guy in our short story) he is honking
at a homeless person slowly pushing her shopping cart across the street.
Stories & Story Structure Resources
Relevant web links:
Scripts & treatments
Start with a treatment, then move onto a script. It's much easier to
refine a treatment than to make changes to a script. After you are happy
with the treatment, move on to write the script.
A treatment describes the flow of the story.
Treatments use the present tense and a narrative manner. The treatment
should address individual scenes. The function of a scene is to further
develop the plot or characters. Some writers like to put scenes on cards, which they can re-arrange. You can do this with paragraphs.
What’s in a script? Read Jim's Script
Two-column vs. film style
The single column script is best suited for writers who are leaving
the visual decisions to the cinematographer or director.
In general I've been impressed with many of your videos. Here are a
few tips to make them even better:
- Nothing saves you more time in production and makes your project
better than pre-production- a.k.a. planning.
Simply put, spend time thinking about your projects. The more
time you spend picking your script and shots apart before production,
the smoother and quicker it will go.
- Visualize every single shot! Beethoven could
write his music entirely in his head. You can do the same thing.
Imagine the first fade up from black. What do you see? You can
do this with every single shot along with the soundtrack.
Put it in writing in the form of your script and shot sheets. If
you can learn to do this you will have great success producing
- When writing a scene - don't forget the basics, such as establishing
time and location. When in doubt
interesting establishing shot, then start moving the camera in.
- When blocking two-person exchanges OTS (over the shoulder) shots
- TV is a close-up medium. Avoid using too many long shots and medium
long shots. Use close ups and extreme close-ups to to tell your story.
- Everything, every shot, every sound, every character should be there
for a reason. If it doesn't push the scene or the character along cut
- Lighting - Always plan on enhancing the appearance through lighting.
Occasionally you will get some nice locations that don't need much
(shooting outside on an overcast/diffused day) but almost every single
indoor scene will benefit from at least a little soft fill.
- Keep the camera level and smooth. Don’t slightly tilt the horizon.
Keep it level or really tilt it (cant / Dutch angle) Keep your movements
smooth and steady.
- Don't use hand held shots - unless they are specifically motivated!
Hand-held implies a documentary feel. Many of the hand held shots I've
have been unmotivated and of marginal quality.
- Lenses: Occasionally check to see if lens has water drops on it.
You often can’t see these through the viewfinder. Never touch
the lens with anything other than special lens cleaning paper.
- Gain switch
- make sure it's turned off
- Remember the 180-degree rule and how to cross it
- Remember to motivate your edits and avoid jump cuts. For good edits
(think about this when you shoot!) I also like the 3- shot rule:
Think about the shot you're shooting, the shot you'll use before it,
the shot you'll use after it. Also consider what will motivate your
edit. Action? A sound?
- When shooting B-roll, shoot mini-continuity
sequences. These will cut together very nicely.
- Always start and end your sequence with a fade- unless a pop on or
pop off has been specifically motivated.
- Start and end programs with both video and audio. In other words
as you fade up on your first visual, we should hear something. At the
end, your music should end right when we fade to black.
- Only digitize the audio that you need. In other words if you've recorded
your interview or primary audio on track one, don't bother digitizing
track two, or don't bring it into the timeline.
- When using B-roll, don't just drop in one shot, instead use a sequence
of 3 or more shots.
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