Day 23, 3/3

1. Partner Pitch

Pitch your concept to your partner. A classic pitch is usually a summary of the story idea in twenty five words or less that conveys the exposition (who, where, and when), the inciting incident (what has happened) and hopefully hooks your audience. You want the excite them on your idea, getting them to exclaim “Now THAT is a movie I need to see!” After you’ve verbally pitched the idea, take a few minutes to read over each script, discuss the merits of each, considering qualitative traits (“your idea is so funny!”) and technical traits (“my idea is on the moon with two robots, which might be too difficult for this project”) to decide on which of the two scripts you want to produce.

2. Revise Script

Edit, edit, and edit some more! Work together to rework the dialogue to sound natural and consider the script from every angle. Time it out to see if it is too long or too short to see if you need to bulk it up or edit it down. Complete the final draft and print four copies of. Save it as a printable PDF with the name “[lastinitial][firstname]_Dialogue.PDF.” Whichever script you need printed, save it as “[lastinitial][firstname]_Print.PDF” and submit it through Teams and Mr. Gilbar will print five copies for you.

Day 22, 3/2

1. Conflict Through Dialogue

We will be producing a 60-120 second film that shows a conflict between two people that is resolved through dialogue. We will be working in pairs to produce this film that follows the plot chart we’ve studied this week, including…

  1. exposition: establishes the location and characters before the story begins
  2. inciting incident: the conflict that deviates from normal events.
  3. rising action: as the stakes increase, the conflict intensifies.
  4. climax: a solution is found! the viewer is given some catharsis.
  5. falling action: where intensity declines, leading finally to the…
  6. resolution: that ties up the story nicely and helps clarify the themes, morals, or lessons learned

The three primary areas of focus for this project are:

  • storytelling (follows plot structure, captures audience interest)
  • writing (believable dialogue, clear)
  • audio (capturing good, clean audio)

The three secondary areas of focus for this project are:

  • acting (timing, delivery, authenticity)
  • cinematography (camera placement, movement, building tension)
  • music (source audio that matches the tone/mood)

2. Dialogue Composition

Today, we will come up with a short story based on our personal experiences that follows the plot structure. Fill out the provided form and identify the essential elements of your story. Complete a second draft if necessary. When you are done, you can begin working on your screenplay. I recommend using WriterDuet, a free, web-based and collaborative screenwriting program. Alternately, you can use Google Docs (with the Screenplay Formatter add-on) or Microsoft Word Online or another cloud-based composition program. You will not be marked on proper formatting, but if you are interested in learning, there are lots of helpful videos and even books on the subject. We will have thirty minutes today and thirty minutes on Tuesday to work on this first draft of the script. The general plan for next week is…

Monday: Write first draft.

Tuesday: Pitch to partner, debate merits, and choose a script you want to produce. Develop that script.

Wednesday: Complete and print the final draft. Draw your storyboard. Complete a shotlist. Meet with and prepare actors. Test out and practice using audio equipment.

Thursday: Group 1 shoots, group 2 acts.

Friday: Group 2 shoots, group 1 acts.

Monday onwards: Reshoots as needed. Begin edit of rough cut.

3. Conflict Through Dialogue

We will be producing a short film that shows a conflict between two people that is resolved entirely through dialogue. It will be marked out of thirty based on the criteria on Teams. Start drafting your script. It should be about one page long.

Day 21, 2/27

1. Storytelling 101

We are going to do a crash course on story structure by looking at a handful of Pixar short films.

  1. exposition: establishes the location and characters before the story begins
  2. inciting incident: the conflict that deviates from normal events.
  3. rising action: as the stakes increase, the conflict intensifies.
  4. climax: a solution is found! the viewer is given some catharsis.
  5. falling action: where intensity declines, leading finally to the…
  6. resolution: that ties up the story nicely and helps clarify the themes, morals, or lessons learned

Day 19-20, 2/25-26

1. Colour Correction 101

Problem: My video is too warm (yellow-orange) or cool (blue).

Solution: The white balance was incorrectly set on the camera when shooting. Go to the “Color” workspace (on the very top panel) then go to the “Color Correction” section in the top-right corner. Adjust the topmost slider left to “warm” the clip or right to “cool” the clip down. There are other sliders to play with below that will manipulate the exposure, contrast, and saturation. You can get an excellent result this way, but it still isn’t as good as having the White Balance properly configured when filming.

2. Sound Editing 101

Problem: The sound is only playing in one of my headphones!

Solution: We hear sounds in stereo (i.e. our left ear and right ear). The Saramonic records in mono (i.e. a single channel, left if captured in port 1, right if captured in port 2). We simply need to copy the sound from the Saramonic from one ear to another.

Problem: There’s a distracting buzz or hum in the background!

Solution: Right-click on the problematic clip and choose “Edit in Adobe Audition” from the drop-down menu. Select a portion of the clip where only that buzz can be heard then go the Effects > Noise Reduction > Capture Noise Print. Afterwards, select all (CMND+A) and go to Effects > Noise Reduction > Noise Reduction (Process). Manipulate the sliders at the bottom so that the buzz/hum is reduced, but the vocals don’t sound tinny/metallic/underwater. Save (CMND+S) and close Audition and your fixed version of the sound will be automatically inserted into Premiere.

I’ll show you a trick so that you can make the audio track play in both ears, not just one.

3. Edit Final Cut

Revise and finish the “Shoot The Shots” project, correcting colours and adding audio (ambience, SFX, and music). This is the last full day of studio time we will have to work on this, although it will not be due until next week. We will be introducing a new project tomorrow.

Remember that we have an amazing library of nearly 20,000 songs and sound effects available on the network. Go to Finder > Go > Connect To Server…, then type in smb://125-v02-001 and press Connect. It will list off the available network drives and add Student_Resources. This is where you can find the project instructions and examples. You will navigate to Student_Resources > Course Resources > Computers > Misc Resources > Audio Stuff. You can quick-preview SFX on the Mac by pressing the spacebar. When you find a sound you’d like to use, copy it to the project folder on your computer’s hard drive.

You can also pull sounds from Youtube and other streaming sites using a downloader like ytmp3.cc, but know that the typically are licensed, copyrighted songs that you cannot legally use and are not acceptable in the context of this course. You can only use small clips that are sufficiently modified to make them your own and to warrant “fair use.”

Day 18, 2/24

1. Edit Rough Cut

Collect all of your footage and assets from your shoot and begin editing your rough cut. We will plan to revise and colour correct these projects tomorrow, although it will not be due until next week. We will be starting a new activity on Wednesday.