Preparation for the course

In preparation for this course, start watching films. Watch your old favorites and look at them with fresh eyes. Take mental note of what it is about the films that you enjoy. Look at the use of or lack of sound, use of lighting, color, angles, and background. Take note of the directors of your favorite films and look for others by the same director. Netflix, Amazon, HBO are all great sources of films.  

Equipment suggestions:

I am very excited to be teaching this course. Much depends on you, the student to bring  your ideas, your passion, and your time in order to create excellent projects. We can provide the equipment, we can teach you how to use the equipment, but the the task of telling the story depends on you. Plan on reviewing movies in class as well as outside of class, working with drama students/student actors, creating sound for your movie, and working in groups to create small films. Saturate your brain with beautiful cinematography so that you can be inspired!

Students will be introduced to the rhetoric of film and be expected, in writing, to analyze, describe and breakdown the elements of a shot, a scene, and a sequence. Students will be introduced to film genres including the Film Noir, Science Fiction, Documentary, and Action/Adventure. Students will be introduced to and expected to know the directors, directors of photography, who are best known for their influence on specific genres. Students will learn shot techniques, camera movements, and basic lighting techniques. Students will learn story boarding techniques and be responsible for the creation of several short films each quarter incorporating specific styling and technical skills. 

General Course Goals

Filmmaking introduces students to the art, technique, and creation of filmmaking. Students will research and review filmmaking from the perspective of a performing and visual art. The use of the elements and principles of design used in film will be researched when reviewing films. After viewing, scenes will be broken down and the techniques applied to the creation of film will be studied. Students will explore historical relationships between film, society and world culture for past and present.

Measurable Student Objectives at Completion of Course

Students will learn (increase) their knowledge of Film vocabulary through observation of and written reflections on films productions, both on campus and off. Reflections and class discussions will enhance students’ comprehension and analysis of Film productions, including genre, period, style, mood, and pacing. (Standard 1.0, Artistic Expression and 4.0, Aesthetic Valuing)
Students will read about, write about and discuss Film history, its reflection of society and its impact on society and world culture. (Standard 3.0,
Historical and Cultural Context)
Students will learn elements of dramatic structure by analyzing plots and plot devices in films, looking at linear and non-linear time lines, genres, etc. (Standard 4.0, Aesthetic Valuing)
Students will create short, silent films to learn how to express themselves visually in the “moving” picture arena. (Standard 2.0, Creative Expression)
Students will look at the uses of filmmaking within the Hollywood framework, the business framework, education and personal use. (Standard 5.0, Connections, Relationships, Applications.)
Students will be able to identify key events, personnel and trends in world Film. (Standard 3.0, Historical and Cultural Context).

Anticipated Instructional Mode used to Deliver Course Materials

Film Production: Group work
Student led lessons on specific film styles
Film Presentations

Evaluation Design and Assessment

Students need to be able to demonstrate through inclusion in their writing, a working knowledge of specialized Film vocabulary.
Students written work will be assessed for English (Language Arts) skills: grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, format (including script), will be assessed according to the appropriate grade level.
Effort and improvement are stressed. Students’ work, both writing and filmmaking will be evaluated throughout the year to determine the level of improvement in both categories. Students are required to keep a notebook/portfolio of their written works. Notebooks should include class notes, personal reflections/observations, and reaction papers. Students must participate in all class activities.

Written work is assessed by content, accuracy (comprehension, historical accuracy, etc.), use of vocabulary and analysis. A rubric is presented to students for the major assignments. Students are required to learn and use various film editing software such as Adobe Premiere, and Final Cut Pro. There will be opportunities for selected student to create work in Adobe After Effects, and DVD Studio Pro. To express their ideas effectively and properly, the technical aspect of the class is required knowledge. Basic needed knowledge includes: capturing and exporting digital video, use of firewire, soundtrack creation, controlling and creating sound effects, copyright law, and selecting a proper film codec. These requirements will increase throughout the year.

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