Friday, 19 April 2013

From Concept to Storyboard

The last couple of sessions with my teenage film makers have been busy and productive.  At the beginning of Thursday morning's class I drew a mountain on the board as a simple visual representation of a story with a beginning (the bottom), a middle (the summit) and an end (the other side of the mountain.)

Starting at the beginning, we wrote up an outline for the film, guided by questions (from me) and discussion with each other.  The learners were keen to contribute their ideas, especially to the rather gory middle section (yes, I know - it is supposed to be a welcome to the school film for new EAL pupils, but please rest assured that it has a very happy ending!)

At the end of this session I showed the group one of my favourite short films, The Black Hole.  This was partly to reward the group for their hard work, but also to show them how a very short film can have a beautifully crafted plot, and how a perfectly thought out shot can reveal a character's inner life in a couple of seconds. I love the simplicity of this film's soundtrack too.

Today the pupils story boarded their ideas.  We used the free printable templates from which have enough space underneath to include information about camera angles and dialogue.

I also showed pupils this clip about camera techniques. After one viewing I asked pupils to tell me what terms they remembered and when they might use these different techniques in their own films. For example, they might use a close up of their main character's face to show his feelings of anxiety on the first day of starting a new school. Or they might use a point of view shot as the central character walks through the school.

By the end of the lesson pupils had story boarded the film's first section. We have six more sessions to complete this film, so I hope they do their homework over the weekend!

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