Five Video Assignments

Designed To Meet the Basic

Goals Of This Course

[Your instructor may modify assignments.]


I. Campus Story

>>The emphasis here is on story. Take any aspect of campus or school life and Actingdevelop a well thought out video piece with a clear beginning, middle, and end structure.

First, write out (type up) all of your shots in the order you plan to shoot them.  You must hand this in with your project. As an example:

  • 1. LS - campus, early morning. Students are hurrying to classes.
  • 2. MS - Mary getting out of her car in the parking lot.
  • 3. MS - John noticing, stops, turns, starts walking toward her.  ((etc.))

It doesn't matter if there are minor changes between your shooting outline and your final project; the idea is to think through your story in the preproduction phase.

Edit in the camera (for this assignment only). Learning the concept of editing in the camera is an important discipline that will later save you time.

Sound will be music (your choice) from a CD that you will bring to class and play with your videotape. You will not use any location sound for this first assignment—only music.

TIME: Not critical, but between 1 and 3 minutes.

After this assignment, you will be submitting a fully edited project, and during editing the audio will edited onto your edited master.

II. Mood Piece

>>Establish a basic mood—tranquility, anxiety, reverence, anger, patriotism, spirituality, or whatever—entirely through your selection of subject matter and the use of camera angles and lighting techniques.

Music and dialogue may only supplement (but not establish or fully communicate) the mood you select. Without your audio we should clearly get the idea.

Stick to one mood or feeling, and don't confuse matters by moving from one mood to another.

After seeing your video we should be able to ask 10 people for a one-word description of the mood conveyed and get a reasonably consistent answer.

TIME: Probably rather short. Once you feel you have clearly communicated your mood, quit!


III. Person at Work

>>Illustrate with video the relationship between a person (one person only) and his or her job.

 This can be a vocation or avocation, but not a hobby.

Tell a complete story of the person-job interaction through the use of establishing shots, close-ups, ECUs, etc.

When you present your video in class we should get a clear idea of the person, exactly what they do, how they do it, and something of his or her personality and feelings toward their job.  

Sound for this assignment will be a selection of music of your choice. You may include some of the associated sound if you feel you can confidently handle this at this point. Transfer this music along with any location sound (including interview segments) to your edited master during the editing process.

TIME: Not critical, but between 2 and 4 minutes.

IV. Mini-Drama

>>Do a short dramatic scene with two or more actors in which you smoothly intercut the dialogue from two or more single-camera setups. This is to be done with single-camera, film style setups.

Write the script yourself, or borrow it from a film or play; it doesn't matter.

You will be required to hand in a typed script in proper dramatic script form (either video or film style) before your video will be shown. .

NOTE: To meet the minimum requirements of this assignment you must have at least six, consecutive audio cuts from one (speaking) person to another. This is a typical dramatic segment and not a voice-over or one person interviewing another with a single, shared microphone.  The people must be in the same master (starting) shot; but from here you will cut to sequential close-ups of the individual people speaking.

Pay particular attention to shifts in audio levels, changes in background sound, proper pacing, consistent actor energy levels, etc.  

When we hear your project we should not be distracted by unnatural sounding audio transitions. To achieve the desired results this assignment also will also require finesse in working with actors.  (Start early; this assignment may be more difficult that you think.)

V. Public Service Announcement

>>This is an extra credit assignment.

Create a 30-second PSA (Public Service Announcement) with an ethical, moral, spiritual, or humanitarian message.

Time: precisely 0:30. (Not a second more or less!)

Have a video (and possibly audio) tag at the end that clearly identifies your cause.  

Credit is not automatic. To receive credit this must be edited with a nonlinear editing system and be a truly effective PSA, one that shows top-notch production techniques.  

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