Step 1: Film guidelines
Go over the guidelines of the film project:
- The films must be 2 minutes in length.
- The films must stay true to history, according to student research.
- Students should create props to emphasis certain parts of the story.
- Students should create and use title cards to help explain pivotal moments in history to the audience.
Teaching Tip: Students need to know the topic of their film and have had enough class time to thoroughly research that subject before the film team begins work in the classroom.
Room Set up: Students sit in pre-established groups. Document camera needed for the PN and projector needed to review the film examples on the laptop.
Step 2: Defining group roles and responsibilities
Introduce the Production Notebook (PN) to the students. Give each group one copy. Explain how the notebook is an important reference for filmmaking. Have the groups put their names and group topic on the first page of the PN.
Next, discuss the different roles needed for making a film: director, editor, art department, camera person, scriptwriter, actors. Have the groups decide who is going to do what job and write it in the PN. Stress the fact that everyone will get a chance to do different parts of the filmmaking process.
Step 3: Premise and synopsis
- Go over the film terms listed in the PN.
- Go through the terms as a group and give examples for each.
Have groups work together to come up with a premise and synopsis for their film, and write them in their production notebook.
Step 4: Identifying film shots
Remind students of the film examples they were shown at the project kick-off. Watch those films, pausing and identifying each shot. Watch a second time and count the shots aloud as a group.
Teaching Tip: Discuss the importance of team work for each film team.
Closing Activity: Have students play a team-building game or ask them to create a name and logo for their film team.