Step 1: Are you ready to film?
Ask for a student volunteer to read the PN blurb about film readiness:
“Before you start filming take a moment to go over the checklist with your group. Use your storyboard as a reference; remember each index card on your storyboard should have all the information you need to film.
Do you have:
- A variety of shots.
- The kind of shots you are using listed with each sketch on your storyboard.
- Locations listed for the shots.
- Actors: who is in the shots and what are they doing?
- Script: what are the actors going to say or are you going to narrate your film?
- Props: are there items that you need to bring in to be used in the film?
- Who is filming each shot: make sure you have a plan before you start filming.
- Title cards and illustrated cards: the Art Department is ready to work on those.
If you can check off all the boxes above with your group, then you are ready to film!”
Go over the checklist with each group to make sure they are ready to start filming.
Teaching Tip: Have students bring their storyboards with them to use as a reference throughout filming.
Step 2: Camera protocol
Give a demonstration on how to use the cameras and monopods; how to hold your body and move with the camera for stability; how to record, zoom, and pan.
Discuss the importance of composition and paying attention to what you are seeing through the lens and not what is happening around you. Remind students to always watch what they have recorded, checking to make sure the people and props they want are indeed in the shot (without compromise such as losing heads or feet critical to the scene).
Teaching Tip: Have each group write down the number of their camera in their PN; they will use that camera throughout the whole program.
Step 3: Count to five
Discuss the importance of counting to five once hitting “record” on the camera and before the director says, “Action!” This is to avoid cutting off dialogue and action in the shot. The same rule applies when a director says, “Cut!” at the end of a shot. These extra seconds can be edited out at the end and will not interfere with the film.
Teaching Tip: Each group should have one Teaching Artist work with them as they break off and move to filming locations.
Step 4: Getting to work
Groups work together to shoot their scenes, using up to 2 hours of class time. Throughout the next two class periods, check in with groups as they work to film their storyboards through a series of scenes. Remind students of the various shots and compositional tools they should be putting to use.