Archive for the ‘Project Outlines’ Category

Painting Project:

This assignment consists of a student receiving an approved painting from their professor, then recreating that exact image inside their school.

The students are asked to recreate the mood and look of the painting using advanced lighting techniques as well as props, costumes and sets. Their goal is to recreate the exact position of it’s subjects – paying close attention to lighting, objects, spatial blocking and shadows.

This project is designed to make the student experience what it is like using a storyboard when creating a film. On an actual film set, instead of a piece of random artwork (most storyboard artwork could easily sell at any art auction) the filmmakers must use a series of drawings (known as storyboards) created beforehand to help them plan out exactly what they need to shoot in order to tell their story.

Filmmaking is an expensive process. If you can work out what you need visually on paper, you’ll save precious time and money. You’ll also be able to show your peers the movie before it is shot. If a certain part doesn’t seem to present your idea correctly, you can figure out a way to adjust the scene by adding, subtracting or altering a shot or two. Also, by having a storyboard on hand, you can easily show your cast and crew what you want to visually achieve in your head. It will help you plan out where the actors will stand and move around (referred to as blocking), where the camera will be, and what demands you will require from your location.

It may seem like a lot of work, but on the day that you are shooting your project, you will be glad that you have something to reference while you are running around trying to guide a group of people through a difficult process while trying to not destroy anything or anger anyone in the surrounding area. Also, most filmmakers make the mistake of staying up crazy hours before the shoot begins in a last minute attempt to finish up any work, forcing them to start their project tired and against the ropes. Those drawings made before hand will fill in any blanks that you may not recall on the day.

I’d say this is a great project. The LA Film School certainly has a good head on it’s shoulders. The only thing I’m not sure about is how the project is marked. If the student’s must make an exact replica, thats alright. If they loose marks for changing the image in any way, that’s where the process gets difficult. The majority of storyboards on professional sets often vary when compared to what is actually shot on film. There is a large difference between the set in one’s imagination and the physical set they must use for the movie.

If you’re up for it – try this out on your own time. Since there are no professors here, choose your own artwork and try to recreate that. When you’re all done, post it HERE for everyone to see.

Happy shooting!

Let's take a look at the first assignment "Lost & Found". This one comes from the LA Film School. 

Located in Hollywood California, it was founded by a group of Hollywood professionals in 1999. It is a 
state-of-the-art facility that is recognized by the majority of big names in the industry. Most 
importantly it’s building was used by John Williams to record the score for Return of the Jedi!

This facility is a heavy-hitter among all film schools.  Their projects are quite useful to any 
aspiring director. Each week students are presented with projects that will both challenge their 
passion for creating movies and prepare them for any situation that may arise when they work in the 
field.

The students all give off the impression that some projects are assigned without any warning. For 
example, the school takes its students on a trip and presents them with a quick shooting project that 
requires use of an unknown location. 

First assignment: 

“Lost and Found”
Students are given one week with a crew of 3-4 people to shoot one single continuous scene 
(30 seconds – 1 minute). No editing allowed. You can only use available lighting and minimal dialogue.
The central character must lose something and then find it. 

This project is designed to get the student to think about telling a story in a visual manner. 
The student must learn to use basic camera movements as well as structure a story with little dialogue.

Grab a camera, get out there and try this out. Follow the rules and see what you can learn from making
your own version of this project. When you are all done, post it online so others can help you figure 
out where you succeeded and where you need to work out some ideas. Also, post it HERE! We have an 
audience that will watch your work and give you feedback.  

Enjoy!
Time to sink our teeth into our first assigned project.

This one comes from a school called Sheridan College. It’s based in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.
This project was taken from the “Media Arts” program. http://www.sheridancollege.ca/

Take a series of photographs (all landscape, not portrait) to create a storyboard. You must set-up
your story using a total of eight or less photos.
Each photo must use different composition (framing and type of shot). The camera must follow the 180°
axis rule. Your goal is to establish a location and set up your story.
*If you do not have access to a camera, you may draw each frame.

Storyboarding is the best way to find out if you are correctly representing your script visually.
You may have heard the expression “Shoot it on paper first.” It is a cheap way to produce a first
draft of your film. After your script is written (or you have received one from your writer) you must
put thought into how you will show the images in your head to your audience. What do you want the
audience to see? How will you make your audience feel emotion by stimulating them visually? What
shots will fit into what you are trying to achieve? Take your time and write down what you see in
your head. Do it two or three times. Make sure you don’t miss anything.

Creating a storyboard will allow you to tweak shots and cut out others that are not needed. A
storyboard will also help you plan out what you need to shoot. Try not to waste your time and all
of your actors/crew’s time on set by walking around trying to figure out how to shoot the project.
Shoot it on paper first!
Grab a camera, get out there and try this out. Follow the rules and see what you can learn from making
your own version of this project. When you are all done, post it online so others can help you figure
out where you succeeded and where you need to work out some ideas. Also, post it HERE! We have an
audience that will watch your work and give you feedback.

-Have fun and good luck! 

*This is an example of a storyboard - for our newcomers.

Welcome!

The main goal of this project will be to show fellow hobbyists, students, newcomers and the general public that it is possible to follow your dreams and become a filmmaker. It doesn’t come down to where you live, what school you’ve gone to or how much money you have lying around. It’s about getting out there with a camera (could be yours, or borrowed) and making some magic.

Inspired by Sam Raimi, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez and Kevin Smith, we shall start our own company and educate ourselves by making short digital films and projects.

To add some challenges and deadlines to the project, we will be researching different film school curriculums and will try to complete our own version of their assigned projects without the aid of professors, text books and school studios. We will choose our own reading material that is always available to the public at local bookstores or free online. These projects will be posted online and shown to the general public. Feedback will be noted and some of the projects will be adjusted and re-released in hopes of learning valuable lessons and properly executing what was originally intended. We will be keeping VLOGs as much as possible and blogging on this website to keep everyone up-to-date.

Hopefully by our “graduation” of one or more programs we can land a directing gig without the aid of school-networking or film festivals. If all else fails, we will have made a great demo-reel in the meantime. This project is not meant to belittle any existing school programs or anyone working for/in them. It is an experiment to see if it is possible to become a filmmaking master using public resources, the internet and goodwill.

If you have any aspirations of working in the film industry or if you’d like to see how it all works, follow us on this adventure. Let’s figure it out together.

*Check out the “YOUR school projects” tab and tell me about your school experience.
VOTE on the poll below to help decide how I will personalize these projects!