First Spring Session at the Art Center has just wrapped up, but it kept me so busy I nearly forgot that I had a new class starting this week. Thank goodness one of my students mentioned it to me, because I had all but forgotten about it in the flurry of activity that was the first two months of this year.
Between his asking me about it and the planning I’ve done with my studio chair for the summer and fall, I realized I already had a new curriculum in the works for Intro to Movie Making that will allow me to teach nearly anyone how to shoot like a pro, almost exclusively using equipment they already have. A working tripod for the student’s desired camera, tablet, or cell phone is the only equipment required for this course. (This is non-negotiable.)
Here is what I have planned for this class:
Students will gain first-hand experience through in-class assignments and group projects that will engage them in scripting, shooting, and editing their own videos. They’ll learn how to use professional tools, such as lighting and sound equipment, as well as how to run (or just work on) a professional set. We’ll discuss all aspects of how to tell a story with sound and image, including the artistic challenges of dealing with light and how to use music and sound effects to help tell a story.
This class is for adults only, and does not require any previous experience.
In short, I’m planning to cover in detail the storytelling language you’ll need in order to convey your ideas through moving pictures, as well as how to implement those ideas using the readily accessible tools of the trade. Perhaps most importantly, students taking my Intro to Movie Making class will discover what it takes to package their messages in ways an audience will readily understand. This would be perfect for anyone who wants to make their own indie films as well as someone who needs to produce online video content for marketing or crowdfunding purposes.
In addition to scripting and camera skills, this class will include practical knowledge about how to avoid audio interference from things like air conditioners and refrigerators as well as the visual disruption of passersby, and even how to make sure inexperienced actors or extras don’t make common mistakes that can ruin a shot.