Form in 3D
Concentrating on common everyday activities, create a video (90-300 seconds in duration) that primarily uses sequencing, pacing, editing and shot rather than dialogue or action to construct a narrative that gives the activities poetic, visual and/or metaphoric impact and meaning. A pregnant pause is a full empty space, a meaningful lull in a conversation, or a delay in speech used to give time to consider the consequences of a statement. In this project I am asking you to focus on pregnant pauses. The content of your video should focus on the kinds of common, generally unnoticed activities that exist between the “big” memorable events of our lives. Also, I am asking you to primarily rely on editing your video to create meaning (as opposed to action, dialogue, or plot). Editing creates a “third meaning” exists in the spaces, the pregnant pauses, between shots.
- Students will demonstrate increased discernment and perception by carefully observing and creatively transforming common everyday events and activities.
- Students will demonstrate an awareness of how context and juxtaposition create meaning.
- Student videos will evidence knowledge of alternative (non-linear accumulative) narrative strategies.
- Student videos will evidence of careful consideration of editing principles: Continuity/Sequence/Pacing: (tempo, rhythmic relationship): speed, rhythmic flow and connections between shots and sequences. Transition: The movement from one shot to the next (cross-cutting, cut, fade, dissolve, nonsequitur, movement-to-movement, aspect-to-aspect) Intensity and Scope: Macro vs. micro-narrative; Close up vs. establishing shot; etc.
- Student videos will evidence of careful consideration of shooting principles: Movement: The motion of objects in front of the camera or of the camera itself. Point of View (camera angle): The choice of placement of camera and its effect on the viewer; cropping. Setting: The place, lighting or emotional atmosphere with which the video is shot.
- 3” X 5” index cards
- 2 gigabyte (min.) flash drive (about $4)
- Video Camera (supplied by instructor)
- Editing Software (available free)
- Fieldwork 1: With a partner brainstorm one everyday activity (ex. Washing a car, tying a shoe)and one common occurrence (ex. sun rising, coffee brewing). Outline each activity into no less than 3 and no more than 7 steps. Create a card for each step of the activity and the occurrence on 3”x5” cards. At this point you need only use words to describe the step (ex. “scoop grounds from coffee can”). Make 3 copies of each card. (You should end up with a minimum of 18 & up to 42 cards). Shuffl e the cards randomly in order to find new ways of ordering the events in sequence. Each student should now create a storyboard based off of one or two of these new shuffled sequences (you may use only part of sequence, say 13 of 33 cards) to serve as the basis for their video project.
- Fieldwork 2: You now are ready to storyboard your sequence. Translate each card in your sequence into a storyboard panel. This is a sketch that indicates point of view (PoV) and scope. It should also include notes about imagery, style, camera movement, subject movement, transition (typically only exit transitions) and structural juxtapositions.
You are now ready to shoot or find your footage and edit your video. The video must be no shorter than 90 seconds and no longer than 5 minutes. Use the GoPro video camera. Many point-and-shoot cameras shoot excellent video these days. You may repurpose found video footage or still images for your video, but be sure to use footage with good resolution. You may choose to have audio or not. Music may only be used if it is original (you made it) or if it forms a background layer of audio under ambient sound or something you have produced. Think about using ambient (actual sound). You are being graded primarily on the visuals so make sure to spend the bulk of your time on this. You may edit using any non-linear editing program, however I strongly recommend using iMovie or Windows Movie Maker as your editor. Both are available to download for free on your own computer. If you don’t have your computer you may use these programs on the computers in Lamson Library.
Your video will be graded on the following 3 criteria. You will note that “narrative” nor “plot”, nor “acting”, nor “story”, nor “soundtrack” appears below. Do not focus on these! You will be given a matching grading rubric that mirrors this list of criteria:
- 30% Evidence of careful consideration of editing principles:
- Continuity/Sequence/Pacing: (tempo, rhythmic relationship): speed and rhythmic flow and connections between different elements in the video
- Transition: The movement from one shot to the next (cross-cutting, cut, fade, dissolve, nonsequitur, moment-to-moment, aspect-to-aspect):
- Intensity and Scope: Macro vs. micro-narrative; Close up vs. establishing shot; etc.
- Duration: The length video
- 30% Evidence of careful consideration of shooting principles:
- Movement: of objects in front of the camera or of the camera itself
- Point of View (camera angle): The choice of placement of camera and its effect on the viewer; cropping
- Setting: The place, lighting or emotional atmosphere in which the video is taken
- Duration: The length shot or sequence
- Successful completion of the two fieldwork exercises
10% Field work 1
30% Field Work 2