Dollar Bill: The Film Production Process
Students will be able to use the film production process to create a short scene titled Dollar Bill.
Lecture: Present the basic camera shots, and angles.
Activity: In pairs or small groups, students capture short video clips illustrating the basic camera shots and angles.
Lecture/Demonstration: Use of panned tilt camera movements. Importance of storyboarding
Activity: Using the provided script, each student will storyboard Dollar Bill. Must indicate camera moves in three shots
*I review and select the storyboards that will be filmed. Selections depend on creativity and doable. The creator of the selected storyboards will take on the role of Director. I select the DP (Director of Photography) and AD (Assistant Director) for each director. This provides opportunity for students to explore new roles, work with different classmates, and ensure some balance in groups. I allow the Director to then select actors and other roles if necessary.
Lecture: Review on-set commands and practice with class
Activity: Groups go out to film (2-3 hours). Allow for pick up shots
Lecture: List any requirements for final edits (i.e. titles, transitions/fx, TRT, etc.).
Activity: Edit-Edit-Edit. Allow for pick up shots (2-4 hours).
Activity: The Director of each group presents the final edit of Dollar Bill. The class will give feedback. I require each student to speak once, no more than twice.
Reflection: Although the reflection is a group effort, the AD must turn-in the completed report on behalf of the group.
*This is the basic reflection I use for all directing exercises;
- In one sentence, what is the story being told?
- Looking at camera position and framing, character action, props and wardrobe, sound; what works in this film? What could you have given more attention to?
- Do the editing cuts reflect story progression? Are there moments when the editing brings you closer to the character(s) or takes you out of the story?
- Thinking about pre-production; writing, shot list and scheduling, what could you have done to improve your production?
- What did you learn from doing this directing exercise?
You can easily make this short scene as big or small as you like it
- Lessen activities
- Class may work as one group
- Require shotlist and schedule
- Add Sound Recordist or Gaffer
- Groups recreate scene focused on a genre
I have been doing this activity for years. When new students enroll they always ask if we'll be doing Dollar Bill. Please let me know of any tips, tricks, or modifications you have made to this lesson. Enjoy!