Thursday, 15 September 2016

Preliminary task and practice exercises

ABOVE: An example of a prelim video from 2016

The UK syllabus specifies a particular mandatory exercise (the 'prelim' as I refer to it on this blog), the CIE does not ... but does insist on practice exercises prior to the main production.

Your reflection following each of these is just as important as the productions themselves. Note that several of the posts linked below will make reference to the UK markscheme.

You will work on some of the following:

PRELIM (purpose: initial camera, tripod practice + learning continuity shooting/editing techniques)
Preliminary exercise: Continuity task involving filming and editing a character opening a door, crossing a room and sitting down in a chair opposite another character, with whom she/he then exchanges a couple of lines of dialogue. This task should demonstrate match on action, shot/reverse shot and the 180-degree rule.
When blogging on PRELIM remember to:

  • state what the task is, using the exam board's explanation
  • highlight + explain each of the 3 editing techniques required
  • highlight + explain what continuity editing is
  • note anything you've learned from using hardware or software (cameras, uploading footage, editing software + tools used, exporting an edited file), including screenshots where appropriate
  • for any practical task reflect too on anything learned about planning, working with others/in a group etc 
  • embed planning docs, eg photograph storyboard + embed, or upload any typed docs to SlideShare and embed
  • upload to your own YT channel - see below for more on this
  • embed your prelim
  • start all blog posts with PRELIM: (eg, PRELIM: The Task + the Techniques Included
  • use the TAG (label) 'practice exercise' (+ prelim)
  • you can always have a look at past students' posts to get a sense of what you will be doing, eg Sophie's from 2016.
Think carefully about the channel name: this is part of your branding. You'll be using the same channel next year too unless you start with a new gmail account (best not to) - think of this as a production company, offering film as well as video production. One of your AS company names, which you'll make idents for, would be wise...
You can return to this and spend more time on branding: channel banner, intro vid etc. You can also tag videos, eg AS Media, film opening, prelim... 
MICRODRAMA (build on the prelim, specifically incorporating narrative theory)
See this post and your handout on narrative theory for more.
This post has an example of how you might evaluate your work, applying semiotic theory and using precise media language.

SWEDE (building on both; more extended planning + organisation; applying research)
See this post.
For this you need to develop the level of planning and organisation in particular, and may experiment further with editing (SFX, sound, titles) and cinematography especially.
This task requires considerable initial research and planning: semiotic decontruction (analysis) of a Warp film opening; researching the 'swede' concept; listing the typical characteristics of a Working Title film; brainstorming how to swede Tyrannosaur (or other Warp film) as an exaggerated WT-style film; screenplay, storyboarding, organising locations, cast, costume/props/make-up, and delegating roles for each shoot.

You may have trialled this for one of the above, or played some part in the Xmas A2 video exercise. If at any point you try this technique/technology make sure you do blog on it.

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