Filmmaking II
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Filmmaking II

Film and other visual storytelling has become the literature of our age and it’s important for young people be fluent in this exciting and influential craft.

This class builds on the concepts and techniques introduced in Filmmaking 1 and includes more advanced concepts and techniques, focused on narrative filmmaking. The class will be interactive with class members developing their own projects and reviewing with their peers. Students will complete their own short, narrative film with experience in the following activities and skills: (1) story and script development; (2) script breakdown and scheduling; (3) working with actors; (4) camera techniques; (5) production audio techniques with sync and double-system sound; (6) interior and exterior lighting techniques; (7) narrative film editing; (8) finishing and distribution on DVD and web.

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Textbook: The Filmmaker’s Handbook, 2013 edition by  Steven Asher & Edward Pincus. ISBN# 978-0-452-29728-9 (paperback available for approx. $20 online).  [Note: this is the same textbook as used in Filmmaking 1, if you have purchased it for that class, you need not purchase it again!]

“Flipped” Classroom Model: In order to cover more material in an on-line setting, students will watch pre-recorded lecture material before some weeks’ classes. This will be posted and explained. Working in this way helps to maximize live class interaction and learning.

Equipment & Software: Students need to have access to a basic video recording device with a microphone input. This could be something like a camcorder, a late-model iPhone/smartphone, or Digital SLR (DSLR) camera with video capability. They also need access to a computer with digital video editing software for home assignments. Examples of software include Apple iMovie, Pinnacle Studio, PowerDirector, Lightworks, Apple Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, HitFilm, and Sony Vegas. A high-level program is not needed as we are focusing on storytelling, not fancy effects. However, use of some of the basic programs (especially Windows Movie Maker) can be an extra challenge and are strongly discouraged. A small investment in a better program can save many headaches.

This also applies to filmmaking equipment like audio gear, lights, and camera support. Students who are serious about learning need to be prepared to make some investment in the tools of their craft, just as any artist or musician needs to invest in their tools and instruments. It need not be a huge burden, but it’s important. I also will post documents listing (with links) basic equipment that will make filmmaking much more pleasurable and effective.

Please check with the teacher if you have a question about a camera or editing software.

Tom Khazoyan has been teaching online film and screenwriting classes and in-person workshops and seminars since 2010. He began his career on the production side of the film and television business. He’s an award-winning producer, director, cameraman, and editor. He has produced projects ranging from television commercials to documentaries to dramatic films in over 30 countries.

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