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Project SP-7 Document an Event (6 minutes)
Learn to profile an outdoor event using handheld coverage. Include a central character, and
incorporate parallel story lines. Include normal contours of the event, but include what’s
unexpected too. Make central character, his/her special qualities, values, conflicts interesting.
Goals
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d)
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a) Show each step in the event, clearly revealing its nature, purpose, and challenges
b) Show our main character’s personality emerging through his or her participation
c) Cover each step imaginatively and with elision and parallel storytelling in mind
d) Say something about the human condition
Steps
Preproduction
a) Choose an event lasting perhaps 2 hours maximum
b) Research probabilities. Note how stages start and end, and decide how to cover them
c) Decide angles to help abbreviate processes, shoot plentiful reactions & cutaways
d) If there are people, animals, or vehicles in movement, plan for backgrounds,
meaningful juxtapositions, and consistent screen directions
Production
d) Once the event starts you can stop and start the camera but not direct participants
e) You may shoot up to 2 hours of material (a ratio of 20:1)
f) Cover the event with one or more cameras, but make brief each to shoot particular
material. Look for the unexpected, the accidental, the eccentric (humor)
g) Shoot central character interview where there’s no background interference
h) You may shoot street interviews. Look for local color and eccentricity (humor)
i) Shoot good dialogue tracks and extra sound effects
Postproduction
g)
j) Use the best material to make an edited version of 6 minutes exactly
h) k) Use central character’s voice-over as narration, but eliminate all talking head picture
l) You may use street interviews as talking heads, but eliminate interviewer’s voice
Creative Limitations
a) You may not direct participants; you must adapt to shoot what they do
b) Make this a “transparent” film—one that looks more like life than a film
c) Let main character’s POV rule the film, though you can imply other POVs
Sample Topics
a) An agricultural show, following one animal or competitor
b) Beauty pageant or other competition, following a chosen participant
c) Political demonstration preferably with police presence
d) Behind the scenes in a city firework display
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ASSESSMENT, PROJECT SP-7 DOCUMENT AN EVENT
Name______________________
Criteria
Rating
1.
Directing. Content seems spontaneous and unrehearsed
0 1 2 3 4 5
2.
Each important stage of the event is well covered
0 1 2 3 4 5
3.
Material is visually interesting and even emotionally engaging
0 1 2 3 4 5
4.
Shows everything one expects and needs to see
0 1 2 3 4 5
5.
Includes aspects that were surprising, unexpected, or revealing
0 1 2 3 4 5
6.
0 1 2 3 4 5
7.
Includes inventive additional coverage to aid in parallel
storytelling
Camera Good framing and satisfying compositions throughout
8.
Each camera movement is smooth and motivated
0 1 2 3 4 5
9.
Includes a variety of angles that made editing easier and more fluid 0 1 2 3 4 5
0 1 2 3 4 5
10. Sound is good and consistent.
0 1 2 3 4 5
11. Microphone never enters the shot
0 1 2 3 4 5
12. Editing. Solves the problem of compressing time.
0 1 2 3 4 5
13. Event develops through a satisfying arc
0 1 2 3 4 5
14. All actions that can be inferred have been left out
0 1 2 3 4 5
15. Each phase of the event is on-screen for an appropriate time
0 1 2 3 4 5
16. Rhythms of actions, speech, and editing all remain natural
0 1 2 3 4 5
17. Makes cutaways and cut-ins look motivated
0 1 2 3 4 5
18. Uses parallel storytelling to help abbreviate main action
0 1 2 3 4 5
19. Uses parallel storytelling to create ironic commentary and tension
0 1 2 3 4 5
20. The film begins and ends well
0 1 2 3 4 5
21. Sound mix uses sound and sound transitions creatively
0 1 2 3 4 5
22. Overall. Film feels neither too long nor too short
0 1 2 3 4 5
23. Time allotment (6 minutes) is used in good proportions.
0 1 2 3 4 5
24. The film delivers a strong impact
0 1 2 3 4 5
25. Film transcends limitations of project to say something original
0 1 2 3 4 5
TOTAL ______/125
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