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Getting Ready For Your First Assignment

I am out again today because of the flu.  And because we can’t talk about cameras, I want you to start on your first projects.  That first project will be either commercials or PSAs.  After looking at PSAs and Commercials yesterday, I want you to think about what kind of commercial or PSA you might want to do.  You need to do either TWO 30-seconds videos, or ONE 60-second video.

What I want you to do is write up TWO paragraphs in Word explaining – IN DETAIL – what you want to do for your Commercial or PSA.  Paragraph set 1 is your PLAN A.  Paragraph set 2 is your PLAN B.  These two plans should be pretty different, so that if I tell you that your PLAN A is not going to be sucessful, you have another idea.Don’t just tell me about the subject, but also tell me HOW the story will unfold.  Write this almost like it’s a novel. Talk about what the camera is going to do, and how you want to “reveal” the story.

Once you have written both ideas, print them out on the HS-A2-BW1 printer and give them to your sub.

Commercial and PSA Research Assignment

I am sick home today with the flu!  Not what I was planning on – these first few days talking about cameras and stuff is one of my favorites.

First I want you to look over to the right in the sidebar and click the link that says “Subscribe to this Blog”.  On the subsequent page, enter in your email and password.  Click “submit.”  The go to your email account and find the email that my website just sent you (it may be in your spam folder).  Click the link in the email, which will verify that you’re a real person, and return you to the blog,  then click the title of the blog at the top of the page to return to this page.  Once you have don this, carry on to the next instruction.

Anyway, instead of what we were going to do, we’re actually going to dive into our first assignment!  But before we do any creating, it’s important to ALWAYS do what we call “visual research.”  You are going to go to YouTube or Vimeo and look up “best commercials” or something along those lines.  You should also look up “Best PSAs.”  I want you to watch a whole bunch of them for about 20 minutes.  Maybe even 30!

Once you have found one that you think is the best one you’ve seen, copy the link into an empty Word document.  Save the word document to your desktop, and then answer the following questions.  You must answer in great detail – because it’s the WHY I’m looking for.  Always the why.  For instance, WHY do you think a movie is good?  Because it made you laugh?  WHY did it make you laugh?  And once you answer the WHY question, then you need to think about the HOW?  How did the creator of that video make you laugh.  That may be similar to the WHY, but deals more with technique and how a director chooses to tell a story.

Bonus points for people who can use the snipping tool and copy and paste screenshots into their answer!

  1. Would you categorize this video as a PSA or a commercial?  WHY?
  2.  What about this video made it stand out from all the others?  WHY and HOW is this video set apart?
  3. What storytelling techniques did you notice in this video?  This can range from sequencing information, creative cutting from one camera to another, etc.
  4. How did the director use SOUND to make the video stand apart (This can be about the absence of sound, too!)
  5. How did the director use the CAMERA to give you an interesting story?  WHERE is the camera?  HOW does it move.  WHY do you think the director did that?
  6. Summarize your emotional feelings about this video – especially be aware of how you felt when you first saw it.  Do you feel any different now that you have answered the above questions?  WHY?