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Commercial/PSA Project

Attached below is the “handout” for the Commercial/PSA project.  It contains everything we discussed in class today, and maybe a bit more. No surprises, though.



Fincher’s Camera

Below is the video we watched this morning in class, just in case you want to watch again!  The Nerdwriter is just one of many excellent YouTube channels that you can learn from when it comes to film and the art of filmmaking.



Camera Loan Letter

Categories: Handouts No Comments

Here is the loan letter that you need to get signed if you want to borrow a camera.  Make sure you print it out, get it signed, and bring it back TOMORROW so that you can have a camera for the weekend.


Assignment for Today

Well, this is now officially the worst flu I have ever had in 18 years of teaching!

I have another small research assignment for you today.  Please take this seriously – all of this stuff is actually rather important to you filming skills, and we were going to go over it anyway, just in a different format.

Go online and find definitions as well as a picture that defines – IN DETAIL – these following filming techniques.  Copy and paste the pictures into a Word document, and the write the definitions right after.  I warn you, a couple of them will be harder to find still images of. But be creative and I know you can do it!  Make sure you also include WHY filmmakers/cinematographers do these shots.  What do they do for the audience?

  1. Close Up
  2. Extreme Close Up
  3. Medium Close Up
  4. Medium Shot
  5. Medium Long Shot
  6. Long Shot
  7. Extreme Long Shot
  8. Over the Shoulder Shot
  9. Establishing Shot
  10. Subjective Shot
  11. Two Shot
  12. Group Shot
  13. Canted Shot
  14. Emblematic Shot
  15. Abstract Shot
  16. Macro Shot
  17. Zoom Shot
  18. Pan Shot
  19. Tilt Shot
  20. Dolly Short
  21. Dolly Zoom Shot
  22. Tracking Shot
  23. Steadicam Shot
  24. Crane Shot

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?



Welcome to the Digital Video Class blog.  This blog will be where I will be posting handout, assignment information, as well as recordings of any demonstrations that I do in class.  It will be a very important resource for you during the class, and you will want to visit regularly.

On the right, you will see a link that says “Subscribe to This Blog.”   I want you to enter your email address so that the blog will automatically send you a notification whenever something important is posted.  Don’t worry too much – it won’t be emailing you every day.

Once you enter your email address on that page, then go to your email and find an email from my website (it may be in your junk mail folder), and in that email there will be a link.  Click on that link to confirm the subscription.  This is basically just verifying that you are a real person, not a spam program.