Movie Trailer Day 6: Filming Video

Movie-Director-Dog-42042556Today’s essential question: Why is it important to post our videos to our blogs at the end of each class?

Today we will continue filming our videos. In order to receive participation points for today, you must publish a blog post with ALL videos you filmed or acted in during today’s class. You will have to first upload the videos to YouTube, and then post the link to the YouTube video on your class blog. You should also upload your video footage to your shared Media 2 folder in your Google Drive. This means you should return to the classroom between 8:40 and 8:45 to make sure you have enough time to do all of this.

Hsa’s blog post from last class is exactly what I am looking for. What are some things that are working well with these videos? What are some things that could be improved?

Today we will:

  • Continue filming our movie trailers.
  • Upload any footage we have filmed to our shared Media 2 folder in our Google Drive accounts.
  • Upload the same footage to YouTube.
  • Include Youtube video links to our footage in today’s blog post. If you spent the entire class acting, please post the link to the videos you acted in to receive credit for today’s class.

Movie Trailer Day 5: Staging and Camera Angles

Today’s essential question: How can how I frame my shot and angle the camera affect how my scene is portrayed?

Today we will begin filming. Ms. Lawson must have approved your project proposal script + photos in order for you to film your trailer. (You may act in a classmate’s trailer but you are not allowed to film your own until you have properly submitted a project proposal.)

Note: You must carry press passes with you at all times. Anyone caught without a press pass will lose the privilege of leaving the classroom and will have to do an alternate assignment.

What are some reasons these still frames are successful?

Today we will:

  • Begin filming our movie trailers.
  • Upload any footage we have filmed to our shared Media 2 folder in our Google Drive accounts.
  • Upload the same footage to YouTube.
  • Include Youtube video links to our footage in today’s blog post. If you spent the entire class acting, please post the link to the videos you acted in to receive credit for today’s class.

Movie Trailer Day 4: Beginning Filming

dog_video_camera.jpgToday we will review the requirements for the project proposal blog post, finish our project proposals, and then begin filming our movie trailers. Although Rae’s project proposal is not yet finished, it is a good example of the structure I am looking for.

Please check the progress report in your folder. Most of this class is oblivious as to how their lack of classwork has affected their grade. We will have Art Education graduate students observing our next two classes (Wednesday and Friday). Please represent this class in a positive manner.

The following people should meet with me at the beginning of class to discuss what changes they need to make to receive full credit for their project proposals (must include script with narrator voiceover and at least 5 still photos). After publishing a new blog post with these changes, they may begin filming their movie trailers: Shaborn, Eh Tha, Jaden, Mason, Rae, Carleton, Sylena, Hsa Doe. Everyone else should continue working on their scripts + still photos, publishing a completed project proposal with both of these pieces to their blogs by the end of today’s class.

Today we will:

  • Check the progress reports in our folders.
  • Finish our movie trailer project proposals. For full credit, these must include:
    • script with narrator voiceover
    • at least 5 still photos of the key scenes/action
  • Begin filming our movie trailer project proposals.
  • Upload any footage we have filmed to our shared Media 2 folder in our Google Drive accounts.
  • Upload the same footage to YouTube.
  • Include Youtube video links to our footage in today’s blog post.


Movie Trailer Day 3: Shooting Film Stills

Today’s essential question: How can I frame well-designed shots in my movie trailer?

Featured Artist: Wes Anderson

Director Wes Anderson is known for his well-designed frames. You can stop one of his movies at any point, and it will look like a well staged photograph. Check out the examples below.

What photography techniques has he used in his films?

Moonrise Kingdom

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Today we will shoot photos to go along with the script. By the end of today’s class, you should publish a blog post with 5-10 still photos and a script to go along with those photos. (You can copy and paste the script from last class’s blog post.) Include links to any music you plan to incorporate. Use Dallas’s blog post as a guideline of what I am looking for.

Make sure you take a photo of every major part of your trailer in its intended location. (For example, if a serial killer stabs someone in the Media classroom, you need to take a photo of your serial killer character pretending to stab that person in this classroom. The point of the photo assignment is to make sure your intended characters and locations work the way you think they will.)

Today we will:

  • Discuss how to frame well-designed cinematic shots
  • Shoot 5-10 still photos that will serve as a storyboard for your movie
  • Publish a blog post with the following:
    • 5-10 still photos showing how you will stage the various parts of your movie trailer. Include a closing screen.
    • You will insert each photo alongside the relevant part of your actual script/voiceover. If you plan to use background music, name which part of which song you plan to use and why.

Movie Trailer Day 2: Script & Brainstorming Film Stills

Today’s essential question: How can I write an interesting script for my movie trailer?


Today we will work on our scripts and brainstorm the types of still photos we will need to take to storyboard the various parts of our movie trailer. Next class, we will shoot the still photos and publish a blog post with the still photos and script. Dallas has created an excellent example of what I am looking for.

You must publish a blog post with your completed script and still photos before you will be allowed to start filming your video.

If you did not publish your project proposal on Monday, please do so now, and then begin working on your script.

Today we will:

  • Publish a new blog post with the following:
    • the script for our movie trailer
    • ideas of the types of photos you will take next class to storyboard your movie trailer (ex. photo of the empty library, photo of the serial killer lurking in the shadows of the library, photo of a girl being stabbed by the serial killer in the library, photo of another girl running in terror through the library)
    • locations where you will take each photo


11th Grade Town Hall Meeting


Today the 11th Graders will have their town hall meeting in the Ensemble Theater at 7:45. If you have not yet posted your movie trailer project proposal to your blog, please do so now.

On Friday, we will write our scripts and begin to take still photos that set the scene of the movie.

New Project: Movie Trailer Video

cats-at-movies-300x281.pngToday’s essential question: How can I create a dynamic movie trailer with the resources available in this class?

For our next project, we will create a 60 second live action movie trailer using Adobe Premiere (if you choose to use a class video camera and computer) or iMovie (if you choose to use an iPhone or iPad). We will work in small groups to film, but each student must submit their own movie trailer. This means you will take turns filming and acting in each others’ movie trailers.

Trailers consist of a series selected shots from the film being advertised. Since the purpose of the trailer is to attract an audience to the film, these excerpts are usually drawn from the most exciting, funny, or otherwise noteworthy parts of the film. To avoid spoilers, the scenes are not necessarily in the order in which they appear in the film.

Most trailers have a three-act structure similar to a full feature-length film:

  • Act I lays out the premise of the story
  • Act II drives the story further and usually ends with a dramatic climax
  • Act III usually features a strong piece of “signature music” (either a recognizable song or a powerful, sweeping orchestral piece). It often consists of a visual montage of powerful and emotional moments of the film. Voice-over narration is used to briefly set up the premise of the film and provide explanation when necessary. Since the trailer is a highly condensed format, voice-over is a useful tool to enhance the audience’s understanding of the plot.

Movie Trailer Project Requirements

  • 60 seconds long
  • Good lighting, clear audio, and dynamic shots
  • Three-Act Structure
  • Voice-Over Narration
  • Visual Montage of Powerful / Emotional Moments
  • Signature Music
  • Movie Title and Credits (in movie preview format)

Sample Student Projects

Here are some movie trailers created by last year’s Media students:

Project Timeline

We will have 10 classes to work on this project.
The time should be spent as follows:

  • Planning – 3 days (proposal, script, still photos for storyboard)
  • Shooting – 4 days
  • Editing – 3 days
  • The project is due at the end of class on Thursday, October 4th

Part I: The Proposal

You should submit a completed proposal by the end of today’s class.
Your proposal should contain the following items:

  • Describe your movie. What is it about? What genre would you classify it? (eg. Action, Horror, Drama, Comedy, Documentary, etc.)
  • Identify your actors. They must be in this class.
  • Identify a setting for your trailer. Where will you film the action? (You may need to film in 2-3 locations for different parts of the trailer, but you must be able to film all locations during class time.)
  • Identify any props or costumes that you will need to bring in.
  • Describe how you will maintain the safety and integrity of your classmates and teacher during the filming of this trailer.

Today we will:

  • Introduce the Movie Trailer project
  • Brainstorm our movie idea and write our project proposals


Welcome to Media2!

back-to-school-cat-1Welcome to the Media2! In this class, we will explore a range of digital art techniques, including digital photography, digital illustration and digital painting, graphic design, video, and animation.

Today we will go over the course criteria sheet, look at some of the projects we will create this year, set up our Media2 folders in Google Drive, publish our first blog post, and play an icebreaker game to get to know our classmates. By the end of this class you should:

  • Create a Media2 folder in your school Google Drive account and share it with Ms. Lawson (
  • Publish your first blog post
  • Play the icebreaker game

Make sure you bring back your signed course criteria sheet and walking field trip permission slip next class so we can begin shooting video outside!

Part1: Overview of Media2 Projects

Here are some examples of the types of projects we will create in this class.
Which projects are you most excited by?

Part2: Creating a Shared Media Folder in Google Drive

  1. Log into your school Gmail account. (Username: student #; Password: same password you use to log into the school computers.)
  2. Click on the squares in the top right corner of the screen and select Drive
  3. Click on “New” on the top left side of the screen and then “Folder” from the drop down menu to create a new folder
  4. Name your folder “LastName_FirstInitial_Media2”
  5. Right click on the folder and select “Share.”
  6. Share the folder with me and make sure you give me permission to add items.

Need help? Please follow the following process:

  1. Check the blog
  2. Ask two classmates
  3. Still stuck? Raise your hand and Ms. Lawson will help you as soon as she is available.

Part3: Publishing our first blog post

Log into the WordPress account you used last year, and publish a blog post with the following:

  • A picture you took during today’s class (you may use either your cell phone or a class camera)
  • The answers to the following questions:
    • Name/Nickname (what you prefer to be called):
    • Preferred Pronouns:
    • Write about an artwork you made that you are proud of. If possible, include a photo of it in this blog post.
    • Why are you taking Media2?
    • What types of projects are you most looking forward to?
    • What (if anything) do you anticipate needing extra help with:

You must complete and publish this blog post in order to receive participation points for today.

Part4: Icebreaker Game

At the start of second period, we will play the icebreaker game. I have purposefully split up friends to encourage you to get to know the rest of your classmates. Please gather with the following groups:

  • Group 1: Danny, Omarion, Avery, Dax, Aquan
  • Group 2: Colin, Jamila, Shaborn, Rae’iona
  • Group 3: Seth, Hsa, Jaden, Passion
  • Group 4: Viviam, Raul, Carleton, Sylena, Eh Tha

Today we will:

  • Go over the Course Criteria Sheet
  • Preview projects we will work on this year
  • Create a shared Media2 folder in your school Google Drive account
  • Publish your first blog post
  • Play the icebreaker game