Part of Unit: Documentary, News, & Reality
Lesson Plan Overview / Details
This lesson is part two of “Writing Non-Fiction For Video"
This lesson will walk students through the planning and completion of a short format documentary or news story.
- 2-3 class sessions
- 110 - 165 Minutes
California Career and Technical Education Standards
- AME.FS.10.10 Use technical applications in the creative process, where appropriate.
- AME.FS.10.6 Know the appropriate skills and vocabulary of the art form.
- AME.FS.11.0 Demonstration and Application
- AME.FS.2.0 Communications
- AME.FS.4.4 Understand digital applications appropriate to specific media and projects.
- AME.FS.4.7 Understand how technology can reinforce, enhance, or alter products and performa...
California Academic Content Standards (Reinforced)
Objectives and Goals
- Write a two Column Script for short format video
- Plan and conduct interviews for video
- Plan, shoot and edit a short format non-fiction story for video
Activities in this Lesson
- Anticipatory Set - Hooks / Set
Read to the class some of the best examples of student - created outlines from Lesson 1.
Have the class discuss options for interview questions and have them predict the types of quotes that might come from the interview.
Have the class discuss options for creating the visual design such text, graphics, b-roll.
Play the Heroes Among Us “Taybear” video and examine for use of text, graphics and b-roll.
Play Video “Taybear"
Ask students to:
- List as many examples of computer generated graphics as you can find and describe them.
- How were letters to Taylor made to be visually interesting?
- Describe the use of b-roll during the voice over sections. How was b-roll used in general through-out.
- Observe how music was used in the story.
- Observe the use of text, titles and lower thirds. Describe how these elements were used.
- First Draft - Lecture
Converting the outline into the first draft.
“Begin with the end in mind”, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R Covey
A list of specific questions can be created from your draft that will guarantee a successful taping session and successful editing session. When you already know how your story is designed before you begin taping and editing, you will have solved most of your problems before you have begun. Beginning with the completed plan is your key to creating a great project.
Students must convert their outline into the first draft script using the two column script format. (see attached examples)
This first draft must be in complete sentences and contain as much detail as possible.
The purpose of this step is to find the missing information in the story.
Consider the type of questions needed during the interviews and include that information in this draft using place holder text or possible quote content depending on the amount of knowledge already acquired on the topic. Students will replace that text with the actual quotes.
The draft should follow the organization of the outline:
- Back-story items
- Some Ws and Hs
- Set-up info etc.
- THE PROBLEM IS________________________
- Details “Three quotes”
- Details “Three issues related to problem
- THE MOST EMOTIONAL OR STRONGEST STATEMENT
- What was learned, or
- What is next, the future etc,
- Sign off
This document will become the Voice Over Script for the video.
The next step may require revision to the story.
- Write the First Draft - Guided Practice
Writing The First Draft:
Read the article "How to write a news lead" and encourage students to include a well written lead.
- While students write the first draft, make sure they maintain the structure of the outline
- Labeling the sections will help keep the document organized and make reading and assessing much easier for the teacher.
- A list of questions for the interviewees must be generated from the script
- Prepare for the “Pre-Interview”.
- How to write a news lead article [ Download ] How to Write a News Lead Craft a Lead that Will Hook Readers and Won't Let GoBy Zane Ewton
- The Pre-Interview - Projects
Before the pre-interview:
The most polite way to interview someone is to meet with him or her before you bring your camera. You must get consent from the people you want to interview before you can tape them.
- Contact your interviewees and request a “pre interview” meeting.
During the pre-interview:
- Go over the nature of your story and give them a list of questions for the interview.
- You may find information that is contrary to your original idea requiring a re-write of your story.
- Make an appointment for videotaping the interview including the place (on location or in the studio), the time, and the color of clothing to wear if you are using blue or green screen
- Production - Projects
Taping the Interview: (assuming students already understand camera, audio and lighting)
- Allow him or her to relax and get used to the camera.
- While taping, keep a list of quotes in mind as you listen.
- Re-direct and rephrase your questions until you hear the sound bites you need.
- Reading a list of questions is impersonal and will resulting stiff sounding quotes.
- Have a conversation about the subject . It is a more natural way to get the information you need.
- Allow silence after an emotional quote for dramatic effect and for editing purposes.
Shoot B-Roll while on location:
- Shoot lots of B-Roll to cover your voice-over and illustrate the story. Stories are more interesting when they are full of images about the topic.
- Video tape your interviewee in his or her normal routine.
- Shoot non-verbal communication showing the emotional state (hands, posture etc)
- Shoot objects or things that are related to the story.
- Look for interesting angles and artistic images at the location.
Two Column Script style:
- Students will continue to revise the script in the right column. Insert cues for audio (voice, music, sound effects, etc).
- In the left column students should include cues for video and visual information, B-roll etc. (refer to the two column script downloads)
- Vocabulary [ Download ] For review from Lesson 1
- Postproduction - Projects
Since you have already written your story, you will not need to spend much time editing. Most of your editing decisions have been made already. Remember, “Begin with the end in mind”.
Here is a check list of things to do as you edit:
- Revise your VO (voice-over) script to reflect changes in actual quotes. *
- Review the terms “NAT” and “SOT”.
- Choose the best quotes from the interviews and start to piece the story using SOTs,
- Choose the most interesting B-Roll that might also influence the VO.
- Cover VO with B-Roll. Use images that illustrate what we are hearing.
- After the interviewee has been introduced, cover him or her with B-Roll. Talking heads are boring
- The final VO script should accommodate the quotes and content from the interviews. Strive to make everything flow and fit.
- Graphics, still images, montages are interesting. (Refer to the Heroes Among Us example)
- Insert titles and lower thirds and graphics.
- Stand-up and Sign-Off
- Taped at the same time you shoot the B-roll or
- VO with B-roll
- Underscore with appropriate music that elicits the desired mood.
* The voice-over tool in Final Cut will not allow you to record audio unless video or a “Slug” (a blank placeholder video) is present in that section. This slug will be replaced with the final B-roll after the VO is recorded.
- Assessment Types:
- Rubrics, Demonstrations,
- The final assessment requires students to grade their own pre-production process ( idea web, outline, final VO script) with the Non-Fiction Pre-production Planning Rubric. (download)
- Students will grade their own video project using the Non-Fiction Final Product Rubric (download)
- The teacher will asses student work and evaluate student rubrics. while making necessary adjustments to the rubric assessment grade.
- The teacher rubric assessments are the final grades for the project.