Part of Unit: Basic Camera Operation & Shot Composition
Lesson Plan Overview / Details
This lesson will show and discuss the importance of using a video camera to shoot interesting, creative, and meaningful shots. This lesson is similar to the "shots and angles" lesson plan, but covers a new set of composition rules and focuses on hands on skills and demonstrations through small student groups. Students will also have the opportunity to demonstrate basic editing, if they have the prior knowledge in your class. If not, the final assessment will be less formal.
*** In order to do this lesson you must have enough cameras, tripods, and editing computers for the student teams to be able to use. For me with an average class size of 32, I will have 8 teams of 4, and thus will need 8 different cameras and tripods.
- 4 one-hour class periods
- 4 Hours
California Career and Technical Education Standards
- AME.A.A2.2 Know the component steps and skills required to design, edit, and produce a prod...
- AME.FS.9.1 Understand the characteristics and benefits of teamwork, leadership, and citizen...
- AME.FS.9.3 Understand how to organize and structure work individually and in teams for effe...
California Academic Content Standards (Reinforced)
- ELA.9-10.R.CAGT.2.6 Demonstrate use of sophisticated learning tools by following technical direction...2
Objectives and Goals
- The objective for this lesson is to incorporate both knowledge and theory along with hands on video production skills to produce a short video focused on basic artistic composition rules and camera work.
- All students will demonstrate a basic understanding of vocabulary associated with various camera shots and rules of composition.
Activities in this Lesson
- Day 1: 14 Shot Finished Videos Examples (10 min.) - Hooks / Set
First, explain the importance of camera skills and knowledge in video production. Without quality camera work and shots, it is nearly impossible to produce a high quality video of any kind.
Explain to your students they will be learning (and building off of prior knowledge) what each of these shots and compostion rules are and then working in teams of four to produce a short video that will be assessed and graded by you the instructor.
For the hook I will be showing two finished project videos from students in the previous year's class. The first time you do this lesson you can show my 2 examples, but after that you will want to use examples made from your own students in class.
As students are viewing these videos ask them to think about whether or not the videos demonstrated proper camera shots and composition rules in video production.
Last, I will show a video off YouTube called " " this video has more compostion rules and demonstrates a wider variety of shots than my students "14 shots" videos.
- Go Time-14 Shots Example #1 [ Watch Video ] [ Download Original Video ] Click on download original video to watch.
- Too Cool for School-14 shots example #2 [ Watch Video ] [ Download Original Video ] Click on download original video to watch.
- "Filming Techniques" [ Watch Video ] [ Download Original Video ]
For this lecture you will bring up and show the a PowerPoint called "The Perfect Shot." Explain to students that this information is closely related to the information presented in the "Camera Shots & Angles" lesson, but focuses on new information and areas of filming and camera work.
Key vocabulary: Aspect Ratio, Field of view, composition, Rule of thirds, balance, head, nose, leadroom, and horizontal line.
Have your students take notes on the slides and information so they can identify the information on a class assessment that will occur later in the lesson.
There are 11 slides that focus on:
Framing the shot, picture depth, and controlling camera movements.
As you show and discuss each slide, add any additional knowledge or examples that you feel will strengthen the slides and lecture.
Ask for questions or clarification issues before moving on.
Last, you will put your students in pre-selected teams of 4. (You can do this randomly or choose based on your own knowledge of student abilities. Try to make each team of 4 equal in skill level). Give each team a number (usually 1-8) and have students quickly come up with a team name. This will conclude day 1 of the lesson.
- The Perfect Shot [ Download ]
- Day 2: Shooting Day (1 class period) - Group Work
Have students quickly get into their groups from yesterday.
Next you will give each team a hard copy shot list with 14 pre-selected shots:
Establishing, wide, 3/4, medium, close up, extreme close up, head room, nose room, lead room, rule of thirds, centered, pan, and high and low angle shots.
Explain that today they will go out on campus with a camera and tripod and that they will shoot all 14 shots in a interesting and entertaining manner. Tell them to also concentrate on shooting and camera basics such as a steady shot, avoiding unnecessary zooming, and proper framing.
All 4 team members must film at least 3 of the shots on the shot list. There must be continuity between the various shots that students will later capture, edit, and render their shots into a short video.
Explain that this is a 1 day on campus shoot so they must shoot and log all 14 shots on the shot list. Teams will not be allowed to re-shoot any shots tomorrow, so they must be accurate and efficient.
Give each team one camera and tripod and release them to film on campus only for the entire period. At the end of the period when students return; collect all equipment; but have them keep their shot list until tomorrow.
- 14 Shots Shot-list [ Download ] Shot list and basic vocab for the
- Day 3: Capturing and basic editing - Lab / Shop
For this your students may have anywhere from limited to advanced prior knowledge in editing.
**My students have already learned some basic editing prior to this lesson.
If you are doing this lesson with students who have not done any editing in your class yet, you can simply have them plug their camera into your TV or computer and verbally tell you and the class which shot is which and who took each shot. Of course, this will be less fun and hands on, but you will still be able to see their work and provide them with informal asssessment and comments based on what you see.
For my class, I have them go to their assigned computer and capture their clips into a new folder called " 14 Shots-Add group name here."
Next they must complete the following tasks in 1 class period:
-Import and arrange all clips in an appropriate creative manner where there is continutity and flow. The 14 shots do not have to be in the same order as the shotlist or the order that they were filmed in.
-Each member must create a text overlay with their name, and which shot they took for all of their own shots. The text overlay should be of appropriate size, color, and placement to fit the clip.
-Students are allowed to use any transitions, video fx, and audio necessary to make this video look and sound professional.
-Students must add a creative title, and a full credit roll that includes any sources used and all group members names.
-After finalizing their editing session students will render or export their video to their folder.
-The final videos will be screened the next day in class for the final assessment.
- Supplemental Vocab - Lecture
Additional vocabulary to accompany the "14 shot" list. If you would like to give a informal or formal quiz these would be the best terms to use.
- Key Vocabulary [ Download ]
- Assessment Types:
- Projects, Demonstrations,
The assessment for this lesson/project can be either formal or informal depending on your desire.
I have each team turn in their shot list to me before presenting. This is what I actually use to assess their video on.
In my class, each student group will come up and introduce themselves and present their final video to the class via computer and lcd projector. The rest of the class will watch, and take notes on both positive and negative point of the videos. After the video has been shown I like to call on 2 or 3 students to give oral feedback on what they thought that group did well, and what could be improved on.
Meanwhile, I provide written comments of praise and critique based on what each student team has produced. The point value can change according to your class, but I give this a total point value of 30 points. 2 points for each of the 14 shots, and the appropriate text overlays, 1 point for the title, and 1 point for the credit roll.