Advanced Video Production - CTE Online Model

by CTE Online Admin

This is a Project-Based course focusing on the use of current industry software [ex. Final Cut Pro] in digital video editing and production. Units will be designed around the creation of projects for students to design, build, create, or perform. Video Production is one of two capstone courses in a high school course series (Media Design 2, Media Design 3) to complete an introduction to a comprehensive multimedia design training.

About the Team: This structure of this course and the materials contained within it were created by a team of educators from across the state with support from the CTE Online curriculum leadership team and detailed coordination provided by the Course Specialist Gregg Witkin.

From CALPADS: Advanced Film/Video Production (Capstone)

This course will examine specific uses of film and video technology in various entertainment and industry sectors. Students receive advanced training in pre and post production jobs and competencies, current and emerging technologies, and the collaborative nature of the creative process involved in video production.

Program Information
CTE Certification Elements
California's 2013 CTE Standards (16)
California English Common Core Standards (21)
California's 2008 CTE Standards (57)
California Academic Content Standards (16)
Competencies / Outcomes

Unit 1: Writing for Video Production

This module focuses on developing a clear proficiency of the pre-production stages from initial idea development through final storyboarding. Students will develop a strong skill set in message crafting and identification of audience. Students will also utilize the latest technology to research and create easily sharable documents.


  • Identify current format and methods where video is used; tailor scripting to those outcomes.
  • Develop improving storyboard techniques.
  • Utilize the cloud to upload, store, manage, transfer and download files

Possible 2-4 Week Projects:

  • View, copy and re-script and storyboard a simple 30 second commercial.
  • Write a 30 sec-1 min monologue that will include simple b-roll and background music.
  • Script and Storyboard a commercial that will air on the Super Bowl.

Unit 2: Critical Thinking about Visual Culture

This module will focus on how we interact with visual culture and the impact it has upon us. Students will be able to identify areas of growth in the use of video and its short and long term impact on local and global culture.


  • Export video files in a variety of formats to fit the need of distribution
  • Be able to identify techniques utilized in current media examples
  • Mimic current industry techniques used in various video formats (for web, TV and movies)
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the upload and management of digital video assets from the camera.

Possible 2-4 Week Projects:

  • Create a 1-3 minute video response to a current ongoing news story
  • Using video collected from outside sources, create a cohesive 2-4 minute video highlighting a current issue or social standard.
  • Tell two sides of a social conflict in a 2 minute film using footage and images collected from the web.
  • Interview different demographics regarding the same topical question. Edit together where appropriate.

Unit 3: Camera Usage

This module will focus on developing a student's ability to use a camera as a tool to collect a variety of video images. Students will focus on developing techniques to tell stories and craft messages with the use of one or more cameras.


  • Utilize camera stabilizer systems other than a tripod/monopod
  • Understand concepts of composition, perspectives, and point-of-view.
  • Demonstrate effective use of various camera angles in video assignments
  • Mimic current industry techniques used in various video formats (for web, TV and movies)

Possible 2-4 week projects:

  • Shoot a first person sequence to tell a story
  • Using only video (no dialogue), tell a 1-3 min story.
  • Shoot a 1-3 min story with the use of no head shots or faces.

Unit 4: The Editing Process

This module will focus on the post production process students will encounter while completing their video coursework. Students will be able to import video, audio and other assets with the express purpose of creating a final video product that is clear in message and purpose. The goal of this module is to help students create a portfolio of professional work for the next stage in their visual career.


  • Edit video to meet time constraints for use in industry standard time slots.
  • Apply proper transitions, edits, titles, effects, media and output control
  • Export video files in a variety of formats to fit the need of distribution
  • Utilize multiple audio tracks in a project

Possible 2-4 week projects:

  • Create a 30 sec movie trailer
  • Everyone in class has the same footage but groups are asked to edit to a different message. Students are then asked to determine messaging of other projects in written format.
  • Plan, shoot and edit a 5-7 minute documentary film.

Video Production is one of two capstone courses in a high school course series (Media Design 2, Media Design 3) to complete an introduction to a comprehensive multimedia design training.


Screenplay Development

Students will develop and write a screenplay for a 4-5 minute short film using screenplay writing software. Resulting screenplays will be developed for production as small group projects.

Students will use industry standard screenplay formatting using screenplay software.

Note: This unit is not intended to be a "day-to-day" unit project. The project can take place over a course of weeks giving students days between each lesson to write and rewrite various drafts. Other production projects can take place throughout the unit.

4 weeks

30 Second Trailer

Short, Fast, Creative, & informative-Film Trailers!

Most students love to watch films and love to go to the movies. So they are already somewhat familiar with trailers, whose purpose is to promote or market upcoming releases. Today, teachers and students can watch trailers via websites, so they are more accessible than ever.

The overall goal of this project is to give students the opportunity to get hands-on experience while making their own 30 second trailer for one of the "short videos" they have previously (or simultaneously) made in your class.

Prerequisite Information:

Since this project is for an advanced video production course, the emphasis is "Advanced Editing" and the final trailers should reflect this idea. You will not be "teaching" editing in this project, but rather guiding your students and helping them become better editors through technique and story development. They should also have produced at least one short genre type film for your class. If they have not produced any short films they can also edit footage that you provide them or even make a trailer out of a full length Hollywood production!

10 Hours

Advanced Camera Work: First Person Narrative

Students create a narrative story from first person point-of-view, focusing on camera work to define perspective and experience.

Students make a 2 - 5 minute video based on common story prompts that tells a story from a specific vantage point. The finished video will include demonstration of advanced camera work, including consideration of composition, perspectives, various shots and angles, and point-of-view.

They should keep in mind their peer population as the target audience.

Activities include:

  • Observation & analysis of first-person narrative short videos
  • Review/building on knowledge of camera work
  • Scripting of original narrative based on prompts
  • Shooting rough cut for review and discussion; refinement of storyboard
  • Shooting and editing final video
  • Reflection and analysis of process, skills learned, and challenges met.
2 - 4 weeks

Critical Thinking: Hoax Documentary

The true power of the creation of video is the ability to deliver a message to a large audience that can have an effect on how an individual thinks and behaves, and what they believe. Even the most earnest of messages can fall short on an audience if not delivered in a convincing manner. As an advanced student who has gained the skills and experience to create and deliver a convincing video message, you are now capable of testing the ability for a video to convince an audience of something that is completely untrue, and perhaps downright ludicrous.

Students will create a 3 minute documentary hoax that tests the gullibility of their audience. Choosing a probable subject that can be highlighted in a 3 minute "interstitial," students will use voice-over narration and credible visuals to attempt to convince a specific audience of a "fact" that is absolutely untrue.

2 weeks

School Promotional Video

Students will define a target audience and tailor a school promotional video to meet the needs of that audience. Students will shoot, write, edit and export a video for a school website and DVD presenation. The finished product will be used at incoming student orientation meetings, community events and school website.

Professional organizations, such as corporations, hospitals and municipalities, promote their companies, products and industries with these types of videos. Students who master this unit will understand how video and message are developed to meet the needs of the organization.

4 weeks

60 Second Promo Video

Students will create an advanced level 60 promo video for your program or another CTE program that exists on your campus. Students will work in small groups and will plan, write, shoot, edit, and produce their 60 second promo video with an emphasis on advanced camera work and a professional and well-polished final product.

After finishing the promo videos students will showcase their videos to the class, post the videos online, and deliver the final videos to their "clients" if they made a video for another CTE program.

In the end, the promo videos should help bring attention to the various CTE programs on your campus. Through proper marketing and promotion these videos will give students the opportunity to ensure the success of their own, as well as other CTE programs that exist in your community.

10 Hours

Advanced Editing: Parallel Editing, Montage, Dialogue and Suspense

Students will incorporate a number of editing and camera techniques, including parallel editing, montage, extreme closeups, canted angles to compete a suspense film.

Students will develop a sense of storytelling through the use of camera and editing techniques. Completion of this unit will allow students to experience various positions on a creative film team, including editing, sound designer, cinematographer and screenwriter.

8 - 10 weeks

PSAs: Advanced Script Work

Students create a Public Service Announcement (PSA) video as if it is a "Message to the President," addressing an issue that they want to receive attention.

In doing so students research the necessary information for their script, including online and library resources, interviews with appropriate persons, and local connections. They create a detailed script and storyboard before shooting the video, and edit to add music, voiceover, images, and titles. Finished videos may be submitted for possible airing to local community broadcast channels, or to any online video competition.

Skills inherent in this project build competencies in occupations related to film and video production, a rapidly growing sector in the job market. A wide range of occupations require knowledge of video scripting, shooting, and editing. Simple online searches reveal the possibilities, such as:

Intro to PSAs
1 Class Period
1 - 2 weeks
Group/Script + Storyboard
1 - 2 weeks
Group/Shoot & Edit Video
1 - 2 weeks
Share/Discuss videos
2 - 3 Class Periods

Student Media Reels

This project should be the final component for students in your video production and film classes. As students prepare for the next step after high school, the most critical piece for a portfolio in the Media, Arts, and Entertainment industry is a "media reel" or promo reel which showcases clips of their absolute best work from the year.

For this project students will plan, organize, design, and edit a short "media reel" for their personal portfolio and/or webpage. The student media reel will contain video clips, still images, audio, and any other relevant media they have worked on this year. The final piece will be a compilation video that helps promote their strengths and skills in video production.

This "media reel" should be uploaded to the Internet and added to the student's personal webpage if they have one. Also, burning the files to a DVD to be kept with the rest of their portfolio items including but not limited to their resume and references page is a good idea. Hopefully they will be able to show their media reel to prospective employers, film schools, colleges, and universities to help further their career in film, photography, or video production.

In addition, students will learn about job applications, resumes, references, and how to promote themselves for potential jobs and careers. In the end all students will have the necessary items for a media type portfolio to take with them as they transition from high school into the "real world."

10 Hours

Montage Technique: Advanced Editing

Students create videos that employ the contemporary documentary technique of montage, using footage from two different groups, highlighting responses to given prompts. Montage technique emphasizes careful editing to construct a narrative out of related but discontinuous video interviews.

Montage Makes Meaning - Intro
1 Class Period
Montage script & storyboard
2 Class Periods
Montage shoot & edit
4 - 6 Class Periods
Montage Festival
2 - 3 Class Periods

Post Production Audio

Students will be introduced to advance audio production techniques, including foley, ADR and ambience.

Students will develop and design a 3-5 minute film in which all audio will be produced after the production has been filmed.

Students who excel in this project will be exposed to careers in the industry such as foley artist, ADR editor/mixer and sound designers.

5 - 6 weeks

Shhhhhh, A Film Without Dialogue.

This unit will help students use filming constraints to develop better storytelling, cinematography and editing skills.

By placing constraints on the students when creating videos, the educator will enable the student to think creatively about the solutions to the problem of reaching the audience in creative ways.

The culmination will be a student film that has several constraints placed upon it by both the educator and the students themselves.

Up To
3 weeks

Intermediate Narrative Production

Students build on their learning of basic visual narrative techniques, by incorporating dialogue recording and advanced camera operation and talent blocking to create an original short narrative project.

7 Class Periods

Advanced Post-Production Techniques and Compositing

Students expand on their learning of basic picture and sound editing by learning concepts such as advanced file management (transcoding), compositing, keying, filtering, primary and secondary color correction, audio EQ, audio sweetening, and changing motion parameters of clips and graphics. Students are trained in how to stay up-to-date with changing innovations in media delivery, from tape, to streaming. They receive hands-on experience exporting and compressing their projects for various professional and consumer formats.

Changing the World, One Documentary at a Time PBL Project

In this project, students learn about documentary filmmaking while independently producing a documentary film. Each student will create a 3 to 6-minute informational documentary that offers a perspective on real world events while possibly prompting a call to action.

Students begin by identifying a subject and creating a thesis. Students then conduct academic research, collect data, create a preproduction plan including documentary script, storyboard, and shot list. Lastly, students produce their project using professional camera techniques and a small camera crew.

The final product is a documentary that presents an argument, with minimal persuasion. This PBL is best done in the second semester of a Film/Video Production course or the 2nd year of a Film/Video Production program.

Lessons 1-3 do not require much technical work however, lesson 4 does require video production technical skills. If completing this lesson with students who have no video production background, scaffold as needed using the suggested or other resources.

This lesson integrates ELA Common Core Standards and CTE AME Standards.