- We started by looking at some examples of still images and how they could convey meaning, looking at associations, personification and metaphor. The class responded in a lively way to these. We then explored film language by discussing two film sequences: the funeral scene from the 1960s USSR/Cuba film I am Cuba/Soy Cuba, which features a remarkable ultra-wide angle tracking shots. The class discussed what was unusual about it and how it was filmed. We then looked at the title sequence from the German film Run Lola Run, looking at how the first shot (a tracking shot towards a clock, with doomy music) introduces the themes of the film, and the unusual camera, sound and editing techniques used in the opening sequence. We then watched the first scene and the students guess what happened next.
- I edited a sequence from our resource Editsense on the main whiteboard – asking the class to suggest shot order and trimming – to introduce the essentials of film language and editing. They went on to work in groups to edit another sequence themselves using iMovie.
- We looked at how sound and image work together in the titles, and the opening scene, of the science fiction film Blade Runner. They then began to plan a score for the Beach sequence which they had edited as a class.
- We looked at how closeups, and the use of careful composition and camera position, could be used to depict a location. They then learnt about how to use video cameras, and worked in groups to film images in the school grounds.
- We reviewed the images they had shot in the school grounds, and they then started to create music soundtracks using Garageband.
- They worked on Garageband and began editing to music using images we provided.
- They began planning a ‘suspense’ film sequence for the last day of term. Their task was to show someone approaching a door and being shocked by what they saw on the other side.
- On the last day of term, they spent the whole day creating film their short films and adding soundtracks. We started by discussing two suspense sequences – one from the 1940s British film The Third Man (which used dramatic lighting and canted angles) and another from the 1920s German film Nosferatu (a version of the Dracula story).
One group’s edit of a sequence from Editsense
Closeup montage shot by Year 7 (no sound)
Suspense sequence, filmed and edited with music soundtrack in a day