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Guiding kids to learn editing

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Brent Bloem
Guiding kids to learn editing
on May 22, 2012 at 12:34:16 pm

Ok, so I’m a media teacher in high school. I’m toying around with a new idea to help kids learn media production. This idea is still in the workshop phase so bare with me. Here it is: for kids to learn, they have to master certain skills. Now, they can choose skill paths to master, much like how people specialize in the media industry, but to receive certain classroom “rewards” they have to attain certain experience levels. Think of this like D&D or WoW or Call of Duty or etc, but for media education. OK, so here are the “mastery paths”: sound design, lighting, cinematography, anchoring/reporting, editing, VFX.

So here’s my request. I’d like to hear the ideas of the world’s professional community at the COW. What skills would kids have to master in order to gain experience levels in editing? We have access to the FCP7 Studio suite and the CS5.5 Master Collection. Student age levels are 9th through 12th grade.

To help you see what I’m going for, here’s a rough draft of the levels and skills I put for cinematography (even though not all of it is cinematography).


15 Direct a short film.
14 Analyze a feature film and unpack the narrative purpose/effect behind its shots.
13 Design, shoot, mic and rationalize a narratively purposive story.
12 Gather perfect sound using all microphones on a DVX.
11 Know:
• The pickup patterns of microphones
• How to operate:
o Sticks
o Shoguns
o Lavalieres
o RF transmitters
• How to achieve the best sound with all microphones
• What is bad sound for video
10 On a DVX, be able to:
• Insert a tape
• Set white balance
• Use manual focus
• Adjust aperture
• Connect one and two microphones
• Wrap cables properly
• Handle microphone responsibly
09 Design, shoot, and rationalize a narratively purposive sequence.
08 Analyze a short film and unpack the narrative purpose/effect behind its shots.
07 Know one narrative effect for every shot type studied thus far.
06 Apply the continuity rules and avoid the faux pas.
05 Know the continuity rules:
• Establishing shot
• 180ºrule
• 30ºrule
• Match on action
• Eye line match
Know exposure faux pas:
• Blowout
• Crushing
• Backlighting
04 Apply:
• The seven frame sizes
• The three movements of a tripod
• The three advanced motions of camera movement
• Ten compositional rules
03 On a Cannon, be able to:
• Format a memory card
• Set white balance
• Use manual focus
• Adjust image gain
• Adjust microphone gain
02 Be able to:
• Handle equipment safely
• Checkout gear properly
• Assess equipment condition before use
• Check-in gear properly
01 Know:
• The seven frame sizes
• The three movements of a tripod
• The three advanced motions of camera movement
• Ten compositional rules


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Mark Suszko
Re: Guiding kids to learn editing
on May 22, 2012 at 2:47:21 pm

To teach editing, I would lead the kids in accellerated fashion through the history of it in a hands-on manner. Have them all work on the same story, and make it childishly familiar, say, a five-minute version of "The Three Little Pigs", because you need a universal reference point. First, show them a version that is all just one locked-down wide shot of the entire "stage". That's how film begain, as a simple recording of the entire stage play. Sadly, lots of youtube videos are STILL shot like this, and we're going to do our part to stop that:-)

Next, show the use of adding close-ups, intercut with the wide master. Now, add over-the-shoulder shots,reaction shots, both serious and comical, reverse-angles, cut-aways, and finally, some camera motion thru a dolly and a zoom, to show that each of those gives a different look.

Add voice-overs, add music and sound effects. Play it for laughs, for horror, etc. Now, work to shorten the story to tell the most details in the shortest time: what gets cut first, what has to stay?

Bring in videos and play them without sound: show short samples of live-switched 3-camera comedies like The Honeymooners, with the sound off, to show the rythmn of camera selection to follow the actors on a very simple single set. Play it again, with the sound on, to show how important audio is.

As a desk exercise, I would give all the kids stacks of index cards, with story elements on each, and have them play with shuffling them around and adding new cards. You could also do this with a powerpoint slide show stack, but index cards might be better. We're still on the three little pigs here. The exercise is now about stimulating non-linear thinking for story-telling; in res media, flash-backs, alternating viewpoints, first-person versus omnicient viewpoints. Because you keep the scope small and simple with the familiar 3 pigs story, they can learn these things faster and in context compared to a linear narrative.

Have each kid who owns an MP3 player, present a playlist of cuts they already own and have assembled, that tells an emotional journey in five songs, or conveys one common theme in five songs. You don't have to play them, just compare the lists. This is getting them ready for NLE systems, because dragging song clips into playlist order and moving slide order around in powerpoint is functionally the same as the non-destructive nonlinear editing we do with media clips in an NLE. If they understand this, they are ready to start working with any NLE you want to give them.

Introduce them to bins and a timeline. Explain the timline is like the ipod playlist, and the clips are like the songs. Explain a razor tool (it might be fun to bring an old film or tape splicing block and accessories in, to show how a cut *used* to be made) and show the difference between an insert edit and an overwrite edit. I find that demonstrating this with a strip of actual film and some tape splices makes it much easier to understand the difference, as you can move the pieces in your hands physically... If you have enough spare material to let some of the kids try it, it's fun and builds a mental connection to what they will later see on screens.

Play them the youtube clip from the AFI that's a tribute to and history of film editing and editors; it's not very long, but covers a lot of ground quickly.

For an advanced exercise, I would have each kid record themselves telling a short family anecdote twice, in medium and close-up. Have them clean up their story to remove stutters and mistakes, match on action, find some cut-away material that will work, even if only text screens, and then choose the points where they are tight and wide to make maximum impact on the story. Show them how to cut on an eyeblink, or between breaths. Show an L-cut and a J-cut. Show the difference between a dissolve and a cut and where each is best used. Have them add music and/or sound effects if they help. Have them build a solid, readable title and a lower-third super, and add those in. Finally, try a little color grading, just a touch.

The particular hardware isn't important: you could cut these assignmenrs in Avid, Premiere, FCP, imovie or windows moviemaker and still learn effectively. Indeed, resist letting them play with too much horsepower and gratuitous transitions and other effects. That's not the important thing to learn at their stage. Story-telling skills and organization are, first.

The year-end exercise might let them play with chromakeying and compositing a *little* bit.



That would be my syllabus, I think.

If I was doing it formally, I'd "hire" some college acting students to play out the same and all the alternate takes all in one day, and pre-shoot all these elements to have them ready to distribute for the exercises, in advance. Then the kids don't waste time shooting when they need to be learning cutting. I think directing and editing are and need to be closely linked, but if the point here is specifically to teach editing, don't divert time to shooting anything but the family anecdote exercise, get all the 3 pigs elements or whatever you're going to use, pre-made in advance.


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Brent Bloem
Re: Guiding kids to learn editing
on May 23, 2012 at 12:59:19 am

Mark,

Really good things in this post. One aspect I thoroughly enjoy is NLE metaphor you developed. I've found kids do have a hard time grasping the insert and overwrite functions. But, when playlists are paralleled to timelines, kids will latch onto that.

Also, shooting a "familiar" story in several different ways gives a lot of advantages, the most noteworthy being a gradual increase in editing complexity, possibility and flexibility. Kids will really have to think about *why* they've made specific edit choices and understand *effects* of those choices. It's really higher order thinking--what we're really going for, rather than editing without reason.

Additionally, I agree wholeheartedly with the idea that editing platform shouldn't matter. When kids get caught in the glam of filter, transitions, effects, and etc, they oftentimes fixate on those to the detriment of good visual storytelling. They're trying to put lipstick on a pig so to speak.

Again, thanks.


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Bill Davis
Re: Guiding kids to learn editing
on May 28, 2012 at 6:04:14 pm

[Mark Suszko] "If I was doing it formally, I'd "hire" some college acting students to play out the same and all the alternate takes all in one day, and pre-shoot all these elements to have them ready to distribute for the exercises, in advance. "

BLATENT COMMERCIAL PLUG WARNING.

Or, you could surf to http://www.StartEditingNow.Com - and license all the editing instruction content you need, purpose designed for exactly this purpose!

Always happy to send out evaluations copies to educators!

That is all.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Guiding kids to learn editing
on May 28, 2012 at 11:06:10 pm

How are you fixed for footage of the 3 Little Pigs story? :-)


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Brent Bloem
Re: Guiding kids to learn editing
on May 29, 2012 at 12:04:34 am

Mark,

At the start of next I'm probably going to have my best student shoot The Three Little Pigs. Or, if I find that I need a project to fill my summer hours, maybe I'll shoot it myself.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Guiding kids to learn editing
on May 29, 2012 at 2:28:05 pm


"Mark,

At the start of next I'm probably going to have my best student shoot The Three Little Pigs. Or, if I find that I need a project to fill my summer hours, maybe I'll shoot it myself."


Just be sure your shot list is exceptionally thorough, and that your actors delver consistent takes as much as possible, which is why I suggested college age actors at least, or local thatre group members who are experienced and consistent.

Fixing mis-matches where action is inconsistent between two takes is of course part of the job and something to teach, but, when just starting out, you want the majority of takes to be consistently correct and ready to use, because you're primarily demonstrating a particualar kind of technique here first.

Then also have some fun if you have time left over, and shoot it in a few different styles like Tarantino style, Hitchcock style, Dragnet style, all POV style, etc. Try to anticipate every possible permutation. Even with soemthing as simple as 3 little pigs, you could shoot many hours of raw material if you wanted to cover every permutation.


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Bill Davis
Re: Guiding kids to learn editing
on May 29, 2012 at 3:17:19 pm

[Mark Suszko] "How are you fixed for footage of the 3 Little Pigs story? :-)"

Missed out on including that one - whoops!

But in a larger sense, what I SEN was designed to be a baseline program to inform students about what the fundamental goals should be when you start out to shoot anything - regardless of the content.

It's an overview of things like coverage, shot editability, and yes, storytelling elements - that was designed to give students a sense of the possible before they go out to "do it themselves."

The question I was trying to answer is how do you produce quality, if you've never broken it down into understandable steps.

That was the flaw I saw in editing instruction. Students sitting down with no overview of the fundamentals other than as "viewers" or at best "self taught" experimenters with no grounding in technique.

The "big project" approach I'm seeing here is to me, kinda like like training first year english students by having them try to write novels. Nothing "wrong" with that at all.

But the big project approach kinda puts things back in the way things "used" to be done. Rather than where I see the industry going.

Video is (for better or worse) somewhat less a team sport and more and more a personal one these days.

So I'm not sure the "comprehensive look at all aspects of movie workflow, script to SFX is so smart anymore.

Look at YouTube and Vimeo. Where are the eyeballs and dollars flowing? Simple form presentations that while they have a beginning, middle and end (if you're lucky) seldom use the traditional form of the movie or TV show beyond the "infomercial" level. And they're usually the product of a single communicator, rather than a large form crew.

Is this complex multi-step lesson plan the best approach to helping students prepare for that reality?

Maybe it is. Maybe it's important for students to know about the hundred different jobs on a hollywood movie set, even if they're just going to make business videos for their future employer.

But I think the question is a good one to ask in advance.

The thing I keep seeing in my years on the road doing classes for Videomaker is that the hundreds of teachers who went through my lectures typically fell into two categories. One group had virtually no grounding in any fundamentals. The other group were the "movie buffs" who wanted to inspire students through the traditional "large production" practices of hollywood and episodic TV.

What surprised me was how few programs concentrated on the "meat and potatoes" middle where most of the money flows in the production industry today.

It doesn't require hollywood storytelling - it requires functional knowledge inside a single person of how to shoot and edit and deliver a message for clarity.

And clarity requires focus. I think most of the stuff on the lists floating around here are WAY overly complex to prepare someone in a year or two to be a "level 1" working video producer.

They look to me like in trying to be "comprehensive" they're going to try to do way too much, too fast - and so do nothing very well.

That may be a fine goal and just what the OP's class requires. If so, fine.

But to help the students actually succeed I'd focus things on maybe four basic foundational modules - likely camerawork, lighting, sound and editing. And try to give the kids a chance to understand all of those four fundamentals better - rather than trying to skim 50 topics.

But I could be very wrong and the presumption is that the instructor knows what and how they need to teach their subject.

I'd certainly be interested in the results of this approach. Whether the students get anything finished and if so, whether those submissions are tight communications, or the typical stuff I saw while participating in in judging quite a few amateur video contests while at the magazine.

Some quality moments hidden inside a mountain of general confusion.

FWIW.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Mark Suszko
Re: Guiding kids to learn editing
on May 29, 2012 at 3:58:22 pm

I think one of the traps in a TV "class" is teaching too much what is current techology. In my day we learned how to do a flange-back adjustment, how to align imaging tubes, and several other skills that are completely obsolete today, heck, they became obsolete within a decade of my graduation. The things that remained useful were the foundational editing concepts, composition, and lighting/sound technique.

When I see long, ambitious lists for a syllabus, and I think back to my school days, and forward, to watching my own kids in learning situations, well.... I think it's better to concentrate on mastering a smaller universe of skills, rather than give a tenuous connection to the longer list, and having most kids forget 90 percent of it. You'll always have a couple of kids that take to this naturally, show native talent, and they show drive to do more. Give them access to more and deeper. Most vital: give those that seek it out, more access to the gear after-hours for self-teaching, pointers to resources for deeper reading.

Understand you're not teaching them: they are teaching themselves, you are only the conduit and supply of the raw input, the mentor ready with advice and insight when the things they want to try go wrong. You want them trying everything and learning from the failures along with the perfect examples. You give them tools, they build the machine their way.


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Brent Bloem
Re: Guiding kids to learn editing
on May 30, 2012 at 12:53:19 am

Mark,

You've mentioned you point eloquently. I really think you get it. The ideas you've presented are what I'm trying to do in my class.

Here's what I'm going for:

The levels aren't a syllabus per se. They are goals a student could accomplish, not goals every student must accomplish. Their "leveling-up" ONLY happens if they show proficiency at their current level. For the native talent, they might blow through most of the levels, but any level they get to, their work quality must never backslide. Never. If they backslide, they have to repeat the level.

Let's look at it in video game terms. A video game has an objective. Now me personally, I suck at video games. It'll take me 5, 6, or even more tries to complete the objectives. My thumb pounding friends will get it on a first try. My situation--that's ok. Their situation--that's ok. We're both different. I'll learn the game's stategies at my pace,they'll learn at their own pace. But, what's important, we've both learned. We've gotten the concepts.

My leveling up strategy will work like a video game. An this is unlike a traditional class tries where the teacher tries to keep everyone together. This strategy will be student focused. The kids will have to learn themselves. Indeed, like you said, I'll act as the conduit. I think this is critical (see this related idea. It's how I'd like to see classroom learning look like: http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_meyer_math_curriculum_makeover.html) But, as they learn, they'll get special classroom benefits as they advance through the levels. In game terms, they'll get loot. (See this interesting related link : http://www.g4tv.com/thefeed/blog/post/724066/loving-the-loot-the-psychology... ) In school terms, they'll earn iMac access during lunch, iMac access after school, access to other programs they can tinker with, get extra credit, become a project leader for special projects, recieve work time extensions, and other stuff I haven't thought of yet.

Teaching kids about technology is a catch 22. I agree, in the grand scheme of learning, today's technology won't matter tomorrow. But on the other hand, getting kids to know the opperational basics of technology is necessary. For example, how could today's calculus students know how to do calculus equations without knowing how to imput the functions into a calculator? I'm not sure 99% could. The same, I believe, has some application to editing, especially for students without much experience using editing programs. Google for example, Bloom's taxonomy. Bloom argues that before any student can perform higher order thinking (or more complex cognitive tasks) a student must follow this learning path in sequential order, from 1-6. He/she must: 1) know, 2) understand, 3) apply, 4) analyze, 5) synthesize, and 6) evaluate. The 1's and 2's aren't impressive feats of ability. But never-the-less, they're necessary, in order for kids to apply analyze and etc.

I'm obviously not an expert. I don't have all the answers. I just see a direction I want to go, and I have a couple of waypoints to guide me. So, I really appreciate any advice you've got. It helps me to consider my thought processes and improve not only myself but also my students.

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
-Mark Twain


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Brent Bloem
Re: Guiding kids to learn editing
on May 30, 2012 at 1:17:39 am

Bill,

You've hit the nail on the head with, "The question I was trying to answer is how do you produce quality, if you've never broken it down into understandable steps."

This is an area that I'm really trying to improve. In fact, I've looked for quite a few books on this matter, and I haven't found one. Maybe your product offers the missing link I've been looking for?

I wouldn't mind getting an educator evaluation copy. What do I need to do to check it out?

I stand corrected on your point about less comparmentaliation in the majority of the industry. I've made the ideas I'm going for compartmentalized for several reasons. 1) I'm trying to get the students engaged, and I think they kids will work harder for me with the video-game-esque specializations. 2.) I want kids to feel more invested. If they can focus on what they like, I'm sure they'll work harder. 3) I want to boost my year two student program, so I can beat the pants off of my multiple NATAS winning sister school.

In our district, we have four levels of video classes. My first year is a survey, and kids are expected to engage in all aspect of production. Lighting, sound, video, and editing. My second year kids will do the strategy I'm working on. My third year kids, when a substantial numbe will graduate to that level, will do more of the one man productions, much like you said.


All in all, I desperately want my kids videos to be spectacular. I just haven't found the way to increase the ratio of spectacular to crap. I'll take any leg-up I can get to make this happen.

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
-Mark Twain


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Brent Bloem
Re: Guiding kids to learn editing
on Mar 8, 2013 at 1:37:39 pm

Bill,

I was recently thinking about my first media class's curriculum and I'm embracing the less is more philosophy in terms of content being covered in class. That said, I'm really interested in looking at your SEN editing products, because I'd possibly like to use this as a learning and assessment tool that specifically target's kid's editing skills. Is it possible to get a review copy by chance?

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
-Mark Twain


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Scott Sheriff
Re: Guiding kids to learn editing
on May 22, 2012 at 6:44:03 pm

A couple comments on the cinematographers syllabus:

[Brent Bloem] "• Wrap cables properly"

I like this. If I'm hiring an 'unknown' grip, utility, assistant type I throw out a 50' XLR cable and ask them to wrap it. IMO this is a quick way to judge their experience.

[Brent Bloem] "• Set white balance"
You need to add an understanding of color temp. Lots of people know how to use the WB function, but still come back with crap because they don't understand color temp. Common mistakes are doing too many WB adjustments on a gig and doing WB under different color temp lighting than the set conditions. If color correction is applied in post, I prefer footage shot in preset as if it were film, over footage with a bunch of different WB adjustments.

[Brent Bloem] "Know exposure faux pas:
• Blowout
• Crushing
• Backlighting"

I wouldn't call blowout or crushing faux pas. These are things that you have to do at times, either for 'artistic' reasons, or circumstances.There needs to be an understanding of the limits of dynamic range, and when/how to compromise.
Backlighting is not a production mistake, just a circumstance faced by photographers.

[Brent Bloem] "• Use manual focus
• Adjust aperture"


A discussion of Depth of Field would be appropriate here.

I see nothing in here about lighting. Basic lighting, passive lighting, safety and the use of light meters. This dovetails into not only color temps, but depth of field, expoure, and dynamic range. I see a few redundant things, and some advanced concepts that I would ditch in favor of lighting, how to and safety aspects. As an example white balance should be its own subject, and not repeated per camera.

I would also add a discussion stressing the use of the tripod over handheld, unless hand held is justified.

About editing. Much like being a DP, its a merging of tech, and art.
Whatever platform you use, a discussion of file management, logging, shot organization, how to judge takes, how to sync sound, codecs, and the basics of the platform. On tech, a discussion on frame rates, time code and codecs is mandatory. The story of how we end up with 29.97 and how drop frame works would be good too.
On actual editing I wouldn't allow anything but a cut, split edit, dissolve, or fade to black. Editing is about exploring limits, and problem solving, in addition to telling a story. If you give everyone identical footage to cut I might even omit a key piece of footage and see what they come up with to deal with that.

Two things I would discus in both shooting and editing is the importance of tests to understand new gear, and difficult or new circumstances.
The other thing is attitude, or better yet 'Professional Attitude'. There seems to be a prevailing attitude among those that take these type of classes that they know it all. I have several people on my don't rehire list because they had a crappy 'know it all' attitude and were not productive on shoots. I've been doing this for 30 years and learn something on every gig, and don't want to hire or work with those that think they have that kind of experience from 'a class'. All the really have is a license to learn.

Scott Sheriff
Director
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com


"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." ---Red Adair

Where were you on 6/21?


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Brent Bloem
Re: Guiding kids to learn editing
on May 23, 2012 at 12:03:50 am

I really like your ideas. Thank you so much for providing your valuable input.

I realize there were some redundancy in the courseflow. I'm split on the necessity of the matter. On one hand, I included it because I'd like kids to know how to use a specific camera model so that they don't come back with excuses (I couldn't do X because of Z....). On the other hand, perhaps thats not what should be the focus, perhaps the focus should be on the knowledge of the craft. It's something I'll have to put some thought into. It's just so vexing when the only function kids know how to do is hit the record button.

You are right about including lighting into this unit. I originally thought about making lighting a completely different skill path, but the two are interconnected. Furthermore, including lighting into this skill path will only benefit the images my kids capture, which, after all, is what I'm trying to do.

You are right right about the faux pas. What I wrote wasn't clear for the COW audience. To clarify, I really want them to know what even lighting is, and know that it's usually good to have, artistic circumstances aside. My kids are working on short film as their final exam, and a handful have numerous silhouetted shots, not because it adds to the narrative effect, but because they weren't aware of their natural surroundings, and they shot a person against an enormous glass wall looking into our school's courtyard.

That's neither here nor there, but one question I do have is, since we don't have light meters, would you still impress the necessity of white balancing or would you simply abandon the concept in favor of AWB?

Super cool idea with giving kids the same shots for the sequence and then omitting random parts of it from each kids station. That'd give em a real mind bender. But, as you know, totally warranted. The mischievous side of me would love to see them work through that.

Thanks a million for your help. I'm definitely going to apply some of your concepts.


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Scott Sheriff
Re: Guiding kids to learn editing
on May 23, 2012 at 5:21:30 am

[Brent Bloem] "That's neither here nor there, but one question I do have is, since we don't have light meters, would you still impress the necessity of white balancing or would you simply abandon the concept in favor of AWB?"

Sorry to jack the thread...
The case for the light meter-
Maybe I'm old school, but to me a light meter is a basic essential, like a tripod, or a mic. Sure it is possible to light without one. But for most folks having one makes it easier to 'see' whats going on with any type of lighting, is great for scouting, and also means you can light without tying up a camera, which is what most people usually do. The Sekonic L-398 is a great choice for film/video lighting, and they are only about 200 bucks. A contrast viewing filter is cheaper, but harder to learn and use since it is somewhat objective. And it doesn't give you any direct exposure data.

Presets vs white balance.
Many cams have a 3200 and a 5600-6000 preset color temp, which makes this more like film where you have tungsten or daylight film. Some experimentation should be done. Some cameras have great presets, that look great in many types of mixed lighting, and some not so much. A lot depends on how the scene files are set up. Doing test shots so you see how the camera responds is the way to go.
There are some situations that a white balance will be the thing to do, but a properly used preset color temp will always beat a poorly done white balance. Part of the problem is they (operator white balances) are never the same, and if the operator does too many, has to reshoot a location, or makes a poor choice of which light to balance under in mixed lighting situations, the talents flesh tones will be slightly off. The pros and cons of when/why to use one, or the other is the thing to learn. Partially through teaching about different common lighting situations, plus some practical experience.

I sort of see your point about camera operation. However the thing to learn is the technique for using the tool. So for example, once you understand color temps, you will know what you want to do, and what control your looking for.
Most cameras have the same controls, and after learning on one camera, they should just learn how to self-orient themselves to new gear and identify the basic operator controls.

On editing, one of the things is how involved is the editor on other production elements. If you read these boards for any length of time you will see many cases where the editor was the last guy in the loop, and it was too late to change things that were wrong, and cost money and time to fix, or redo in post.

Scott Sheriff
Director
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com


"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." ---Red Adair

Where were you on 6/21?


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Brent Bloem
Re: Guiding kids to learn editing
on May 23, 2012 at 8:30:29 pm

Scott,

I appreciate your years of experience. I'll take the meters into concideration and see what sort of cash my program has available next year. Budgets in HS get tighter and tighter.

As far as the editors, and other positions go, I'm looking to have students specialize. So, in the case of editors, they will be removed from the shooting. Their sole job is to make their work as good as possible, given the circumstances.

I really hope it works in a HS setting. I'm drastically turning my old methodologies upside down (that being where everyone wrote, shot, and edited their work). It is my hope(though I pray not ill placed) that the quality of the product produced in my program will increase, now that my second year kids can work in the area that interest them the most.


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Brent Bloem
Re: Guiding kids to learn editing
on May 29, 2012 at 1:23:05 am

So, here's a draft of the editing prestige path. I included some areas that aren't editor specific to this path(After Effects, Apple Color). I'm not married to the decision, but I've included them into this draft for several reasons. First, kids requested to know this information. Second, I'm using their interest as bait to get them to advance throught the levels (For example, they won't be able to use Color until LVL 10; and, they won't be able to use AE until Lvl 12). I figured in would only help them and my program.

If anyone sees repetitions, omissions, or flaws in skill flow/progression, let me know. I've pitched this idea to the other TV teachers at my sister schools and they seem interested. I'm excited to see where this leads.

15 Apply level 1-14 skills to edit a short film
14 Apply AE knowledge to create a title graphic that:
• Is 5-8 seconds long
• Uses:
o Layers
o Effects
o Filters
o Motion
o 3d space
o Cameras
13 Know:
• After Effects composition workflow
After Effects workspace
12 Apply Lvl 1-11 skills in a video work
11 Diagnose color grading in three visual works:
• Find the color palette each uses
• Explain the effect each palette has on the narrative

Grade three shots and…
• Enhance the message
• Explain why the grading enhances the message
10 Know:
• Effects of color temperature
• Color theory
• Do’s of color grading
o Avoid clipping
o Avoid crushing
o Be broadcast safe
o Be consistent
• How to make thoughtful grading choices
• Mechanics behind the color wheels
09 Write an essay to analyze the editing style of an award winning short film (10-15 min duration)
08 Apply Lvl 1-7 skills to stock video to create:
• A comedy
• A suspense
07 Apply Lvl 1-6 skills to stock video to create:
• An edit using shots between LS - MS
• An edit using LS-ECU and creative framings (e.g. OTS, etc)
• An edit using the above options plus moving shots
06 Know:
• The commands for the most useful FCP hotkeys.
• What the commands do.
05 Be able to:
• Open, close, and hide FCP
• Open and retrieve windows
• Make equipment connections—camera to Mac and DVR to Mac
• Log and transfer, capture, and import
• Organize project files on the HD via a file-folder system
• Organize media pool

Apply effects ,filters, and titles three different ways
04 • Provide examples for 80% of the rules.
03 Know:
• Dmytryk rules
• Murch rules
• Screen position edit
• Form edit
• Concept edit
• Combined edit
02 Know these and their narrative effects:
• Straight cut
• Fade
• Dissolve
• Wipe
• J-cut
• L-cut
• Flash frame
• Insert edit
• Overwrite edit
01 Know:
• 7 Shot types
• High hat shot
• Low angle shot
• Canted/Dutch angle shot
• OTS
• Subjective v objective framing
• Reciprocal imagery
• High angle shot
• Aerial shot

Apply:
• 30 degree rule
• 180 degree rule
• Screen direction
• Eye trace

Compositional don’ts


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Andrew Rendell
Re: Guiding kids to learn editing
on May 28, 2012 at 7:49:32 am

I'd include things like how to analyse an image, the Kuleshov effect, symbolism, montage.

The difference between GOP and I-frame files (both theoretically and practically).

Layering audio effects and music.

Basically, get into WHY things are done in particular ways above HOW things are done.


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Brent Bloem
Re: Guiding kids to learn editing
on May 28, 2012 at 1:48:30 pm

You've enticed my curiosity. Could you expand your thoughts on a on one point?

When you say anaylyzed an image, what did you intend to mean? Technical quality, aesthetic quality, or narrative quality? After stating this, could you generate what YOU feel is the best way to teach kids that, starting from the basics skills and moving to difficult skills of image analysis?


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Andrew Rendell
Re: Guiding kids to learn editing
on May 30, 2012 at 6:03:38 am

I mean aesthetically mainly, this kind of thing
http://pages.uoregon.edu/jlesage/Juliafolder/PHOTOANALYSIS.HTML

There's slightly more to tv/film because we work with moving pictures so there's the possibility of composition changing over time. It's relevant to questions like; what does the shot convey to the audience in terms of information and in terms of emotional impact and also how long should you stay on the shot before cutting.

It's trying to answer questions such as; what do we need to show in order to tell the story, what are we trying to convey visually - are we illustrating what's being spoken or showing something extra that you wouldn't get from just hearing the soundtrack.

I'm not sure how to go about teaching in a formal educational situation, on the occasions that I'm showing people this it's in a "learning on the job" context, one on one, I'll show examples of what I've been doing and try to explain why I made the cut in this way or look at clips of tv and film and say why I think a certain film maker did what they did.


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