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Honors assignment for Harry

Assignment

Make two videos and present them to the class.

The first video, around three minutes long not including the titles and credits, will explain one of your party’s positions. It will be a video essay, that is, a visualization of your party’s position, an illustrated version of your party’s position paper.

The second video, about 30 seconds long, will be a commercial for your party of the kind that would appear online or on TV during an election campaign.

For more information about each of these steps in the process, see the left sidebar menu on the course web for my Gen 230 course.

Documents

Before you begin collecting videos clips, you have to know what to look for. When you begin to edit them, you have to know how long each needs to be.

To guide these decisions, you need three documents: proposal/treatment, script, shot list

Proposal and Treatment

In many video-production processes, especially those involving budgets, the treatment is written out. You should do that, too.

In two short paragraphs, give an idea of what the finished video will look like.

First paragraph: What is it about? What question will it answer? What claim will it support?

This paragraph should have fewer than 50 words.

In an essay, it is called the thesis statement. In the video world, it is used in a press release. It can also be used as the blurb in lists or on a YouTube page.

Here’s one for the recent Star Wars movie:

Three decades after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, a new threat arises. The First Order attempts to rule the galaxy and only a ragtag group of heroes can stop them, along with the help of the Resistance.

Second paragraph: How are you going to treat it? What about the pace, for example, slow and contemplative? upbeat? What about the tone, for example, humorous? solemn? How will the musical soundtrack contribute?

In many ways, the treatment is the most important document that you will produce. If you get this “right”, it will make everything else possible. I put the “right” in quotes because I want to emphasize that there is no One Right Treatment. It is certainly something you can change, but it is not something you would “correct”. So don’t be afraid.

If I gave your script to two of your classmates and asked them to make a video from it without consulting each other, they would come up with different videos. Both would be based on the same script and would contain the same dialogue, but almost everything else about them would be different. Why? Because of the two different ways that the two different directors “treated” the script. Your treatment document is your description of what you are going to do that other directors would do differently. Don’t worry about them when you write it. Concentrate on what you are going to do.

Script

The script is what you will read as the voice-over for your video. It will probably be in paragraph form.

At a maximum, you want about 150 words per minute, thus, 450 words for a three-minute video.

Shot list

Break your script into small chunks. Next to each, write a description of what we will see on the screen. Note whether it is a video clip or an image.

NASA Video – samples and models

script (copied from the Wikipedia’s NASA entry)

shot list

Video editing software

Adobe’s Premiere is available in H216.

Video Assets

Collect video (and some images) that will illustrate the words.

Voice-over

Record the voice-over on your phone or other device.

Trimmed Clips

Edit the clips (trim them to be as short as possible) and images (crop and resize them).

Timeline

Assemble the clips on a timeline over the voice-over.

Effects

Add on-screen text, transitions, and special effects.

Titles and Credits

Add the opening titles and closing credits.

For the commercial, make titles and credits even though they wouldn’t be included in the TV spot because of the expense.

Audio Track

Mix the voice-over and the music into an audio track.

Final mix and render

Add the audio track back to the timeline and render the finished video on or before the due dates.

Close the loop

Congratulations! You finished the process. Everything, that is, except for showing it to people and thinking about how your next video will be different.


Documents

Project management

10 points for a complete set of documents: final script, final shot list, and treatment
7 points for two of the three.
5 points for only one of the three.

Script

10 points

Video assets

10 points for enough clips to keep the pace moving.
7 points for so few that the video feels static, that is, boring.

Voice-over

10 points for a voice track of your own voice that is loud and clear.
9 points for voice that is in any way muddled.
7 points for computer-generated or source-video voice.
5 points for voice that is so hard to hear we miss what was said.

Trimmed clips

10 points for effective editing.
8 points otherwise.

Timeline

10 points for at least 3 minutes excluding titles and credits (up to 450 spoken words).
7 points for at least 2 minutes excluding titles and credits (up to 300 spoken words).
3 points for shorter.

Effects

Text, transitions, special effects

10 points for effective editing.
8 points otherwise.

Titles and credits

10 points for doing them with an attempt at some style and flair.
8 points for doing them.
5 points for missing one or the other.
0 points for not doing them at all.

Audio track

Mix the voice-over and the music into an audio track.

10 points for a mix that is loud and clear.
8 points for a mix that is in any way muddled.
4 points for a mix that is so hard to hear we miss what was said.

Render/Export

Add the audio track back to the timeline and render the finished video on or before the deadlines for each. In other words, you finished the process.

10 points for a viewable video.
0 points for anything else.


Project grade

Total 100 points per video:

100 – 90 points = A

90 – 80 points = B

80 – 70 points = C

When I blend the two for an overall project grade, I will weigh the video essay twice as heavily.

Due dates

Video essay – April 18, the day you will show it in class

Commercial – April 27, the day you will show it in class

Note

This project is more about the process than the product. As you work on these videos, I need to see your progress. It is important that you do the steps of the process in the order listed above.

  1. Get my feedback and approval for your script and shot list.
  2. Show me the folder with all of the digital assets: downloaded videos, images, and music.
  3. Get my approval for your voice-over recording.
  4. Get my feedback and approval for the video’s timeline in Premier.
  5. Show me the rendered video. Based on my feedback, you are welcome to work on it some more before you show it to your classmates