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Movie-Making Merit Badge
Transcript of Movie-Making Merit Badge
Movies differ from live productions in that the story being told is a much more visual story.
Novels are psychologically driven
Plays are dialog driven
Films are visually driven
SHOW, DON'T TELL
Avoid using dialog when you can show something
Avoid using a continuous narrator
Each scene should advance the plot
Every movie starts with an IDEA!
Everyone has an idea for a movie, but very few of those ideas make good movies.
Format of a Screenplay
1890-Motion picture cameras develope
1897-First film studios were built
1900s-Filmmakers flee to greater Los Angeles area
1914-"Squaw Man" filmed (first feature length film)
1920s-Big Five/Little Three (Major Studios) B5: RKO, Paramount, Warner Bros., MGM, 20th Century Fox
L3: Universal, Columbia, United Artists
1927-Warner Bros. releases "The Jazz Singer" (first "talkie")
1929-Hollywood is all talkie now
1930s-Movie musicals and horror films gain popularity
1940s-Decline of the "Golden Age" (Paramount Decision)
1950-Paramount releases "Sunset Boulevard"
1960s-Collapse of the Studio System (Golden Age)
1960-Paramount/Universal release "Psycho"
1968-MPAA rating system becomes standard
1970s-Horror/Slasher gain popularity
1980s-VCRs theaten Hollywood
1993- "Jurassic Park" revolutionizes SFx
2000s-Rise in digital filmmaking
Breaking Down the Script
Creating a Story Board
Selecting Locations/Renting Stages
Gathering Props/Set Decorating
Filing for Permits
This is where the magic begins!
The Director has a vision and the Cinematographer, along with the rest of the crew, enable the camera to capture the narrative.
Cinematographer (Dir of Photography)
1st AD (Assistant Director)
1st AC (Assistant Camera)
Best Boy (Electric)
Production Assistant (PA)
This is where the magic comes to fruition!
During this process, the post-production crew take all the raw footage and cuts to together the final story and applies the appropriate color, effects, and sequence to the director's vision.
Various Special FX Artists
This is where you put all your skills to the test. For this last activity, you will break into groups and select one of the scripts form the group to produce. After the films are done, we will watch them in our own screening in Science Works Theatre!
Learning to Tell Stories for the Screen
"The greatest art is the art of storytelling."
--Cecil B. DeMille
Filmmaking is one of the most visual storytelling methods; second only to comic books. In telling your story, remember to 'show, don't tell.'
If you cannot tell a story in three minutes, then you cannot tell a story in three hours.
Clearly defined protagonist with a well-defined external goal; clearly defined antagonist with an external goal; well-defined opposition between the protagonist and his/her external goal.
Act I (Setup), Act II (Confrontation), Act III (Resolution)
7 Plot Points
Back Story, Catalyst, Big Event, Midpoint, Crisis, Climax, Realization
2 Major Plot Twists
These transition between acts
Write a (minimum) 3-5pg screenplay using all the elements we have talked about. Keep in mine, one page of script is approximately 1 minute of screentime.
Before any screenplay is ever written, the writer, producer, or director thinks of the idea. Usually the first step is to write a treatment. For the first activity, you are going to write the treatment to a short film (3-5mins) of your own original intellectual property.
Your Treatment Needs
1. Communicate the entire story in as few pages as possible.
2. A Working title
3. Your name and contact information
4. Log line (1-2 sentence summary of the movie)
5. Introduction to key characters
6. The 5 Ws and H
7. Summaries of Acts I, II, III (paragraph form)
It should read like a short story.
For the second activity, you are going to create a storyboard for your script from Activity #2
Interested in Film Careers?
Take TV/Film Pro in High School
Choose a Film/Media Related College/Tech School Program
Volunteer/Intern on Local Sets
Go to Graduate School for MA/MFA
Make Your Own Movies