Tuesday, April 14, 2015

HB250: Intermediate Video Production

Devices like tablets make it easy to shoot - but not to shoot well.
Video projects are fun to make, can assess students' content knowledge, and help them practice new skills.

Too often, they are also poorly done. The fact that having a phone or tablet makes it easy to film something does not also mean that it is easy to make a good video.

There are, however, easy-to-teach principles that will help your students shoot and edit great video. This session taught us how.

Creating videos helps students meet the ISTE standards for communication and collaboration, especially to "communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats." The process of filming a video is also kinesthetic, making it a good way to add physical activity to your class routine.

In a BYOD environment where students may be filming and editing with various devices, the video creation process will work as follows:

In the planning stage, you'll want to collect two things from students:
  1. A script or storyboard. 
  2. A shooting schedule with three columns for filming: a) the scene, b) where it will be filmed, c) when it will be filming
Don't let students touch a camera until they hand in these two things - it will hold them accountable for using their time wisely.

To help students film effectively, you can have them follow three basic principles of cinematography:
  1. Don't be afraid to get close. Dramas, interviews and newscasts use medium close-ups or close-ups, not wide shots, as the former show facial expressions more effectively. Reviewing the types of shots and having students practice getting each type of shot is a valuable activity. Remember to tell them NOT to hold their device in portrait mode - it should be turned on it's side (landscape)!
  2. Follow the Rule of Thirds. This well-known rule of photography also applies when shooting video.
  3. Enlighten yourself - literally. Having lots of light is key to high-quality video. Open all curtains and turn on all lights if filming inside. Filming outside in the shade, or between 4pm and 6pm, is the best.
You may encounter issues where the file created by the device is incompatible with your video editing software. Follow the chart below to help you with conversions:
Icons CC from dAKirby309, position:relative, delacroi, gh0zt

Import the software into your computer and you're ready to edit. Different tools have different interfaces, but they all let you cut clips, add music and sound tracks, add titles, and add transitions. However, it's more important that students know basic rules of video editing; your rubric should reflect whether students follow these rules or not, in the same way that essay rubrics grade on spelling, grammar, and organization. Take time to teach these (or have your tech integrator come and teach them).

When accepting student submissions, remember that it will take them 20-30 minutes to export their video, and that the resulting file will be large. I recommend having them upload it to a shared ownCloud folder; uploading to YouTube will be too slow, and uploading to Focus won't be possible since there is a 64MB file size limit.




Top 10 Rules of Video Editing

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