title Rationale Lesson 1
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  • IL.26.A Understand processes, traditional tools and modern technologies used in the arts.

  • IL.26.B.2b Drama: Demonstrate actions, characters, narrative skills, collaboration, environments, simple staging and sequence of events and situations in solo and ensemble dramas.


  • Understand the basic components of filmmaking (namely acting, camera angles, and sound setup).

Materials: None

Resources: None

A. Purpose: Students will understand the basic components of filmmaking (namely acting, camera angles, and sound setup).

B. Activity: The class will begin with a lecture/discussion of filming fundamentals so students are as prepared as possible for the filming during lesson 6. (Note: Information contained in these notes may vary depending on the equipment available.)

The goal of acting is to convince your audience you are the character you are portraying. You should try to transform yourself into the character. You should try to react to everything that is going on around you as the character would.

Before getting in front of the camera, a good actor or actress will ask:

        is this person I am portraying? What are they like?
        am I talking to or interacting with?
        should I be feeling?
        should I be doing?
    When / Where
        am I? Should I speak with an accent? Should I be watching anyone or anything?

Camera Angles
It is advantageous to have multiple cameras capturing a scene from different angles. Using multiple cameras allows for close-ups and whole-scene shots to be captured without having to including zooming in the final cut. When it comes time to edit, it is much easier to edit in a different angle than a different take, as it is hard to get in the same position for a second take. It is pretty typical for independent filmmakers to use two cameras at a 90 degree angle from one another so if something goes wrong from one angle, you may still be able to use the other.

Sound Setup
As with video, it is important to have as many different audio sources as possible from each take. An accidental brush against a microphone can ruin a whole take, and may not be noticed until editing takes place. It is typical for independent filmmakers to use a minimum of four sources of audio – each camera has its own microphone which can capture the scene as a whole, and each primary actor has a microphone as well. (Lapel microphones are best for this, but often standard microphones can be hidden in or behind a prop, to be captured by a recording device or a laptop computer).

Following the lecture (20 minutes), students should check materials acquired against their list of needed materials. Students also need to plan camera angles and where to place microphones in order to capture as many good sources of audio/video as possible. Towards the end of the class period, the teacher should visit each group to verify that everyone is prepared for filming and to check for any material needs.