Published on March 9, 2009
From script to screen for information literacy Gareth J Johnson Weasel Televisual Enterprises (and Leicester University) www.youtube.com/llordllama www.twitter.com/llordllama
An awareness of making and using visual media for training and education Using humour and weasels to educate Script to screen & Do It Yourself Speilberging Group work Pre & post production techniques
Started in 2007 filming for fun Moved on to developing short films Bought a camera and software Started using videos in (some) teaching and training Never looked back Waiting on big movie deal
Humour doesn’t come naturally to education or librarians Sad fact of life But as powerful a tool as rhetoric or repetition But education isn’t funny! Maybe, but comedy IS engaging Audiences will remember serious points made Engaging an audience a key educational goal
Definitions of comedy “a dramatic performance which pits two societies against each other in an amusing agon or conflict.” (wikipedia) “Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die.quot; (Mel Brooks) Comedy comes in many forms, and it pays to be familiar with them Timing Reversal of expectations or cliché Dialogue, delivery or intonation Antics and capering Pathos (might not be what you’re aiming for)
How can this be educational? Breaks the ice Change of focus, raises attention levels Re-enforcement of core message Provides respite for the speaker Available for local and distance learners Won’t click for every learning style But neither does other form of instruction Another weapon in the educational ammo dump Reviewable post-session too
A video short can contain 1 core concept Concept encapsulated in 25 words or less Show don’t tell Not a simple migration of words to screen Need to include any actions Basic screenwriting techniques will help Brevity, clarity, and punch Write for your audience Use or adapt a template
Screen writing formats Useful as a guide but don’t follow strictly See references and handouts for suggestions Writing effective and engaging dialogue Most is an interrogative between two speakers Rules of thumb 1 page/1 minute Two heads better than one Speaking script and shooting script strictly two different things
Start simple (stupid!) Think message, message, message The opening line has to grab the audience’s attention Get someone else to read/review the script Polish your diamonds Choose your artistes with care Dull inflection/intonation bring death on swift wings Availability can be the key factor Get someone else to film it if you can…
Outline a movie concept in 25 words or less 1. Think about the central message Think about your audience & stakeholders Use the plotting template 5 Minutes Plan 2 or 3 scenes (or more) 2. Think of locations, situations and actors Think about practicalities of the shoot Write the opening lines of dialogue 10 minutes
Using in-house AV teams Access to better kit and experience More polished final product Reduces flexability and adaptability Potential loss of creative control Just shoot you Closer creative control of final product Readily able to adapt and adjust More time intensive all round
Videos are a non-trivial creation exercise A 3-5 minute movie might well take Plotting, scripting, planning 1-2 hours Set up, shoot and re-shoot 1-2 hours Editing & polishing 2-3 hours May not be consecutive periods Helps if are relatively close together Need for script approval can increase times
Shooting tips Always consider simple backgrounds Avoid cliché library book shelves if you can Shoot once, shoot twice, shoot thrice Reshoot after rough cut Editing Get a rough cut together ASAP Screen to a small audience Listen to their feedback or comments Be prepared to make (minor) changes
Born digital is an easier format to work with Less physical media lying around Easier to back-up Buying cameras from new Doesn’t cost the earth Entry level £150, serious £500 and up Editing software cheap as chips Movie Maker, Corel Ulead, Adobe Premier Simple interfaces and editing tools A spotlight will pay major visual dividends
Information overload Tempting to cram too much in One or two core messages only Clarity, pacing and engagement Videos aren’t interactive Short can be sweeter and punchier Keeping it on track Complex/long scripts make for more time consuming shoots and editing A little each day is a more manageable approach
Keep thinking… Message, message message
Get someone else to read the script out loud Do multiple takes of every scene Be aware of backgrounds and lighting Use what ever software you are happy with Make & watch a rough edit as quickly as possible Produce the final video in both a small and a high quality versions Back up your original footage somewhere safe
Gareth J Johnson firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com 0116-252-2055 www.twitter.com/llordllama www.youtube.com/llordllama tinyurl.com/weaselchums
Costello, John. (2006). Writing a screenplay, 2nd edn, Pocket Essentials Cresswell, Julia. (2000). The Penguin dictionary of clichés, Penguin Group, London Frensham, Raymond G. (1996). Screenwriting, Hodder Headline Plc, London Muchnick, A. (2004). When Pancakes Go Bad: Optical Delusions with Adobe Photoshop , Course Technology PTR Novelly, Maria C. (1985). Theatre Games for Young Performers, Meriweather Publishing Ltd, Colorado Springs Wikipedia. (2008). Comedy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comedy. (accessed 27/5/08)
A Librarian by Any Other name: Renaming the profession? (2008) www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSkat7th2FA Better Library Inductions For New Readers & Students (2008) www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYRQ4KLlyMw Boolean Logic & Database Searching (Librarian Goose) (2008) www.youtube.com/watch?v=enPSOq1_QmY Contrasting Blogs, Twitter & Library News Pages (2008) www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1nJQKsLgM0 Handling Customer Complaints in the Library (2008) www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7jS9-g-BBc How to Evaluate Websites (2009) Part 1: www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrXNCj9n6e4 Part 2: www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYV3ZmThuls Part 3: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ta1RMXVOig0 Importance of Data Protection in Libraries (Librarian Goose) (2008) www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUzPhdqkWRQ
Librarian's Guide to...Understanding Academic Copyright (2007) www.youtube.com/watch?v=7giW7efQggo Surviving Library Conferences (2008) www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1PRBONa9r8 The Genesis of Repository Policies (2009) www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIcBlltRZWo The Pinewood Librarian: Librarians, Libraries & Life itself (2008) www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mtjj4q_jqIo The Professional Librarian: Difficult Customers (2007) www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3Jud4b9ik0 The Professional Librarian: Fire Safety Lectures (2007) www.youtube.com/watch?v=CulZsXPGpKU The Professional Librarian: Inappropriate Behaviour (2007) www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tN2xj8rgWA Your Library: A User Centric Experience (2008) www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5I9hSsVLwU
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