Published on July 17, 2009
Weaselling your Way IntoYour Students Hearts
Screenwriting and movies for education and training
Gareth J Johnson
Weasel Televisual Enterprises
(and University of Leicester )
Creating movies for training, education or promotion Considering the educational power of humour Going from script to screen Some of the practicalities …Fade In
All role-playing will be me only …no, I’m not going to make you work with puppets Feeling The Fear Role-playing Puppetry
Started filming in 2007 for fun Bought a camera and editing software Moved on to developing short films Started using videos in (some) teaching and training Made freely available Genesis of the Weasel
Where do humour and librarians meet? A powerful a communication tool as rhetoric or repetition Makes it engaging A key goal for any education or marketing Makes it memorable Audiences will remember serious points made Makes it digestible Sugar coating for difficult topics A Comedy Tonight
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 everyone Neither do other forms of instruction or promotion Another weapon in the arsenal Educating Weasel
A video short should contain 1 core concept Concept encapsulated in 25 words or less Start simple with message then plot then dialogue 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… Block out plenty of time the first time Video: Planning
Remember the hook The opening line has to grab the audience’s attention Get someone else to read/review the script Spot the best bits and polish your diamonds Helps avoid major clangers Write for your audience Brevity, clarity and punch Basic screenwriting techniques will help Not a simple migration of words to screen Use or adapt a template style or format Keep thinking message, message, message Video: Scripting
A need to make use of a visual grammars The lexicon of movement and reaction Show don’t tell at the heart of best practice Fewer words and more movement Don’t over rely on cliché Bookshelves back drop can be a major turn off Talking heads looking straight into the camera …but can be a handy visual shorthand Breaking the rules What works for me, might not work for you Experiment – it might just work Video: Finessing
Outline a movie concept in 25 words or less Think about the central messageThink about your audience & stakeholdersUse the plotting templateGroup Exercise Plan 2 or 3 scenes (or more) in detail Think of locations, situations and actorsThink about practicalities of the shootScript the opening line(s) of dialogue
Think about the central message
Think about your audience & stakeholders
Use the plotting template
Think of locations, situations and actors
Think about practicalities of the shoot
Script the opening line(s) of dialogue
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