Session 7: Digital Filmmaking – A Beginner’s Journey

hpim5450.JPGPresented by Kimberly Dyar & Beth Jacobs.

I was a little late coming in, but they’re talking about how easy it was to pick up the skills needed to use iMovie. After one teacher got help, she had the skills to help others.

Camera angles


Does the music match the mood?hpim5451.JPG

Students made public service announcements after looking at some examples. They started with a worksheet to build their ideas. Te students actually had trouble creating one clear idea – instead, they wanted to write scripts.

They still have handouts, but most of it’s on a CD. When I first came to MICCA everything was on a paper handout, sometimes 20 pages thick. Now, most presenters seem to have at least some form of digital version.

Pan and zoom shots were forbidden, so they could think more about composition and less about home movies.

They also talked about some space before and after the dialog so it wouldn’t get clipped off by the transitions. That makes sense, although do they always need to have transitions? Still, you can always cut out the quiet times if they don’t go with the commercials pacing.

Identify camera angles in examples before you set them loose.

Don’t describe the shot – draw it in the storyboard.


  • Buy an external firewire drive.
  • Buy the warranty.
  • External battery charger.
  • Tripods. They got theirs from Big Lots, I found mine at flea markets and Goodwill stores.
  • External microphones.
  • Buy 1 to try out, but then standardize your equipment. Every manufacturer has their quirks.
  • Get a book called “Digital Photography for Teens.” Not sure I’ll buy the book, but you might wish to do so.
  • Consent & Release forms.
  • Save the tapes until the students have finished their projects. They’re backups!
  • Small group camera instruction as teams finished their storyboards were more manageable.
  • Win over an administrator before you get started.
  • Demonstrate how the equipment can serve the entire school community.

Several students were special ed, and it all still worked. (I’m not shocked – every time I give my special ed kids an opportunity they rise to the occasion.)

They’re talking about sharing the project with every teacher / administrator / supervisor that will listen – the support followed.

Fund raising idea: The class with the LEAST money won. It became subversive as students gave to other teachers.

Be concise when planning the budget.