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Kevin Richard May 4th, 2007 05:50 AM

Teaching a class, lesson plan suggestions?
First off I'm really not the most qualified to teach a class in editing but I was asked to do so. It's for a summer "mini camp" of the arts. It will be for ages 12-17, most of the rest of the camp revolves around music. (I film their main summer camp and performance and put together a dvd for them... kind of a school of rock thing.)

It's going to be five three hour days and I'm wondering what would be a good lesson plan and what should I make sure to cover. I mainly just do things as I need them for a job and usually end up figuring out how to do that task as the time comes.

Any suggestions would be great!

Seth Bloombaum May 4th, 2007 10:09 AM

IMHO, design a series of projects in which:
You give information and illustrations on concepts (keep this short!);
You quickly demo the hard stuff (got to have a projector for your station);
You turn students loose to work on their project, with your support.

There is a widely accepted educational theory that holds that people have preferred modes of learning, such as hearing, seeing, doing. The sequence above hits all three, with emphasis on doing, as the goal is to have students capable of doing, not just talking about it.

Generally, the more personal creative investment students have in their projects, the more they will learn, and also greater motivation and engagement in learning

The learning environment needs to support all this - best is a full editing station for each student, headphones, and a station for the instructor that is up on a projector. DVD player to the projector and sound system for the classroom, to look at other people's work.

Randy Stewart May 4th, 2007 11:28 AM

Excellent advice. I think the most important part is selecting the projects to do before the class. Keep them simple and flexible but get the content defined up front (they can story board it). That's normally the hardest and most time consuming part...selecting what to do. Then prepare yourself for a wave of emotion when you see what they do. Teachers get much more reward from that feeling than they get from pay...but that's an obvioius understatement ;-).

Kevin Richard May 4th, 2007 11:33 AM

Ok, so instead of teaching them the how to's on different techniques, give them projects that encompass the techniques so they will be forced to use them.

Hmm, still what techniques are the most important to cram in... masking, color correcting, there is a long list of things that need to get done and I'm really clueless as where to start.

Randy, I hope you're right because I'm certain the pay isn't going to be much :) the other sad part is that it's basically cutting off my own foot because after they get a descent program going they will just start shooting and editing the summer camp themselves ... oh well, it's all about the children!

Seth Bloombaum May 4th, 2007 01:30 PM


Originally Posted by Kevin Richard (Post 672839)
...Hmm, still what techniques are the most important to cram in... masking, color correcting, there is a long list of things that need to get done and I'm really clueless as where to start...

I'd say "no" or "much later" to masking and color correcting.

Cuts. Dissolves. Content edit of an interview. Insert shots. Cutaways. The differences between trimmer editing and timeline editing. Concepts of A-roll and B-roll. Brightness, contrast, scopes, black level, white level, skin levels, composition, shooting for the edit. Simple titles and rolls. Compression of the audio track for intelligibility. Mix of music under. BG ambience under. Narration. Compression for DVD. DVD authoring.

Off the top of my head I think those are the basics.

Of course assignments should take advantage of all the wonderful shooting opportunities at an art & music camp.

Matthew Chaboud May 4th, 2007 02:35 PM

If you want an exercise to make them better editors, have them cut content to music, and have them cut content against a narration track.

Have them vary pacing with the same content to convey different emotion.

These are not cool "look what I did" things, and you could spend an entire week (or month) working on edit pacing and techniques for cutting on the right frame. Some kids will just "get" this, and others never will. You can't keep the kids happy if you just do things like this, but it could make the world a better place.

Perhaps they'll at least know what to think about as they learn to pace their edits.

I second Seth's scopes suggestion. And third, and fourth...

Everyone should have at least a minimal understanding of scopes.

Randy Stewart May 5th, 2007 03:47 AM

Hmm, still what techniques are the most important to cram in... masking, color correcting, there is a long list of things that need to get done and I'm really clueless as where to start.

I'd give them the basics of what they will need to get the footage shot, captured, edited, scored, special effects (not too many), credits, rendered, and authored to DVD (or ready for presentation via computer playback). If you have access to VASST's DVD on Vegas Movie Studio Platinum training (about 2 hours), that would be an excellent syllabus to draw from and in fact, would be a great aid to teach with as it has video showing how to do every aspect of what they teach. There is a chapter list on the VASST web site here: http://www.vasst.com/product.aspx?id...5-694ef7cc7fb9 .
The kids I've worked with doing home productions are very anxious to get out there and start shooting. There will be no shortage of ideas. Since they will have their project assignments, I'd first teach them about getting the footage (script and/or storyboard, jobs for the crew, equipment list, camera techniques, lighting, audio, etc.) they will need, and after they come back, teach them about capture, edit, titling, scoring, special effects, doing credits, etc.
Sounds like you are going to have a great time. Remember, have fun with it. The best part will be the journey which climaxes with the presentations of the shows. Yes, you are in store for some great feelings. Summer camp is fun enough just being around all the kids but seeing their faces when the audience claps for their creations is priceless. Expect you'll want to do it again :-).

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