A collaboratively made student production. Cheese is a short action film. It is discussed in detail in a chapter of a forthcoming book.
Writing Project Site
Nearly all of our student productions are narratives so they all start with a script. The script is written using one of two styles, an “Audio-Visual” (AV) format or a standard screenplay format.
“It’s in the can!”
How Young Students Produce Video Texts
So, maybe you want to get students involved in making videos but you don’t know where to start. Its not an easy task but, then again, no writing is. In this section I will take you through the major steps of the video making process. No video production is the same so please remember that flexibility is important.
Students in the after-school program produce video texts in a three stage process similar to the one used in major motion pictures. In the process, the “text” is substantially transformed, revised, and re-authored along the way. The students work with a variety of text modes including speech, print, image, sound, video, real world objects (often as symbols), and digital texts. Video making involves multiple authors-- scriptwriters, director, cameraperson, actors, editors, and more-- and the final composition is arguably more collaborative than any other text students write in classrooms.
In production, students go out and shoot the script. A production crew consists of a director, camera person, one or more actors, and a “marker”-- a person who documents on a dry erase board what scene, shot, and take the crew is on and displays it in front of the camera before each shot.
After a location is settled on, the director positions the actors and gives them direction as well as their lines. Too often this is the first time the actors have seen the script but this trend is changing as directors, tired of acting that sounds like reading, are now giving scripts to the actors to take home and study. Meanwhile, the camera person gets in position and deals with any issues that might come up such as backlighting or awkward actor positioning.