Finding captivating electives that introduce new and useful skills to homeschooled children is one of the biggest challenges. Building your own filmmaking elective curriculum is a fun way to satisfy school transcript requirements.
You may think that you will need a bunch of expensive and highly technical equipment to create a comprehensive filmmaking curriculum. Nope! The beauty of today's smart devices is that all you need to become a pro filmmaker is the camera on your smart phone or tablet.
Homeschool Filmmaking Outline
Even if you don't know much about filmmaking, with the help of Google and the iOgrapher Cinematic Filmmaker Kit, you can easily develop a curriculum that will have your child creating masterpieces before long.
1. Develop Movie Ideas
When students brainstorm and begin to map out movie ideas, creativity abounds. Encourage your student to create a detailed plan for each of their ideas to include timelines, roles, character development and production needs.
To stimulate the development of movie ideas, ask these questions:
- What are a few cool concepts that people want to learn about?
- Who would you like to make movies for? Who is your audience?
- Who would be a great person to interview?
- Where is your ideal location to shoot?
2. Visual Organization
Storyboards help students develop their ideas further into structured timelines that follow a logic flow. Storyboards can be digital using a software or can be manually drawn out.
3. Practice Activities
Rather than jumping right into shooting their movie, encourage students to perfect different shots through activities. For example, assign a one minute movie that must include 25 shots of one object followed by editing. Encourage students to play around with various angles to achieve maximum impact.
4. Write the Script
Now it is time for the student to turn their abstract ideas into a concrete movie script. They will need to think through character development and language to ensure the script is realistic and follows a logical story line.
5. Create a Shot List
A shot list is a checklist of shot ideas that are needed to execute the movie. A strong shot list will organize the shots to make sure that all needed shots are filmed at each location. It also takes day shots versus night shots into consideration so that there is consistent lighting throughout the film.
6. Start Shooting
Create a shooting schedule that accounts for the time of day and allows for enough time to shoot and reshoot scenes as needed. Play with lighting and backgrounds to achieve the appropriate mood for each scene.
7. Time for Audio
Audio is important to set the mood for each scene. Many times the human ear is more discriminating that the eye. Begin thinking about background audio as well as different types of microphones. There are many types of microphones. Have the student research the appropriate type for this particular production.
8. Editing and Post-Production
Now it is time to edit film and recorded audio as well as add music or other sound effects that will add to the intensity of the film. Balancing audio and adding effects is tedious but makes a big difference in the final product.
Encourage the student to treat the presentation of their film as an event. Invite loved ones and peers and make a big deal about the production.
Filmmaking Follow Up Curriculum
During the process of creating the final film, pay attention to which parts of the process your student showed the most interest. Following their first production, you can build off of their interest to teach higher level concepts including:
- A-roll versus B-roll
- Interview video making
- Three main shots- wide, mid, and close up
- Screenplay writing
- Producing a music video
- Producing a documentary
- High level editing and digital manipulation
Filmmaking is an enriching and fun homeschool elective that can easily meet required standards. And you never know if it can launch into a filmmaking career for your student.