Assignments for Broadcasting I

Video Scavenger Hunt Assignment

This will be your first opportunity to make a video from beginning to end.  You will plan, shoot and edit to create a final film that tells an original story.  This is also your first experience working on a deadline so remember to use your time wisely!

Maximum length: 2 minutes

Project Steps:


1. Download and print the Video Story Hunt Checklist.

2. Break up into groups and nominate a producer.

3. Plan your shoot.  Brainstorm and create an outline for your story.  The producer will pitch your outline to Mr. Lewis and bring suggestions back to the group.  Hint: Keep your stories simple!

4. Use your outline to create a shot list.  Get approval from Mr. Lewis when finished.


5. Start shooting. Remember to trade off who is operating the camera.


6. After you are done shooting, import your footage into iMovie and begin editing. Click here for tutorials on importing.

*You also may find this tip sheet of iMovie Shortcuts helpful when editing any project.

7. Begin editing.  Your final product should include the following:

  • Transitions between all clips
  • Text labeling each clip
  • A title and credits screen
  • Advanced editing effects (cutaway, slow/fast motion, audio/video effects)
  • Music if you have time

8. Export your final project to the Shared drive > Scavenger Hunt folder

Camera Shots and Film Composition Project

This project will require you to demonstrate your ability to use different camera shots and film composition techniques.  You will create a montage of camera shots that tells a basic story.

Assignment Guidelines

1. The rule of thirds should be clearly demonstrated in all of your shots.
2. Shots that include people should follow the rules of headroom and leadroom.
3. No dialog or other on-camera sound should be used in your final video.
4. The camera shot should change at least every 5 seconds.
5. No two-for-one shots. Ex. A long shot of a person does not also count as a one shot.
6. Maximum length is 1:30.

To get started, download the Camera Shots and Film Composition worksheet.

Good luck and happy shooting!

Intro to Camera Shots and Film Composition

This project is going to be our first look into actual filmmaking concepts. The main focus of the assignment will be composition – how to frame your subjects and move the camera to get your desired result. But first, let’s look at some basic filmmaking tips…let’s watch the Vimeo Shooting Basics video.

Video 101: Shooting Basics from Vimeo Video School on Vimeo.

Let’s get right into composition now. There are basic shots and ways to move your camera that will help your final product look more professional and will make it easier for your audience to understand your subject and message.

From Atomic Learning’s Video Storytelling Guide:

A new take on home movies: the “grammar” of video.

In written expression, the basic building block is the word. The video equivalent of a word is a camera shot. I’ll be defining the various types of shots and showing you video examples of each soon. For now, let’s define a shot as whatever the camera records after you press the record button and before you hit pause. Using that definition, many traditional “home movies” would consist of only one or two shots, even though they might last five minutes each.

Don’t be a hoser!

That style of shooting is often referred to as the “garden hose” approach. As you water your shrubs, the water continually flows while you wave the hose nozzle from side to side, up and down, concentrating the spray here and there, making sure the whole garden gets a good soaking.

The “garden hose” video maker will stand in one spot with tape running, wave the camera from one side of the scene to the other, up and down, merrily zooming in and zooming out, trying to capture the whole scene in one shot.

If that shot were a written sentence, it would run on . . . and on . . . and on . . . . and on . . . .and on . . . . . . . . . . . .

Good writing is composed of well-chosen words, combined into thoughtful sentences and logically organized paragraphs. Good video follows a similar structure.


Please review the list of shots and their definitions.

Shots Based on Camera Position:

Extreme Long Shot/ Establishing Shot (ELS) – Used to establish the setting of a project. It might be the outside of a building or a landscape and is often the first scene in a project.

Long Shot
(LS) – Shows the entire object or human figure and is usually intended to place it in some relation to its surroundings.

Medium Sho
t (MS) – A “normal” camera shot filmed from a medium distance. It usually refers to a human figure from the waist (or knees) up.

Close Up/Bust Shot
(CU) – A shot taken from a close distance. Often it is a person’s head from the shoulders or neck up. It could also be a tight shot of an object that fills almost the entire frame.

Extreme Close Up
(ECU) – This shot frames only part of an object in close-up detail. It might frame only a part of a human face (an eye or the mouth) or a detailed part of an object (the petal of a flower).

High Angle/ Tilt Down
– The subject is filmed from above and the camera points down on the action, often to make the subject small, weak and vulnerable.

Low Angle/Tilt Down
– The subject is filmed directly from below and the camera points up at the action, to make the subject appear larger, more formidable and menacing.

Over the Shoulder Shot
– Framed so that the viewers have the perception that they are participating in the action by peering over the shoulder of the subject. Used most often in interviews.

Depth Shot
– Creates depth in the scene by adding objects to the foreground, middle ground, and background. We see different levels of action to create a 3D effect.

Macro Shot
– The camera is positioned very close to an object to show detail. You are not zooming in, but instead placing the camera very close to an object.

Dutch Angle/Unstable Horizon
– The camera angle is skewed so that the horizon line is not parallel.

Shots Based on Subjects:

One Shot
– Shot of a single person, maybe an interviewer or guest. Usually a medium shot or tighter.

Two Shot
– Shot of two people, maybe talking to each other. Usually a medium shot or tighter.

Three Shot
– A medium shot that contains three people.

Shots Based on Camera Movement:

– A horizontal scan, movement, rotation or turning of the camera in one direction (to the right or left) around a fixed spot. You are standing still but the camera is moving to capture an entire panoramic scene.

Zoom In/Out
– Using the zoom feature of the camera to make the subject fill more or less of the frame.

Dolly In/Out
– Moving the camera to physically get closer or further from a subject. You may have the camera mounted on a dolly, or you may be walking towards or away from the subject.

Dollying Along (Tracking)
– The camera is moving along beside the subject. You may have the camera mounted on a dolly, or you may be walking towards or away from the subject.

Head On
– The action comes directly toward or at the camera.

Tails Away
– The action moves directly away from the camera.

Major Rules of Composition

Rule of Thirds

Imagine your screen divided into thirds, both horizontally and vertically.  It looks kind of like a tic-tac-toe board.  You should always place important elements at the intersection of those lines.  It is also much more interesting to place any horizon lines like skies, buildings or the shore of a lake on one of the horizontal lines.


Headroom is the space between the top of the subject’s head and the top of the frame.  Usually, you want to have the subject’s eyes near the top horizontal third line of your shot.

Bad Example: In this shot, the subject’s head is way too close to the top of the frame.

Bad Example: In this shot, the subject’s head is way too close to the bottom of the frame. It gives the impression of a head floating in space.

Good Example: In this shot, the subject’s head correctly positioned along the top horizontal third line.

Lead Space or Nose Room

The amount of space between your subject and the side of the frame as they move or look towards that edge of the frame.  You don’t want the subject to get too close to the side of the frame as they look or walk in that direction…it will give the feeling that they are about to walk into a wall.

Bad Example: In this shot, the subject is way too close to the right edge of the frame.  It feels like he is going to run into the edge.

Good Example: In this shot, the subject has plenty of room to walk towards the right edge of the frame.

As A Class:

Watch the following videos that give you visual examples of the various shots and movements.

Framing and Composition Overview

Framing and Composition from Videopia on Vimeo.


Adidas Commercial

Adidas Spec Spot from Ross Ching on Vimeo.


High School Football Highlight

#25 from Allen Gabrenya on Vimeo.


Depth Shot Example – LA Highways

Running on Empty (Revisited) from Ross Ching on Vimeo.


Now that you have a good idea of the individual shots and their movements, we’ll watch the Postal Service Music Video as a class. Look for different shots and movements as you watch the video.

Your Assignment

Watch the “LEARN” video below. The first time you watch, look for different shots and movements. Then watch it a few more times and write down what shots you see and what times they occur. You’ll have to pause the video, rewind and watch it several times – it moves fast! Identify at least FIVE shots or movements and the time they occur – post your answer on Edmodo.

Your answer might look something like this – 0:57 – Pan Left

LEARN from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

Filmmaker Fridays: Interview Skills

In this Filmmaker Friday session we will be covering interview skills. Whether you are doing a lengthy project about a person or just some quick questions, it’s important to know the skills required to produce a professional looking interview.

Download the Interview Skills Keynote (PDF)

Components of a Good Interview


  • schedule a time in advance
  • have questions ready
  • know your time limit
  • have equipment ready and set up


  • choose a comfortable location
  • be aware of background noises and other environmental conditions
  • think about moving around to a few locations


  • be yourself!
  • body language is important
  • keep in mind who you are interviewing and who will be watching the interview


  • do your homework and research
  • stay neutral
  • don’t interrupt their answers; and you don’t have to respond to every answer
  • remember it is about them
  • have a number of topics in mind
  • be prepared for follow-up questions


  • you always hold the mic.
  • eye contact with them and listen to what they are saying
  • don’t make sounds, react silently to their answers
  • don’t address anyone not in the shot

Intro Piece

  • shoot footage of the person in their environment, doing whatever they do
  • consider using a voiceover to narrate the intro
  • this piece explains why we should care about this person

Your Assignment (In Class)

Writing Better Questions: “Fatten” the following questions by turning them from closed-ended to open-ended.

  1. Who are you going to vote for in the Student Council election?
  2. What color shirt are you wearing?
  3. How long have you been a teacher at Skyview?

Now you’ll write your own questions.

  1. Choose any person you know a lot about (a celebrity, a fictional character, a sports figure).
  2. Write 5 interview questions you would ask them.  Focus on fat questions and try to predict how they will answer them.  Can they answer in 1-2 words? How can you encourage a longer response? Remember, the purpose of an interview is to provide insight into the life of your subject, not just find out what their favorite color is or when they were born.
  3. Look at your questions and write one follow-up question.
  4. Save to the shared drive.



Ad Assignment

In order to create an advertisement, you must first know the techniques of persuasion, and the audience you are targeting. Read the 10 Techniques of Persuasion, and then view the three ads below as a team. When you have finished discussing the three ads, you may begin on your homework assignment, which is at the bottom of this page.

10 Techniques of Persuasion

The following is a list of various strategies that advertisers use to entice us to want the product being advertised.

  1. Humor: Funny or crazy images.
  2. Macho: Strong, tough, powerful – usually males. May carry weapons or be pictured in dangerous situations.
  3. Friends: Groups of people enjoying each other and doing things together. Buddies, pals and friendship.
  4. Family: Mother, father, children or a family.
  5. Fun: Everyone is happy – smiling and laughing. Often images of people doing fun things and having a good time.
  6. Nature: Outdoor settings – mountains, ocean, desert, snow, flowers, etc.
  7. Sexy: Emphasis on physical attributes of models; may wear revealing clothing and be shown flirting through attitude or body language.
  8. Fear: Creates the feeling that something bad will happen if you do not buy the advertised product.
  9. Celebrity: Someone most people recognize – athlete, musician, politician, or movie star. If they are using the product, it must be good.
  10. Wealth: Expensive and elegant places and things. Big houses, new cars, jewelry, designer clothing, etc.

In Class

View the following Ads and discuss the techniques and target audiences as a class. Videos are on the Shared Drive in the Advertisement Project folder – or you can watch them using the YouTube links if you’re at home.

  1. Volkswagen – Watch on YouTube
  2. Burger King – Watch on YouTube
  3. Allstate Mayhem 1 – Watch on YouTube | Allstate Mayhem 2 – Watch on YouTube
  4. Old Spice Swagger – Watch on YouTube
  5. Skyview Yearbook Ad – Watch on Vimeo

Your Assignment

Watch the following commercials – choose THREE ads and post answers to these questions:

  1. What are the persuasion techniques used? (might be more than one)
  2. Who is the target audience?
  3. Do you think the ad is effective? Why or why not?
  4. Be sure to write down which ad you are reviewing

Choose three of the following ads:

Green Screen Travel Project

You’ve discovered a way to instantly teleport to faraway lands.  This project will teach you how to use the green screen while creating your own travel video.

  • Plan out the sequence of your travels; you must visit 5 different places
  • Choose your backgrounds from the sample travel footage and images you download from the internet
    • Use Google Images to search for images
    • Look for images that are at least 1000 pixels wide
    • Click through to “View Full Size Image” before saving
    • Right click image and choose “Add Image to iPhoto Library”
  • Record 10-15 seconds of each of your group members in front of the green screen.  Try to interact with the imaginary scene that will be behind you.
  • Use combination of pre-selected travel footage and images downloaded from internet
  • Use the map feature to show where you are traveling to and from

How to use the Green Screen feature in iMovie

Planning Assignment

Step 1: Outline

The first step in planning a project is creating an outline.  An outline provides a basic plan of the structure of your story/project.  It tells you what will happen in the beginning, middle and end of your story.  Every project you do in Broadcasting will need to have an outline.

Example outline for Cinderella:

  • Introduction
    • Cinderella’s family is mean to her
    • Cinderella isn’t allowed to attend the ball
  • First Major Event: Fairy Godmother
    • Fairy Godmother helps Cinderella go to the ball
    • She has to be home by midnight
  • Second Major Event: The Ball
    • Cinderella falls in love with Prince Charming
    • Clock strikes midnight, she runs away and loses her slipper
  • Third Major Event: The Slipper
    • Prince wants to find owner of slipper
    • Has everyone try it on; Cinderella isn’t allowed to
    • Cinderella tries slipper on and it fits
  • Resolution
    • Cinderella and Prince Charming get married
    • Live happily ever after

Your Assignment

In groups of 2-3, create an outline for a popular fairy tale (other than Cinderella of course).  Use Pages and save your final outline into the “Planning Project” folder on the Shared Drive.  You must have an introduction, at least three major events, and a resolution.  If you are unsure of the exact sequence of the fairy tale, you may use Safari to research.

Step 2: Storyboard

The next step is to storyboard your project.  A storyboard will show what your project will look like visually. It should include a sketch of each shot and a quick description of the visual and audio components for the scene. We should be able to look at your storyboard and see who is in the shot and what camera shot you will be using.  Think about where the camera will be in relationship to the people in the shot (close up, long shot, etc.).

Here’s a quick example sequence for the Cinderella example:

Cinderella's family is mean to her
Cinderella isn't allowed to attend the ball
Fairy Godmother helps Cinderella go to the ball

Your Assignment

Create a storyboard from your fairy tale outline.  You should have AT LEAST one box for every outline bullet.  Good storyboards will have more than one shot (box) for each bullet.  Use the blank storyboard templates from the plastic tray in the editing room.