On a District Athletics day with two-thirds of the cohort running and jumping elsewhere, and 30 students without a class to call their own, the 30-Minute Found-Footage Mini-Film-Festival was born.
Using Adobe Premiere Clip, an app easily downloaded on any smartphone, the students were divided into groups of three, given some clear instructions and a lot of freedom.
The groups downloaded the app (free), and were given a quick tutorial – it is a very user-friendly program.
Once everyone was on the same page we talked through the task.
The groups had 20 minutes to discuss their idea, scout for locations, film, edit and upload their films to our shared server.
With some daunted, some delighted and others dubious I gave the class a simple structure to follow. Using the found-footage film technique as a guide, they would formulate and film six short scenes to make up a 90-second movie.
I used these six storyboards as a place for all groups to start:
Meet the characters and set up location
Who are they? What is their relationship? Where are we? Why are we here?
Enter and explore the location
How do we feel about entering? What do you see, touch or find?
Everything goes black
Is it a snap? Is it a surprise? Whose fault was it? Do we hear a scream?
Someone is missing
What happened to them? Are they calling for help?
The missing person is found and then suddenly dragged away (or similar)
How will you achieve this effect? How can you build tension?
Do you run? What happens to the camera? Do you become a victim as well?
The students scampered off to various locations and came back eager to edit.
Adobe Premiere Clip gives you the option of editing your footage for you and adding music.
Most students opted to edit the footage themselves, adding title cards, credits and their own music – Adobe Premiere Clip has a selection of music to use on the app as well.
Perspective is important for this project as the actors in the film also hold the camera.
Students chose a variety of ways to achieve this; some were hosting a reality TV show, others were YouTube celebrities, and some were filmed as if their ordinary lives were interrupted by extraordinary events.
We sat together and watched each other’s movies and the films the students made varied considerably in tone, structure and format.
This opportunity provided simple but incredibly powerful learning for all involved.
In summary … it was a hit.
Adobe Premiere Clip is a great alternative to more complicated editing programs, and you can do it all from the convenience of your smartphone.