Pregnant Pause

 

Video Project (time related media)

 

Problem

Concentrating on common everyday activities, create a video (90-300 seconds in duration) that primarily uses sequencing, pacing, editing and shot rather than dialogue, action, or music to construct a narrative that gives the activities poetic, visual and/or metaphoric impact and meaning.  A pregnant pause is a full empty space, a meaningful lull in a conversation, or a delay in speech used to give time to consider the consequences of a statement. In this project I am asking you to focus on pregnant pauses. The content of your video should focus on the kinds of common, generally unnoticed activities that exist between the “big” memorable events of our lives. Also, I am asking you to primarily rely on editing your video to create meaning (as opposed to action, dialogue, or plot). Editing creates a “third meaning” that exists in the spaces, the pregnant pauses, between shots.

Materials

  • 2 gigabyte (min.) flash drive (about $4)
  • Video Camera on your phone or a GoPro
  • Editing Software (available free)

Preliminary

  • Fieldwork 1: With a partner brainstorm
  • one everyday activity (ex. Washing a car, tying a shoe)
  • one common occurrence (ex. sun rising, coffee brewing)

for each person.

  • Outline each activity into between 3 to 7 steps.
  • Create a card for each step of the activity and the occurrence on 3”x5” cards. At this point you need only use words to describe the step (ex. “scoop grounds from coffee can”).
  • Shuffle the cards randomly to find new ways of ordering the events in sequence.
  • Each student should now create a storyboard based off of one or two of these new shuffled sequences to serve as the basis for their video project.
  • Fieldwork 2: You now are ready to storyboard your sequence. Translate each card in your sequence into a storyboard panel. This is a sketch that indicates point of view (PoV) and scope. It should also include notes about imagery, style, camera movement, subject movement, transition (typically only exit transitions) and structural juxtapositions.

Strategy

You are now ready to shoot or find your footage and edit your video. The video must be no shorter than 90 seconds and no longer than 4 minutes and must use a camera on your phone. You may repurpose found video footage or still images for your video, but be sure to use footage with good resolution. You may choose to have audio or not but NO MUSIC. Think about using ambient (actual sound). You are being graded primarily on the visuals so make sure to spend the bulk of your time on this. You may edit using any non-linear editing program, however I strongly recommend using iMovie or Windows Movie Maker as your editor.  Both are available to download for free on your own computer.   If you don’t have your computer you may use these programs on the computers in Lamson Library.

 

Assessment

Your video will be graded on the following criteria. “Narrative” nor “plot”, nor “acting”, nor “story”, nor “soundtrack” appears below so do not focus on these! Evidence of careful consideration of editing principles:

40% Continuity/Sequence/Pacing: (tempo, rhythmic relationship): speed and rhythmic flow  and connections between different elements in the video

  • Transition: The movement from one shot to the next (cross-cutting, cut, fade, dissolve, nonsequitur, moment-to-moment, aspect-to-aspect):
  • Intensity and Scope: Macro vs. micro-narrative; Close up vs. establishing shot; etc.
  • Duration: The length video

40% Evidence of careful consideration of shooting principles:

  • Movement: of objects in front of the camera or of the camera itself
  • Point of View (camera angle): The choice of placement of camera and its effect on the viewer; cropping
  • Setting: The place, lighting or emotional atmosphere in which the video is taken
  • Duration: The length shot or sequence

20%  Successful completion and documentation of the two fieldwork exercises

 

 

Timetable

October 10: Lecture on history of video, important film theory concepts and editing, shot and transition principles. Introduce assignment and assign fieldwork one.

15: Discuss narrative, go over fieldwork one and assign fieldwork two. Fieldwork.

17: Non- linear video editing tutorial and workday.

22: Critique