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Workshop Syllabus

Workshop: Special FX Filmmaking

Length of workshop: Half Day

Overview: Discover the essentials of Special FX in Filmmaking using basic apps and camera techniques. Create a blockbuster action sequence to rival a Hollywood film. Learn acting techniques to bring your story to life!

Hollywood Films amaze us with their special FX! StarTime Live’s SFX Filmmaking workshop will give you the ability to make your own special FX action sequence. Our professional filmmakers will show you how to use Hollywood green screen techniques and motion graphics to create fireballs, laser shots, explosions and more. Create a character, choose a green screen background – and it’s time to film on your device using Super Power FX! We’ll then showcase some of your films to see how you’ve used your special effect.

Participants will:

  • Understand that using special effects is to heighten the drama of your story and engage the audience
  • Learn basic acting techniques to portray emotion onscreen, thereby creating stakes, story, and evoking a reaction from the audience during their action scene.
  • Learn to use basic special FX apps
  • Learn basic film techniques including angles and framing to best portray their story

Session 1

Acting Warm Up 1 – Move Like…

WHAT: Students move around the room, acting out different high-stakes scenarios, following prompts from the Head Coach.

HOW: Discussion

  • Students spread out into different areas of the room
  • Head Coach issues instructions… e.g. Move around the room like you’re a thief trying to steal a precious gem from a secet vault e.g. Move around the room like you’re running away from an explosion e.g. Move around the room like you are avoiding lasers … etc

WHY: Participants will:

  • Students learn to portray high stakes situations and use imagination to create environment

Speaker and music if required

Head Coach:

  • To run warmup

Coach:

  • Role model the exercise – focus on committing to each action

Not at the moment.

Acting Warm Up 2 – Emotions Circle 

WHAT: Gather students into one big circle. Nominate a line of dialogue and a different emotion / intention for each student

HOW:

  • Gather students into one big circle
  • Teach students a line of dialogue e.g. something personal about them such as “My name is _______ and my favourite food is_______.”
  • One at a time, go around the circle, Head Coach nominates a new emotion for each child.
  • Each child performs the line with their nominated emotion or intention.

WHY: Participants will:

  • Learn to portray emotion in order to tell a story and heighten their onscreen performance
  • Learn how commitment to their role or scene assists in telling a story on screen
  • None

Head Coach:

  • Lead exercise

Coach:

  • Role model exercise

  • Demonstrate the level of commitment required

  • Crowd Control

You may wish to split siblings up in order to arguments. This tends to avoid a lot of tears and also encourages students to make new friends.Session 2

SuperPower FX Tutorial

WHAT: Gather all students together to instruct SuperPowerFX Tutorial

HOW:

Head Coach to run Tutorial: – Please study this StarTime Live video tutorial BEFORE the workshop: https://vimeo.com/438819745 (password = starshine)

WHY: Participants will:

  • Understand how to use SuperPowerFX App
  • Develop an understanding of how to use Special Effects to tell a story
  • Learn basic film techniques including framing
  • iPads with SuperPowerFX app loaded
  • Large screen with HDMI cable and ipad dongle
  • Green Screens (1 per 8 kids).

Head Coach:

  • Deliver Tutorial

Coach:

  • Assist with crowd control

NoneSession 3

Test your SuperPower FX Skills

WHAT: Students break into their groups and become familiar with the SuperPowerFX app

HOW:

  • Head Coach to break students into small groups (4 kids per group is ideal) and distribute iPads
  • Explain teamwork essentials to avoid fighting and increase efficiency
  • Students gather in their groups and test out the skills they have learned in the tutorial
  • The aim is to become familiar with the way the app works, and test out the filmmaking skills they have been taught

WHY: Participants will:

  • Learn to work collaboratively
  • Apply the SuperPowerFX app skills they have learned
  • Apply filmmaking skills such as framing in a practical environment
  • iPads (1 for every 4 kids)
  • Green Screens (1 for every 8 kids)

Head Coach:

  • Float around and assist students

Coach:

  • Float around and assist students
Camera Tricks – Jump Cuts Tutorial

WHAT: Tutorial: – What are Jump cuts? – Show Zac King YouTuber example video (please link here) – Demonstrate a basic Jump Cut (Coach please study this StarTime Live tutorial in advance BEFORE your workshop, for examples you can use in your workshop) https://vimeo.com/466382926 (password = starshine)

HOW:

  • See above

WHY: Participants will:

  • Learn editing tricks and camera techniques to heighten their story and production values
  • iPads with iMovie
  • screen with HDMI cord

Head Coach:

  • Lead tutorial

Coach:

  • Assist with crowd control
Camera Tricks – Jump Cuts Practice (10 mins)

WHAT: Students break into their groups and practice the jump cut that has been demonstrated in the tutorial

HOW:

  • See above

WHY: Participants will:

  • Put their editing skills into practice and work collaboratively to solve problems and create dynamic transitions
  • iPads with iMovie

Head Coach:

  • Float around and assist

Coach:

  • Float around and assist

Session 4

Storyboarding

WHAT: – Coach to demonstrate how to storyboard the film. Students to storyboard their scene idea. Each film should include at least one example of a SuperPowerFX and one example of a jump cut or optical illusion or perspective trick

HOW:

  • Students to storyboard their idea (keep it short; 90 seconds total!)
  • Try to have a short story with beginning, middle, end – Dialogue is optional
  • Consider whether students will use green Screen or shoot on location

WHY: Participants will:

  • Work collaboratively
  • Learn to turn their dreams and creative ideas into a plan
  • Storyboard templates (1 per group plus spares)
  • Textas

Head Coach:

  • Explain storyboarding then send students into their groups

Coach:

  • Float around and assist

Students will want to create long, epic, complex stories… help them to simplify! While keeping the essence of their ideas – e.g. tell them to choose the 3 best parts of their idea and focus on those elements

ACTION!

WHAT: Students film their sequences

HOW:

  • Students film their sequences using iPads – they may use relevant apps including SuperPowerFX
  • Remind students about the Acting exercise you did at the start of the day – let’s see and hear your emotions!

WHY: Participants will:

  • Work collaboratively to apply practical filmmaking and special effects skills
  • Apply basic camera skills including framing and lighting to tell a story 
  • Use basic Special Effects apps to make their film
  • iPads with SuperPowerFX and iMovie
  • Tripods

Head Coach:

  • Float around and assist

Coach:

  • Float around and assist
Editing Session

WHAT: Head Coach to lead basic editing tutorial. Students to edit their films

HOW:

  • Head Coach to show basic editing skills:
    • importing footage
    • transitions
    • Ambient music and sound effects
    • Voice over
    • Titles
  • Students to break into their groups and implement above skills
  • iPads Screen with HDMI cord and iPad dongle

Head Coach:

  • Deliver editing Tutorial

Coach:

  • Float around and assist
Mini Film Festival 

WHAT: Screen each group’s film

HOW:

  • Screen each group’s film on the big screen. If time, give positive feedback as you go!

WHY:

  • Students exercise Courage by showing their film in front of an audience
  • Students learn and grow by receiving feedback from their coaches and peers
  • iPads Screen with HDMI cord and iPad dongle

Head Coach:

  • Present Films

Coach:

  • Crowd Control

Extension