Monday, 11 August 2014 14:14
Howdy filmmakers! So...this is a long overdue post as our second week of the filmmaking camp was some time ago but better late than never. We talked over some important things that week--pre-visualization--that ended up going hand-in-hand with last week's topic of camera manipulation.
Pre-visulazation is such an important step in the filmmaking process (and one that I will admit that I have never enjoyed). It involves the process of breaking down the script into a shooting script, shot list and storyboards in order to shoot your film. Each tool helps the filmmaker to understand what they are trying to say with their film and what is most important for them to capture on screen. Pre-visualing a film ahead of time provides a blue-print and a map to begin filming, helping to map which beats you are going to capture on screen. The beats are the meaty stuff--the tear-jerker moments that people remember.
There is a "traditional" Hollywood model for shooting and a standard for how to arrange shots, much like the standard for writing scripts. It involves getting four shots: a Wide Shot that will establish what's going on followed by a series of Medium and Close-Up shots. An old Hollywood technique (that is still used today in big-budget movies) is to get a Master Shot. This means setting up the camera and letting it run for the whole scene.
When designing shots, it's important to think about shot sizes and how they will impact the emotions of the audience. We change shot sizes because they provide variety, emotion and interest to a movie. If a movie was the same shot size the whole time, it would be boring. There are many different types of shots used by filmmakers today and the list is endless because shot sizes are open to interpretation. That being said, here's a list of the ten most commonly used shots:
1. Establishing shot and/or Master Shot (NOTE: They're NOT the same thing)
2. Wide Shot or WS
3. Full Shot or FS
4. Medium Shot or MS
5.Over-the-Shoulder or OTS
6. Medium Two Shot or M2S
7. Close-Up or CU
8. Extreme Close-Up or ECU
9. Insert Shots or INSERT
10. Reaction Shots or RXN
Check out this great link for more descriptions on shot sizes.
At the end of the session, we broke off into groups to practice capturing these shot sizes using flip cameras. The next session built off the information learned here by delving into ways to manipulate the camera to get the shots you want...but more on that later.
In just three days is the last session for the summer but not for the year. Stay tuned for information on filmmaking workshops starting this fall!
Adios for now.
Friday, 08 August 2014 00:00
The Giver by Lois Lowry
I loved reading The Giver by Lois Lowry. She did a very good job on getting me interested by the good details of the characters and of what is going on. Every chapter I read got me deeper and deeper into the book and more interested. It is about a twelve year old boy named Jonas who lives with 2 parents and his 7 year old sister Lily. As he gets older he has an assignment of being the next Receiver of Memory. Who I love is the Giver, he is the guy that transfers memories onto Jonas and helps him to do his job when he gets too old. I recommend this book to others that would like to travel though the Giver's memories and whoever would like to read about other communities. This book is really awesome!
(Ivette C., Evanston teen)
Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge
This is a great book that makes you reconsider a lot of things in everyday life. Normally I go through graphic novels pretty quickly, but I stopped a lot during this one to think about its meaning. Paige, the main character, moves to New York and has to adjust to her new surroundings. This book shows her literally trying to sort through all of the thoughts in her head. With romance, emotions, and thoughtfulness, I would personally rate Page by Paige 4 out of 5 stars. It's more for girls.
(Owen T., Evanston teen)
Thursday, 07 August 2014 15:48
It is that time of year, folks. School supplies purchased, pencils sharpened, and the last beach-days upon us: the end of summer. Well, with the end of summer also brings the end of Maker Corps @ EPL for another year. Of course, we had to
end our summer with a bang. In our final few weeks we finished up with some of
our favorite programs. First of these: Artbots! (For those of you who have
constructed your own artistic robots, this will be a bit of review) Artbots are
essentially simple robots made from deconstructed electric toothbrushes, pool
noodles, and markers. We had a blast with kids and parents making the little
motor guys, and now our finished art pieces hang in both the Chicago Avenue Main
Street Branch and the Children’s Room of the Main Library!
We also had a T-shirt transformation program in the Loft. Teens from all over came
and created handbags, scarves, and bracelets recycled from used shirts. Though
it was a quiet group, they each left with a great new accessory. That same
evening, the library, as well as all of Evanston celebrated the National Night
Out! Thanks to all of you who came out and celebrated with us! For a few hours
the ramp outside the front of the library was full of origami, circuitry, a
photo booth, and even a fire truck!
In our efforts to have an exciting program every single day of our last week, Grace
and I also occupied some lobby space in the main library for Pop-Ups! First, we
had friendship bracelets where braiding, stitching, and looming all lead to some
great jewelry. Our final pop-up was one of our favorite programs of the summer:
paper tube roller coasters. We spent a few hours building a great marble
creation which can now been tinkered and played with in the children’s
Over the course of the summer, Grace and I have had the opportunity to work with so
many scientists, artists, and makers from all around the Evanston
community...allow us a moment to reflect…
In the past two summers it has been great getting to know all of the library staff
and patrons at large. It has been especially exciting to see and get to know the
kids who have come multiple of our programs. We have both learned a lot about
technology, improvising with supplies, and being inventive with our
programming.Thanks for the great making!
“what was that?”
“that was our dramatic ending”.
Monday, 04 August 2014 00:00
Wow! I have to confess I wasn't sure how the writer of the
Morganville Vampires series would handle Shakespeare's classic, but Prince of Shadows
exceeded all my expectations and then some. Beautifully drawing the complicated
web of familial politics ensnaring the main characters growing up in Verona,
Caine has written a romantic, witty, thrilling kind of book in which the famous
play is made clear in relevant and current ways. The twist? This story is told from Benvolio
Montague's point of view. It is Benvolio's job to watch over the
watch the heir of Montague, Romeo, and keep him out of trouble. Instead
Benvolio finds himself also in love with a gorgeous enemy! Highly
recommended reading, especially if you are attending Muse of Fire's Romeo and
Juliet in Evanston's Ingraham Park this summer or if you are going to
read the play in school this year.
(Martha, Childrens Department)
In August and
September, check out Muse of Fire's production of Romeo & Juliet in Ingraham Park directed by Muse of
Fire's founder and Artistic Director, Jemma Alix Levy. There will also include Muse's first-ever indoor, evening performances: Romeo
& Juliet at Evanston Public Library Outdoor performances Saturdays and
Sundays at 3pm, August 9 - 17, 30 - 31, and Sept. 6 & 7. Indoor
performances at 7:30pm, August 22 - 24, and 29-30.
Monday, 04 August 2014 00:00
all just game. The End Games brings a whole new meaning to the idea of a game
especially when people’s lives depend on winning it. Michael and his little brother Patrick have
been playing the game for weeks. They
battle monsters, whose skin hangs off their bodies and who echo whatever sound
they pick up. Michael and Patrick have
had plenty of close calls, but the Game Master always provides them with the
clues they need to stay safe. At least
that’s how the book starts off- but then the reader sees that nothing is what
it seems and when Michael and Patrick finally find a safe zone the other
players they met there have their own rules to play by. Everyone is out for themselves in order to
survive the game. Full of action, mystery and drama The End Games is sure to
(Renee, the Loft)
Friday, 01 August 2014 00:00
Rules by Cynthia Lord
When I read Rules, by Cynthia Lord, I loved it. It's about a girl named Catherine who wants a normal life. But her brother has autism and she thinks it's hard to work with him. I thought this book was very good because it made me understand how people deal with autistic children. Also, it made me understand what it would feel like to live with someone who is autistic. I would recommend this to anyone.
(Emilia C., Evanston teen)
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
I really liked the depth of the characters in this book. Aria is a naive Dweller, and unlike other books, she doesn't magically instantaneously adapt to the outside world. I also liked how Perry did everything for the good of his tribe, and his nephew Talon. I would give it a 4.5 stars because the beginning was a little boring, but the rest was a page turner.
(Samantha S., Evanston teen)
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 08:55
It’s been a busy few weeks for Maker programming at EPL! Basking in our newfound newsletter fame, we have been running around doing programs in the Loft, the children’s room, the North Branch and the Chicago Avenue-Main Street Branch. In the second week of July, we started off strong with a series of circuitry programs. First, we decided that we missed a program we did last year: squishy circuits. As it turns out, Play Dough is conductive, and you can buy kits full of leds and buzzers that you can hook up and power through the Play Dough. We sat in the children’s room and invited people to play with us for awhile and it was a huge success, drawing kids of all ages to make and wire everything from butterflies to cats to bridges.
After that, we did two different light-up art programs. It seems that you really never can have enough ways of building circuits, because we had a great time testing out different methods. We did a few paper circuit workshops. For some of the younger ages, we used templates for where to hook up the LEDs, for older we left it up to the kids to decide. The older kids also made paper lanterns with some origami-style folding and hole-punching. Some great projects came out of the workshops, including a self portrait and a night/day landscape.
The next week, we packed up and set up shop in North Branch to do a paper rollercoaster program. We were a small group, but we were mighty! We made two different marble runs out of paper towel tubes, popsicle sticks and an outrageous amount of scotch tape, each standing at least two fight high. The kids were really clever with this project and build all sorts of loops and walls. One even made a very complicated “mixer” that sent the marbles into 4 different tubes in an effort to randomize them. This rollercoaster is still standing at the North Branch, so make sure to go check it out!
Finally, we kept up the electronics theme this week with DIY videogames at North Branch and Artbots at the Chicago Avenue-Main Street Branch. Using a website called “Scratch,” we helped several teens learn basic coding skills and created lots of maze games and fun little videos that we could control either through the computer, or through a contraption called a “MaKey MaKey.” A Makey Makey is basically an interface with the computer, so you can do things like substitute the space bar with a banana, or anything else conductive like play dough, Swedish fish or pennies. Lots of the kids had already used Scratch, but none of them had seen a Makey Makey before, so it was really cool to see them explore the new possibility of making their own controller out of candy.
Artbots are a completely different game. With some very enterprising third-graders, we tore the motors out of dollar store toothbrushes and implanted them into cut-up pool noodles. Then, we decorated the pool noodles to look like rock stars, basketball players and ballerinas and set them in motion! The secret of artbots is to attach markers to the bottom. That way when you flip the switch, the robot creates art for you! We made some great pictures which you can see taped up on the green wall at the Chicago Avenue-Main Street Branch, and we’re excited to repeat this program with younger kids next week!
(Ruth & Grace)
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