Muddling through the blogosphere

Tips for Future Filmmakers – and Their Teachers


films.gifFollowing on the heels of my trip to the CUE Conference, last Wednesday I headed over to our Sacramento Educational Cable Consortium (SECC) to help judge the SEVAs (Students Educational Video Awards). As I sat with a team of teacher reviewers scoring middle school entries, I kept thinking about Mathew Needleman‘s second graders’ amazing going-beyond-Open Court productions , such as as Camouflage Jones – Private Investigator. Making an award-winning film requires more than a well-designed storyline and storyboard. A bit of background in basic camera shots can make all the difference in grabbing and keeping an audience’s attention (and scoring judges points)!

As part of my district’s DOLCHE project, we provided participating teachers with a copy of Niko Theodosakis’s The Director in the Classroom. As engaging and comprehensive as this resource is, it does not include a section on basic shots. Fortunately, to complement Nikos’s book and videoconferencing trainings, my talented DOLCHE partner Krishnakrishna2.jpg Harrison-Munoz jumped in with both a teacher workshop and a student workshop on basic shoots, much of which is included in her Roadmap for the New Video Producer and her Roadmap for the Student Video Producer.* Combine this handout with Mathew’s Kinds of Shots Tutorial, and even I (Queen of Bad Photography) feel confident about taking digital storytelling to the next level.

*Note: This was my first time using the K12HSN’s edZone to upload a document. Very easy! And I love having all that free space for uploading!


  1. You’re too kind.

    I would also recommend the book “Film Directing Shot by Shot” by Steven D. Katz which is an excellent resource that’s possibly misnamed. It’s really about storyboarding and film language, shots, etc. which is what you’re looking for.

    It’s a very visual book so it’s not something busy teachers have to “read. You can pick it up and look through a few pages as needed.

    I learned a lot from that book

    I tried to access the Roadmap for Student Video Producer but the page brings up a dead link once you get to the page and try to download.

  2. Thanks for the resource, Mathew. I’m heading over to Amazon to see about ordering the Katz book. But first I’ll fix the broken link to Krishna’s handout.

  3. Mathew, in the meantime, I’ve uploaded Krishna’s manual to

  4. Pingback: Mathew Needleman’s K12Online Preso - Oh my! | BlogWalker

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